UK farmers sowing seeds of a renewable harvest

Posted at June 7, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK farmers sowing seeds of a renewable harvest

Nearly a third of farmers in England and Wales are investing in renewable energy, according to research by the National Farmers Union (NFU) and NatWest.

The survey of 400 farmers indicates that one in five farmers will be producing clean electricity, one in six have installed solar photovoltaics and one in eight are using or generating renewable energy.

To date, some 200 MW of renewable generating capacity has been installed on agricultural land, mainly solar, followed by wind and biogas.

But while farmers are investing in renewables, half report that planning is a major barrier to installing clean energy technologies while a third say that financing is an issue.

“This report shows farmers are taking notice of the developments in renewable energy and see a tangible benefit,” says Ian Burrow, head of agriculture and renewable energy at NatWest.

Jonathan Scurlock, chief renewable energy advisor at NFU, says the organisation has been encouraging farmers to diversify into renewables over the past few years.

“The potential of land-based renewable energy to support profitable farming, while contributing to energy security and the low-carbon economy, is evidently much greater than we ever imagined,” he says. “We are amazed at this level of uptake already.”

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Related stories:
UK’s largest community-owned wind farm seeks go ahead (10-May)
10:10 calls on schools to ‘crowd-source’ funds for solar panels (1-May)
Onshore wind turbines “damaging” UK landscape, says CPRE (30-Apr)

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