40% of UK farms using renewables
Report reveals surge from 5% in 2010, wind preferred option for new schemes
Some 40% of farmers in the UK are now using renewable energy compared with only 5% identified in a Defra survey in 2010, according to a report.
The Farm as Power Station project involving Nottingham Trent University, Forum for the Future and Farmers Weekly found 30% of those had opted for wind installations.
Of the farmers who are not generating renewable energy on their land 61% said they are likely to invest in the technology within the next five years, with wind the preferred option. This suggests the nation could soon see up to 75% of farmers using renewable energy.
RenewableUK deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: “This important new research shows just how valuable renewable energy is to farmers at a tough time for crop yields.
“Farmers have always worked with the countryside and depend on the weather to make their living and it’s good to see small-scale wind turbines playing their part in this. The UK’s small wind industry leads the world, and there’s a beautiful synchronicity in turbines manufactured in Loughborough turning in fields in Lincolnshire.”
The research did, however, find that some 80% of the 700 farmers quizzed wanted to see consistent government policy and more than half said the cumbersome and costly planning process is a problem.
Image: wind is the preferred option of most farmers planning to invest in renewable generation (sxc.hu)