Scot-Govt encourages agri-farmers to invest more in green energy ‘wind-ustry’ projects

Local Energy ScotlandRural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, MSP, has launched the government’s new Agri-Renewables Strategy to contribute to a cleaner and greener country.

Almost £20 million of renewable electricity is being generated every year by Scottish businesses, farmers, public sector organisations and homeowners, and the following six key areas have been identified to boost the development of ‘wind-ustry’ renewable energy projects on agricultural farms and crofts:

  • Community Involvement and benefits – ensuring that local communities benefit from the generation of on-farm renewable energy
  • Skills and Advice – support available in considering renewables developments and increasing confidence to proceed with projects
  • Planning and Consents – explains actions being taken to streamline the planning system, including online advice and guidance
  • Grid Connection – sets out the long term aim to ensure Scotland can benefit from a flexible system accommodating increased use of renewables
  • Finance and Technology costs – outlines the range of support in place to encourage growth in the agri-renewables market, and future investment and innovation
  • Research and Innovation – reaffirms our support for research and innovation in renewables, and highlights achievements and activity in this field

Mr Lochhead said: “Scotland’s agriculture sector is ideally placed to contribute towards Scotland’s low carbon economy.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work with the agriculture industry and other key stakeholders to develop agri-renewables and help those who want to install renewable technologies.

“Scotland has massive green energy potential and in many ways leads the way when it comes to implementing and using our natural resources for our own benefit.

“Farmers and crofters have access to our nation’s abundance of natural resources and are ideally placed to contribute towards Scotland’s low carbon economy. I’m confident that this strategy can help them introduce agri-renewable technologies best suited to local circumstances.

“Our climate is changing and we must be ready to face and adapt to the important challenges ahead. Introducing agri-renewable schemes will not only ensure a sustainable future for the industry, but also see communities benefit from green energy generation.

Chris Morris, from Local Energy Scotland, added; “We welcome the publication of the agri-renewables strategy that will support farmers and crofters to take action and realise the vast potential benefits from renewable energy.

“We hope the case studies within the strategy will inspire others to act and take advantage of the CARES advice and loans enabling them to generate their own energy locally.”

Local Energy Scotland administers and manages the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) with support for delivery from Ricardo-AEA.

Meanwhile, Endurance Wind Power welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s  Agri-Renewables Strategy, which aims to boost the development of renewable energy projects on farms in Scotland.

Endurance Wind Power is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of farm scale wind turbines, with almost 500 turbines installed on farms across the UK, 38 of these being in Scotland. According to the new strategy there are 166 renewable installations operating on farms and estates in Scotland, evidence that Endurance turbines make up a significant proportion of renewable energy generation from Farm Wind.

Endurance Wind Power has been working to increase accessibility to Farm Wind for landowners, including by offering land-lease options. In 2013 the company announced the very first asset-backed financing vehicle for wind turbine owners, a creative new finance option that helps the hundreds of would-be owners who already have planning and grid approvals to finally secure up-front financing.

Endurance’s new UK factory is manufacturing a new range of 225kW turbines, which will help farmers generate additional income, insulate the rural economy from rising energy prices and give rural areas access to electricity that the grid may not provide.

Endurance UK Managing Director, Dave Rankin, said: “Endurance turbines can generate real income for Scottish farmers at a tough time for the agricultural sector. Endurance is committed to working with Scottish farmers to make sure that they can benefit from the energy security and financial returns that small and medium scale wind energy, or Farm Wind, provides. The Scottish Government’s announcement  reaffirms that it shares this commitment.”

For more information: Agri-Renewables Strategy for Scotland:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/02/7600

 

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