Renewable energy can boost farm incomes and secure a source of power for the future.
Consider if your farm is suitable for any of the following renewables:
- Micro-hydro electricity schemes
- Solar panels, ground source heat pumps or wood fuel burners
- Wind turbines
- Growing trees, short rotation woodland, and short rotation coppice as biomass fuel for home supply or sale
- Installing an anaerobic digester to produce methane as fuel for electricity or heat
Electricity used in the dairy, ice cream production and farm shop at Stewart Tower accounted for around 130,000 kWh per year.
Conservative estimates by farmer Neil Butler suggested that the 100 kW wind turbine would produce over 200,000 kWh electricity per year. If using half of this in the farm shop and dairy, savings on the electricity bill would be in the region of £12,000 per year, whilst offsetting in the region of 120 tonnes of carbon annually, equivalent to taking around 24 cars off the road per year.
Help and Advice
Support for renewable energy is available through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme closed to new applicants on 1st April 2019. The government is consulting on future support and payment mechanisms for small-scale low-carbon generation including Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). This consultation closed in March 2019 and more details are expected later in the year
For comprehensive advice on woodfuel visit the Use Woodfuel website.
Advice on renewable energy is available through the FAS helpline (0300 323 0161) or online at www.fas.scot/advice-and-grants. For advice on renewables and to see what other farmers have done, see our range of Practical Guides, Farmer Case Studies, and notes from Climate Change Focus Farm meetings.