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Developing Renewable Energy


Renewable energy can boost farm incomes, offset energy bills and secure a source of poer for the future.

Practical Measures

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

For example:

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. (Figures using 2014 data)


Making Anaerobic Digestion Fit Your System

Storing Your Energy - Batteries For On-Farm Renewables

Help and Advice

As tariffs have reduced for new developments, financial viability for small scale projects now very often relies upon greater value being obtained for the energy produced, for example by offsetting energy bills, than the wholesale rate available for exported energy.  Support for renewable energy for existing installations is provided through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.  The Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (NDRHI) in Great Britain closed to new applicants on 31 March 2021.  Further information on the latest government support and payment mechanisms for small-scale low-carbon generation, including Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), can be found on the Ofgem website.  The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme closed to new applicants on 1st April 2019

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  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.