04 March 2015 | Online since 2003



12 May 2014|News,Renewables

Farm-based projects 'central' to energy targets


Scottish farmers remain central to the nation’s ambitious energy generation targets according to NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller.

While the future contribution from farm-based energy projects is likely to be considerable, guarantees over future tariff support and action around the Scottish Government’s own AgriRenewables strategy are needed to make the most of the opportunities.

NFU Scotland’s President made the comments as he opened the second day of AgriEnergy 2014, a two-day event at Thainstone near Inverurie, Aberdeenshire that showcased the latest developments in wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and other forms of sustainable energy. It was organised by ANM Group and Aberdeenshire Council.

Speaking to delegates, Mr Miller said: “Energy is never far from the headlines and in recent days and weeks we have had energy security issues relating to Russia and the Ukraine and an international climate change report urging governments to increase the momentum towards renewables.

“Within the UK, the problems facing the coal industry, a pull back from offshore wind investment by Scottish and Southern Energy and the rigid political position taken by the Conservatives against onshore wind in England - all make for a complex mix of drivers in the Scottish and UK energy supply sector.

“There are some certainties. Capacity is needed and low carbon or renewable generation must fill that gap. Farm-based energy projects are in an ideal place to help fill the shortfall and add to the £20m electricity value already generated on farm and by small businesses.

“The sector in Scotland still faces challenges and the Scottish Government’s recently launched AgriRenewables strategy must pick up the pace, working quickly to rebalance the operating and planning environment for those investing in new projects. The availability of grid connection, particularly in more remote areas, is a block in the system that deserves priority status.

“The scaling back of feed-in tariffs at a UK level creates uncertainty but on many farms, energy developments are still continuing as improved technology helps to create efficiency and value in a more commercial world.

“Wind projects can still create significant incomes or strip costs out of farm energy costs but Scottish farmers are also looking well beyond wind as the only option.

“The big headline in 2014 must be the extension of the renewable heat incentive (RHI) to domestic systems. The Union’s Renewable Development Initiative has already shown farmers several case studies where biomass is already making a big contribution at business level. With the target of pushing Scotland’s renewable heat sourcing to over 10 percent by 2020 there is now an opportunity for many farmers to move over into green heat systems.

“On solar, I visited two farms in Aberdeenshire this week where solar panel arrays were contributing to the business and the potential for solar in Scotland is only just becoming apparent.

“Second generation farm scale biodigestion is moving the technology away from food waste and maize to livestock slurry as a major feedstock and opening it up the larger dairy units. But here, concerns over tariff level cuts have prompted us, in recent weeks, to make representation to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, urging them to reconsider or risk stalling this as an option for dairy farmers.

“It is clear Scottish farmers are ready to move on the next level in farm-based energy generation and this event gives them access to the expertise and technology capable of delivering better energy yields and payback on investment.”

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


3 March 2015
Build Engineer
We tackle a range of complex software and system issues, including monitoring of large farm of servers in multi geographic lo...

20 February 2015
Early Years Supervisor
Dairy Farm Centre,. Colin Sure Start aims to reach out to families with children aged 0-4 years...laying foundations, creatin...

11 February 2015
Traffic Operations Logistics Apprentice
In 1930, brothers Wallace and Frank Turner bought their first vehicle and began delivering loads from their father's farm in ...

17 February 2015
BMW Bodyshop Panel Apprentice - Cooper Teesside
Preston Farm Industrial Estate. The Bodyshop Apprenticeship Programme provides training for Paint and Panel Apprentices....

19 February 2015
Service Engineer Apprentice
Business Administration, Accountancy, Agriculture, Construction, Customer Services, Dental Nursing, Electrical, Engineering, ...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...