13-03-2014 12:30 PM | News, NFU, Renewables

Scottish Farmers Put the Heat on UK Energy Minister



Farmers from Caithness to Cornwall are calling on Energy Minister Greg Barker to deliver on his demand that; "The Big Six need to become the Big 60,000…a decentralised power to the people energy revolution."

Campaigners Action for Renewables is harnessing the voices of thousands of farmers and rural businesses to help Greg Barker, make his Big 60,000 happen. He’s called for a "new generation of energy entrepreneurs”, so they’re calling on him to review the upcoming Feed-In-Tariff reduction, before it puts businesses and jobs at risk. Scotland’s farm scale wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind is backing the campaign.

Gaia-Wind CEO Johnnie Andringa said:

Farm Scale wind turbines (up to 15kW), largely serve the rural domestic, farm, or small business where a combination of the Feed-In Tariff and renewable energy supply bring energy independence to thousands. This is “Distributed Energy”: electricity being generated where it is used. These are not “Investment Wind farms”, mostly its one or two individual machines for people trying to reduce their energy costs and make a contribution against climate change.


Perthshire Farmers Debbie and Neil McGowan’s Gaia-Wind 11kW turbine powers their water bore hole; cattle sheds; and farmhouse and has given them control over their rising electricity bills. Debbie Said: “We decided to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our energy costs. Being able to take control over a variable cost such as rising electricity bills was a big motivation. We have installed a Gaia-Wind farm scale turbine which powers a water bore hole supplying four farms with water, including the cattle sheds and the farmhouse.

Action for Renewables Chair Dr Tony Juniper, said:

We’ve seen farmers, home-owners, hoteliers and ice-cream makers using small or farm-sized turbines to help sustain their businesses. “There are thousands of businesses who won’t be able to take advantage of small and medium wind power if the Government doesn’t step back and review the proposed changes to the feed-in-tariff.

“It’s right that as more farm-sized turbines are installed, support is scaled back. But cutting back on investment now will put British manufacturers out of business and make it harder for farmers and communities to generate their own electricity.”

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