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5 May 2015 02:50:34 |News,Renewables,Shows and Events

Farm-based renewables take centre stage at major two-day event


Farm-based energy generation will take centre stage when a major two-day renewables event is held in Glasgow this week.
All Energy, being staged at the SECC in Glasgow on Wednesday (6 May) and Thursday (7 May) will see NFU Scotland’s Renewable Development Initiative (RDI) play an important part in proceedings.
As well as taking stand space (stand A34), five Scottish farmers who have embraced renewable technology will participate in an open session on May 6 (in Conference Room 7 at 4.00pm), speaking about their energy schemes and inviting questions from the floor.
The Union’s three-year RDI project is designed to provide sound, independent advice to farmers and land managers across Scotland on renewable energy. Through a programme of on-farm events, co-ordinated by Thomas McMillan of Smiths Gore, the initiative has already shown hundreds of Scottish farmers energy projects that are contributing to farm businesses or are at the planning stage.
On-farm days held in 2014 and 2015 looked at wind, solar, biomass, gasification, hydro, biodiesel, heat pumps and anaerobic digestion. Workshops built around the events have brought in experts to cover elements such as planning, finance, construction, grid connection, feedstock management, legal contracts, tax and community schemes. Further on-farm events looking at anaerobic digestion (Aberdeenshire) and wind energy (Lanarkshire) will be held later this month.
The five farmers participating in the All Energy seminar on Wednesday have all hosted RDI events. They are: Robert Ramsay of Kinblethmont, Angus; Rupert Shaw of Gledpark Farm, Dumfries & Galloway; Jim Shanks of Standhill Farm, Scottish Borders; Andrew Stewart of Marshill Farm, Lanark and Hamish Watson of Balring Farm, Aberdeenshire
Speaking ahead of All Energy, where he will chair the RDI session, Mr McMillan said: “Farm-based renewables will be central to Scotland achieving its ground-breaking energy targets. NFU Scotland’s Renewable Development Initiative (RDI) continues to drive forward understanding around the planning, financing, building and operation of installations in the Scottish countryside.
“Since November 2013, 17 RDI events have been held on Scottish farms up and down the country, introducing several hundred farmers to renewable technologies through existing or planned projects with more events organised for May and June. The RDI has already demonstrated that the expanding range of renewable technology is offering Scottish farmers the chance to generate significant energy savings on farm and add a potential new income stream to the business.
“It has been hugely encouraging to see so many farmers, through the RDI, be prepared to open their gates to their fellow producers to allow others to see just what is involved in taking a project from planning, finance and consultation all the way through to completion and operation. This willingness to share experience in farm-based renewables – both good and bad – will see those same farmers take centre stage at All Energy this week.”


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