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New Energy Scheme FiT for Purpose

NFU Scotland has welcomed the launch of a new scheme aimed at significantly increasing the number of renewable energy projects undertaken in the UK.  The Union is urging Scottish farmers, once fuller guidance is available, to take a fresh look at whether such projects may have a role in their business.

The UK currently gets just over five percent of its electricity from renewable sources and the newly launched Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme presents an important stimulus if the UK is to meet its target of 30 percent electricity generated from such sources by 2020.

The FiT scheme opened on 1 April 2010 and is available to any renewable energy projects that commenced after July 2009 as well as those that are established in the future.   FiT guarantees a set fee payable for the electricity generated and an additional rate for electricity exported back to the grid for a set period of time, with the rates dependent on type of technology used.

Small-scale, low-carbon electricity technologies considered as eligible include wind, solar, hydro, anaerobic digestion and biomass.

NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren said:

“FiT presents a huge opportunity for Scottish farmers to get involved in small scale renewable energy projects and it is worth any farm business looking at whether generating energy may have a role on their farm in the future. 

“Government is keen to encourage greater deployment of such technologies and, looking at the bigger picture, the benefits are many.  They can help tackle climate change, reduce reliance on centrally generated electricity and increase security of energy supplies.

“At a farm level, FiT provides a financial incentive to meeting the farm business energy needs with the added bonus of a return on any surplus electricity supplied to the grid.   There is an expectation that by 2020, FiT will support over 750,000 small-scale low-carbon electricity installations across the UK and will have saved 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.   The possible returns from involvement in FiT have been pitched at a level that many farmers may find attractive and will help to achieve these ambitious targets.

“It is clear that farmers have a key role in making sure FiT works.   For that to happen, we need more detailed guidance on how our industry can get involved in power generation projects, the opportunity for community-type approaches to schemes and the availability of start-up funding through Rural Priorities.   We hope to be in the position to issue more information to our members in due course.”   

ENDS

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 60/10


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