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Renewables Group Focussing Union Activity

A new working group established by NFU Scotland is tackling the many issues and challenges that farmers face when tapping in to the growing renewable energy sector.

The Renewable Energy Working Group, which met on Monday 28 March, involves several Union members who have already successfully completed renewable energy projects on-farm.   These projects involve wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion technology.

NFU Scotland Vice-President, Allan Bowie, who attended the meeting said:

“There is real momentum behind the growth of the renewable energy sector and the potential that any such projects offer to farm businesses.  Making the most of such technology relies on farmers identifying the positives and avoiding the pitfalls. 

“The fact that many on this group have already got to the stage of installing energy projects on-farm means that their experience is hugely valuable.   They can steer fellow farmers through the process as well as identifying the issues and challenges which the Union should pursue to assist those looking at on-farm renewable energy.

“And the challenges appear to be many, ranging from the length of time it takes to get planning permission, discrepancies in planning standards between local authorities, feed-in tariffs, grid connection and financing.  This working group will help the Union to focus on the local and national priorities to assist those interested in on-farm energy generation and avoid frustration.

“With Scottish Parliamentary elections looming, NFUS aims to have a list of key points to present to the new Scottish Government this summer.  These will be recommendations, identified by the group, and designed to address the problems our members are currently facing in this area.   They will need to be tackled positively if Scottish farmers are to unlock the potential for renewable energy generation and assist Scotland in achieving its world-leading renewable energy targets.

“NFUS will soon produce guidance specifically targeted at those looking to tap into wind energy.  The Union’s guide aims to be a valuable aid to members requiring information on the establishment of on-farm wind turbines.   It will outline the issues that should be considered before undertaking any renewable energy venture and will include input from group members who have successfully established small scale wind turbines on-farm.  Similar guides on hydro and anaerobic digestion are likely to follow.

“In addition, we will continue to work with other organisations such as Scottish Renewables and the Scottish Government to ensure that the whole sector moves forward into a bright future for renewables in Scotland.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 57/11


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