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Union Stresses Support for on Farm Renewable Energy Production

The UK Government has published a series of documents detailing the proposed closure of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme and has issued a Call for Evidence on the future for small-scale low-carbon generation.

NFUS has noted its concerns for the future of on farm renewable energy production with the release of BEIS consultation on Feed in Tariffs. The FIT scheme was introduced to support the widespread adoption of proven small scale (up to 5MW) low carbon energy generating technologies. The scheme was intended to give the wider public a stake in the transition to a low carbon economy and foster behavioural changes to support the development of local supply chains and a reduction in energy costs.

For farming businesses renewable energy production has provided an opportunity to diversify income streams and reduce energy costs. There has been significant uptake of renewable energy since the Energy Act 2008 which introduced Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) for community or locally owned renewable energy sites.

The total installed capacity of renewables electricity in Scotland has trebled since 2008. Renewable electricity generation is now equivalent to 68% of Scotland’s energy consumption. Production from community and locally owned renewable energy sites are responsible for almost 20% (1,664GWh) of total Scottish renewable energy production. On Scottish farms and estates renewable energy production has increase by 65% since 2011.

Currently, renewable energy installations on Scottish farms and estates have a capacity of 266 Megawatts (around 3% of Scotland’s total renewable energy capacity). 78 per cent of the 266MW capacity generated on Scottish farms and estates comes from wind and a further 10 per cent from biomass.

Policy Manager Gemma Cooper said: “The recently released consultation from BEIS is long awaited, however NFUS has concerns for the future of small scale on farm generation. Previous cuts to FITS has already reduced the deployment rate of these technologies, and further changes or removal of FITS can only compound this.

“NFUS is very supportive of renewable energy on farms; it allows our members to diversify their income streams, helps them reduce their electricity bills, and provide wider benefits to the public. We will be working with other renewable energy representatives to lobby the UK Government to ensure that there is a future for small scale generation.”

Notes to Editor


Ends

Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4059

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 103/18


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