DAIRY EVENT: Farmers Invest in Renewable Energy

UK - More than a third of dairy famers in England and Wales are planning to invest in renewable energy projects over the coming year according to research from the banking group Barclays.
calendar icon 7 September 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Most of the dairy farmers are planning to install either solar or wind power projects, Barclays said at the Dairy Event in Birmingham on Tuesday.

However, the bank that is setting aside a fund of more than £100 million to help the farmers in these projects said that only nine per cent were interested in anaerobic digestion projects and just three per cent in biomass renewable energy.

The research shows that the intended investment is across all sizes of farms, with farmers saying that their reasons ranged from saving money on energy costs, to generating farm income and becoming more sustainable.

The investment in renewable energy from the English and Welsh dairy sector is expected to be £230,000 on wind energy, £182,000 on solar, £492,000 on anaerobic digestion, £776,000 on hydro power and £38,000 on biomass.

"It is very encouraging that a good proportion of dairy farmers in England and Wales are planning to take up opportunities to develop their businesses that are provided by renewable energy production," said Euryn Jones, National Agricultural Specialist at Barclays.

"Progressive farmers have always looked for ways of fully utilising resources available to them.

"Introduction of feed-in tariff payments in 2010 generated a good deal of interest in renewable energy and now that a number of projects are successfully up and running, this has given us confidence for more farmers to invest."

However, Mr Jones said that a significant minority of dairy farmers cold be missing out on an opportunity to generate additional income and reduce costs on their farms and he urged the farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to install renewable energy systems.

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