Over a third of farmers want renewables

August 31, 2011

72kWp EvoEnergy installation on Jack Buck Farm, Spalding. Click to enlarge.

A recent survey conducted by Barclays has shown that 37% of farmers plan to invest heavily in renewable energy options such as solar PV panels.

These results echo previous research from Natwest and RBS which also found that the agricultural sector is rapidly embracing renewable energy such as solar technology as a means both of combating rising energy costs and as an investment option.

The latest research from Barclays has shown that over a third of the UK’s 200,000 farmers expect to invest in renewable energy and should generate an average return on investment of £25,000 each year. The majority of those surveyed confirmed that they were looking to install this technology within the next year.

Travers Clarke-Walker, Product and Marketing Director for Barclays Business said that “For farmers investing makes sense- it’s good for the environment, but for the majority it’s about good business”.

He added that “Renewable energy production offers farmers a further opportunity to develop their business and add to their traditionally vital roles of producing food and managing the countryside.”

Barclays found that 80% of the farmers questioned in the study recognise that the savings which renewable energy can provide are significant, with 60% expecting it to generate additional income for their business. Investing in solar panels can provide a significant return on investment, with payments from the Feed-in Tariff generating an average 14% rate of return.

Mr Clarke-Walker of Barclays said that, “What farmers see is a win-win – lower costs and increased income, and the majority expect the investment to pay for itself in less than 10 years. Meaning they are looking forward to many further years of lower energy costs and a potentially new income as they sell energy back to the grid.”

Barclays have now launched a £100m fund that can be used by farms seeking to invest in renewable energy such as solar panels. Solar panels can generate clean electricity for use on farms and can also provide a rate of return on investment as the government-introduced Feed-in Tariff guarantees payment for each unit of electricity that a system generates. To speak to an EvoEnergy Solar Consultant and learn more about investing in a solar panel array for your farm, please click here.

Recently farmers have suffered from falling commodity prices which has left many unable to capitalise on the benefits of investing in renewable energy such as solar panels.

EvoEnergy offers a free solar scheme to combat this, where farmers can have a solar panel system installed on their roof space or land completely free of charge. The scheme allows farmers to benefit from the free electricity produced by solar panels, as well as the significant savings on electricity bills. Under EvoEnergy’s free solar scheme, Farmers can generate free electricity worth up to £4,500 each year for 25 years. To learn more about the free solar offer from EvoEnergy please click here.

To read the original article about the Barclays study, please click here.

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