Renewable Energy: How Farms Can Benefit

Renewable energy systems that support a farm’s income.

Thanks to progressive reforms made by David Cameron’s coalition government, farms can enjoy considerable benefits and bonuses from installing renewable energy systems on their holdings.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced in 2011, it granted homeowners and farmers the opportunity to receive monetary payments from the government in return for renewable energy generated on their land. We currently live in a time of great technological advancement, so farmers have more options that ever when it comes to what form of renewable energy that they choose to back.

Sustainable Wood Pellet Fuels

Biomass fuels have been on the rise in the last decade, particularly in America where more and more vehicles are now running on vegetable-based fuels. Although there are many differing forms of biomass that can be produced and used by a British Farm, one format is considered to be the soundest choice.

Wood fuel pellets, created by processing sustainably grown trees, are currently the most popular choice amongst farmers looking to receive money back from the RHI. Although farmers can buy organic wood pellets from a number of online providers, if they have the space they can also choose to grow and harvest their own source of wood, so that they can take greater control of their carbon footprint and sell any excess on to others.

Methane Gas Reclamation

Dairy and beef farming have come under fire recently from a number of environmental welfare charities that oppose the destructive effect that it has on the environment. Although the claims of these NGOs are based on sound science, their findings have been exaggerated and distorted by certain opportunistic film-makers.

Documentaries supporting the growing Vegan movement, such as Cowspiracy and Vegucated, have started a zeitgeist that combines hyper-environmentalism and animal rights activism, leading to a new anti-meat farming trend. With scientific breakthroughs in ‘clean-meat’ (chicken and duck have now been successfully grown from a test tube) farmers are now looking to limit the amount of methane that their farms emits, whilst re-purposing it for use on their own holdings.

Solar Farm Installations

Solar panels are one of the most recognisable forms of renewable energy production. In the early days of the RHI they were one of the most popular choices for renewable energy installations. Easy to install and cheap, they tend to provide a quicker return on investment than most other renewables.

Consumers and farmers alike cashed in by installing banks of panels on the roofs of their buildings, but recently landowners have been taking this one step further. By clearing out their fields and installing giant banks of panels, farmers can make use of fallow lands and simultaneously capitalise on RHI. More and more solar farms are installed each year, leading some to worry about the future of traditional farming, whereas others are simply outraged by the unsightly appearance of dozens of black panels covering what was once green hills.