Large numbers of farmers looking for green investment

A survey, undertaken by Barclays, has found that nearly 38% of the country’s 200,000 farmers want to install green technology on their farms such as wind turbines, solar panels or anaerobic digestion AD systems. Two out of every five farmers are hoping this investment will provide a return of £25,000 in new income as well as reducing their energy accounts.

Prior research by NatWest and RBS has also found the agricultural sector is keen to invest in renewable energy as a way of varying income channels and attacking increasing energy costs. The results of the Barclays survey of more than 300 dairy farmers in Scotland, England and Wales, have been released at the same time as the launching of a £100m fund intended to assist the farmers in the installation of wind, solar, hydro and AD projects.

Barclays have said more than75% of the participating farmers have acknowledged that renewable energy would provide a massive cost saving and almost 60% have agreed that wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectricity would create extra income to their business.

Product and Marketing Director of Barclays Business, Travers Clarke Walker, has said in most cases, renewable energy systems would pay for themselves and the cost would be eliminated within 10 years. He added that renewable energy provides the farmer with additional opportunities to expand their business and to continue with their important role of managing the food source for the country.

According to NFU Deputy President, Meurig Raymond, farmers have experienced a drop in basic and organic product prices over the past few years and it is essential for commercial lenders to cover the initial cost of the technology.