U.K. farmers asked to harvest wind

Summary:Could the installation of wind turbines on farms help U.K. energy flowing and provide another revenue stream for farmers?

Energy experts have suggested that allowing farmers in the U.K. to install wind turbines could provide more of the U.K.'s future energy and food needs.

In the United Kingdom, farmers are finding times difficult. Supermarkets often undercut prices of local produce by importing, and as the recession caused consumers to tighten their belts, profit margins have suffered. However, Nicky Conway, principal sustainability adviser for Forum for the Future, says that allowing farmers to host and use renewable energy sources could cut costs and allow more farmers to stay in business.

In addition, farmers may be able to earn up to £50,000 a year from generating and renting out energy produced by wind turbines on agricultural land, which currently makes up roughly 75% of the United Kingdom. 

Speaking at the Great British Wind Meal event on the Cornwall border this week, Conway said:
"There are about 300,000 farms in the U.K. so if you are going to have renewable energy generation at any level of scale, farmers have the land and the capacity to install those renewable energy schemes. Therefore they should be a target audience because they have the land and the resources to produce the energy."

This opinion is met by a number of U.K. farmers currently in business. A survey released by Nottingham Trent University this year which measured the attitudes of 700 farmers said that 30 percent were already generating electricity from renewable resources, and 61 percent who were not would like to invest in renewables within the next five years. In addition, 76 percent of the respondents said the potential of renewable energy is not being met.

Via: BBC

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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