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Stackyard News Dec 2010

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Which Renewable Technology is the Right FIT?

Many landowners, farmers and rural businesses are investigating the possibility of developing renewable technology. This is driven by the implementation of the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs)and Renewable Heat Incentive, which now make such developments an attractive investment opportunity and a chance to generate alternative income.


wind turbine

Diversification into renewable projects is somewhat removed from everyday UK agricultural business and hence there is some hesitation regarding the choice of technology. With any diversification the inclination is to proceed along the path which shows the greatest financial return; which is not necessarily always the correct one.

Due to the structure of the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive, the technologies which are more positively supported include wind and, to a lesser extent, photo-voltaic cells. This results in a move towards these technologies when actually a different technology may suit the property to a greater extent whilst still generating a significant return on investment.

Prior to selecting the most suitable technology the following issues and constraints should be considered:

· Physical typography, character and layout of the proposed site
· Natural resources that are readily available
· Assets which could benefit or aid the renewable development
· Proximity to end users for the electricity – heat generated
· Environmental constraints
· Planning considerations
· Management of the technology
· Financial availability and procurement
· Proximity to the grid connection

Landowners and farmers must analyse their assets thoroughly prior to choosing for a specific technology. Certain features can lend themselves better to specific technologies such as a large area of woodland providing a fuel source for a biomass system or a watercourse indicating that hydropower could generate electricity.

To ensure that the correct technology is chosen for the property, time should be taken at the outset, questioning the business and personal situation along with the features of the land. Independent consultants such as Fisher German can really add value at this initial stage to ensure the correct technology is introduced which suits each individual, their objectives and their land.

For further information please contact Mark Chandler at Fisher German on 01636 642 508 or email

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George F. White