2013-04-29 xml
Move Scottish Renewable Sector to New Level

NFU Scotland believes the huge progress made by Scotland in generating energy from renewable sources has created a mature sector that is ready to move to the next level.

Speaking at the opening of AgriEnergy 2013 – a new two-day renewables event being held at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, near Aberdeen – NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said that Scottish farmers had been instrumental in helping Scotland quickly meet its ambitious renewables targets.

Farm Images

photo © farm-images.co.uk

However, Mr Miller said that while much of the focus has been on generating electricity from onshore wind development, the opportunities that exist from areas like hydro, solar, biomass and anaerobic digestion remain largely untapped by farmers. The experience and expertise already generated within the sector can provide the platform for developments in these areas.

Mr Miller said:
“The role that Scottish farmers have in generating energy from renewable sources is already firmly established and has been at the core of the significant progress made in the sector in recent years. The nation is well on course to meet its aim of generating 100 percent of our electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2020 and our capacity to generate renewable energy continues to outstrip the annual targets that we set.

“As a result of the progress made, renewables is no longer a fledgling industry - it is a mature sector being built on experience, expertise and technological innovation. We know the opportunities it has to offer in terms of costs versus returns and we know where the problems, such as planning or grid capacity, may lie.

“In short, the Scottish renewables sector is at the ‘end of the beginning’ and it is now time to move its development on to the next level.

“Scotland’s climate has seen our efforts justifiably focussed on generating energy from onshore wind developments. However, the potential offered by exploring and expanding energy generation from offshore wind, wave, hydro, solar and anaerobic digestion is substantial.

“That offers opportunities for Scotland’s farmers at a time when farm incomes from their core business of producing food are falling, businesses are under significant pressure from changing weather patterns and costs are escalating. The right investment in renewables at a farm level – or giving consideration to larger collaborative projects – presents a route to an income stream where the likely investment and potential returns are now well established.”


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