Supermarket chain Morrisons has collaborated with leading scientists and dairy farmers to produce the UK dairy industry’s first independent guide to using environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.
Experts from Newcastle University believe renewable energy forms, such as wind turbines, light energy PV panels and anaerobic digestion, could help dairy farmers cut electricity bills by as much as 30%, a yearly saving of over £3000 on a typical dairy farm.
‘Renewable energy and energy efficiency options for UK dairy farms’ is the latest report to come from the Morrisons Farm Programme, a long-term initiative with a strong research focus aimed at helping develop a sustainable British farming industry.
Research focus areas, which have the potential to offer tangible benefits, were discussed initially with members of Arla Foods Milk Partnership and renewable energy was a subject area identified as a priority by them.
David Evans, Morrisons head of agriculture, said dairy farmers had indicated they needed a practical guide to help them through the vast amount of information and advice surrounding renewable energy.
“We believe this independent report, written specifically with the UK dairy sector in mind, has the potential to help dairy farmers make big savings on electricity costs from a fairly modest investment in the right renewable energy forms for their business,” he said.
“Making the move towards renewable energy is also good news for the environment and can help the agricultural sector meet the UK Government’s requirements for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
The report coincides with the launch of the new Feed-in-Tariff, a fixed, but inflation adjusted, guaranteed payment for every kilowatt-hour of green energy generated.
The new FIT, launched from 1 April, is being made available nationwide at a domestic and business level, on a variety of renewable energy schemes, in addition to any income dairy farmers can already earn from generating and then exporting their own green power via the National Grid to the wider electricity market.