Farmers in Wales are investing millions of pounds in income-generating renewable energy schemes with one bank alone agreeing loans worth £6.8m to farmers in the past seven months.
Euryn Jones, HSBC’s regional agriculture manager for Wales, predicts that renewable energy will play an increasingly crucial role in the future of Welsh farming as a secondary income.
At the Royal Welsh Show, Mr Jones revealed the biggest investments had been in wind energy but hydro schemes are popular with farmers too. The one area that has seen a decrease in interest is solar energy which reflects the reduced feed-in tariff.
Tegwyn Jones installed a new £500,000 hydroelectric scheme on his Mid Wales farm last year to guarantee the future of the farm for his two sons. He had previously installed a 93KW scheme 10 years ago.
The scheme is likely to generate an income of more than £100,000 a year.
Mr Jones, whose grandfather was an engineer and developed schemes in Wales, said he saw clear potential in renewable energy. “This will generate a consistent and sustainable stream of income, which makes the farm more secure and enables us to expand,” he said.
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