Know How / Farm energy

Get advice on diversifying into the farm energy sector or using farm-generated renewable energy to cut energy costs. Find out how to maximise anaerobic digestion (AD) plant performance, lease land for battery and generator sites, and grow crops for the biofuels market.

Practical advice

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Business Clinic: Is solar development still worth pursuing?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Martin Williams, an associate in Carter Jonas’ energy team, sets out how…


Advice on getting best power purchase agreement deal

The drop in global and domestic energy markets makes it vital generators of renewable energy shop around for the best price on power sold to the grid. Power purchase agreements…


Why farms may be liable for big business rates bills on solar

Farmers are being caught unawares by business rate charges running into thousands of pounds on solar PV installations. Energy consultant Roadnight Taylor warns that farm businesses could be in line…


How to avoid jeopardising FiT payments with solar repairs

Owners of older renewable energy installations need to ensure that any system repairs or replacement parts do not jeopardise their eligibility for support payments. It is 10 years since the…


How the new renewable electricity export scheme works

A new scheme has been launched promising a guaranteed market for surplus electricity generated by renewable energy installations. We asked Roadnight Taylor senior consultant Richard Palmer to explain what the…


Where now for renewable energy on farms?

As financial support for renewable energy disappears, are lower technology costs and increasing climate change publicity creating new opportunities for farmers? Solar The ending of support schemes such as the…

Case studies

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How free-range egg unit slashed bills with solar electricity

When June and Frank Armstrong’s power supply company quoted a figure of £150,000 to hook up their new poultry shed to the mains electricity network, it forced a rethink. The…


How a dairy farmer cut electricity costs by £2,000 a year

Suffolk dairy farmer Jonny Crickmore has reduced electricity costs by almost £2,000 annually using energy from an unexpected source – the bedding in the cow shed. Fen Farm’s expansion into…


Moscha swivel spreader - a cheaper option to dribble bars

Setting up an energy plant along with all the kit to go with it takes some Brexit-style negotiating with the bank, but Edd Mowbray found a Leicestershire farmer who does…


Shropshire farm sees solar heating payback

It is four years since one of the UK’s largest commercial solar thermal hot water systems, a 192kWth array to supply heat for rearing game birds, was installed for JE…


How one finisher uses waste food for a sustainable system

More than 30,000t of food waste, supplied by local vegetable growers, passes through the gate of beef finisher John Dale’s farm, near Wisbech each year. The waste food is used…

How a dairy farm AD plant saves £20,000 a year

Having dealt with unpredictable milk price and TB for years, it was the promise of a stable income that first attracted the Hunt family to anaerobic digestion (AD). Fed up…


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Opportunities remain in a subdued renewables sector

The number of new renewable energy projects getting under way has nosedived over recent months as financial returns and investor confidence have been hit by policy reforms and support cuts.…


Green energy sees move to alternative finance models

A dramatic increase in renewable energy projects being refinanced over recent months is creating opportunities for landowners but notes of caution too. Refinancing covers a number of areas, from those…


Support plans cast shadow over future for crop-based AD

Plans to limit Feed-in Tariffs (Fits) support for new biogas plants generating electricity from crop-based feedstocks threaten to restrict future energy crop opportunities for growers. The proposals are set out…


Farm energy opportunities remain despite Brexit uncertainty

Although UK energy policy is heavily tied to European legislation, industry experts are confident renewable energy opportunities will remain outside Europe, albeit under a policy framework still to be decided.…