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.

Advice and tips

FARM MAINTENANCE

Tips to help keep biomass boilers running trouble-free

Burning timber from your own woodland in boilers to provide heat for houses and offices seems like a bit of a no-brainer, especially when Theresa May will pay you for…

FARM ENERGY

Advice for farmers on letting land for solar projects

Development of new large-scale solar projects is increasing again after virtually stalling when the government axed the main support mechanism three years ago. Lower equipment costs, rising wholesale energy prices…

BUSINESS

How to get the best deal on farm electricity contracts

When seeking a new electricity contract, look beyond headline rates and ask for quotes that show the total cost of the contract over its lifetime, warn advisers. Some farm businesses…

FARM ENERGY

How to avoid hidden farm energy costs in PPAs

Farmers should carefully check the small print of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for hidden costs or other restrictive contractual obligations before renewing deals or signing up to a new one.…

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Case studies

MACHINERY

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…

FARM ENERGY

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…

LIVESTOCK

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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Insights

FARM ENERGY

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.…

FARM ENERGY

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…

FARM ENERGY

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…

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News

DIVERSIFICATION

Farmers warned off low offers for solar lease extensions

Those letting out land for solar farms need to be very careful when considering offers to extend long leases, advisers warn. Leases are typically for 25 years but landlords are…

FARM ENERGY

Good demand for energy sites in right locations

There is still a healthy market for clean power generation and a growing need for response systems, such as battery storage and gas-peaking plants, despite the government slashing financial support…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

Anger at NI’s plans to cut annual RHI payments to £2,000

Northern Ireland’s farm leaders have warned that plans to further cut Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments will decimate hundreds of farming businesses, particularly in the poultry sector. The Department for…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

RHI claimants suffering ‘unfair’ treatment, says UFU

Farmers in Northern Ireland with biomass boilers are battling cashflow problems and stress, following changes to payments made under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Farm leaders say that farmers…

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Video

MACHINERY

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…

BUSINESS

VIDEO: Straw war over £100m biomass power station

The company behind a controversial straw-burning power station is considering an appeal after planning permission was refused for the venture. Mid-Suffolk District Council rejected the Eco2 application for a £100m…

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