On-farm renewables hampered by grid connectivity issues

Grid connection issues and planning permission limitations are severely restricting farmers’ ability to produce renewable energy, according to NFU Scotland.

With energy costs soaring over the past year on the back of the war in Ukraine, many farmers are looking to invest in local and small-scale renewables to cut their bills.  

But some are finding the cost of connection to the grid prohibitive, for all types and scales of energy generation.

See also: £75 voucher up for grabs in our energy costs survey

The union is calling for investment in solutions which can provide decentralised energy, such as electrolysers and battery storage.

It is also wants legislative changes to enable the fast-tracking of ground-mounted solar and on-shore small turbines for self-supply.

Climate change policy manager Kate Hopper said: “It is clear from member feedback that connectivity issues – and rules and regulations around planning – are significantly limiting the contribution that Scotland’s farmers and crofters can make to the nation’s energy supplies and that frustration is growing.

“NFU Scotland is seeking assurances from the Scottish government that businesses seeking to increase their production and use of renewable energy are enabled to do so; to help to tackle climate change and deliver on Scottish government objectives.”

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This article forms part of Farmers Weekly’s Transition series, which looks at how farmers can make their businesses more financially and environmentally sustainable.

During the series we follow our group of 16 Transition Farmers through the challenges and opportunities as they seek to improve their farm businesses.

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