SmartestEnergy have produced a report which discusses the rapid pace of growth of the renewable energy sector. The Energy Entrepreneurs Report 2014 discusses different renewable technologies including Hydro and Solar PV, however we wanted to draw focus to the incredible advancements wind energy has made in the last 12 months. Despite a background of political cynicism and constrained funding, onshore wind has seen a 40 per cent increase in capacity and now accounts for 45 per cent of independent generation. With a capacity of 2.8 GW, onshore wind remains the most dominant technology across Great Britain.
Yorkshire, Devonshire and Aberdeen were the most active in terms of new onshore projects with the farming sector remaining the most active investor in commercial scale renewables. The number of farm owned turbines almost doubled with 179 new designs becoming fully operational. This is particularly significant for Fine Energy as we offer competitive land based rental to landowners in the UK, of whom a large proportion are farmers.
Farmers and landowners are increasingly looking to diversify their income as the result of poor weather conditions, rising feed costs and competition from imported produce has seen incomes fall by more than half. Whilst local councils are encouraging farmer’s markets in the effort to ensure British food is consumed locally, multigeneration farmers are desperately seeking financial support. Recognizing the importance of creating lasting economic opportunities rooted in agriculture is vital for preserving an agricultural market in the UK. Installing one wind turbine on a small portion of land gives landowners a guaranteed annual rental income for 20 years. Whether the money is used to order cattle feed or fix equipment, this additional income offers farmers the breathing space they deserve.