Many farmers are turning to solar power to help combat rising fuel costs and photovoltaic (PV) energy can meet a farm’s electricity requirements for heating, feeders and ventilation. PV panels can be positioned on barns or outbuildings and for agricultural concerns with more land, ground mounted panels in outlying fields are also a viable option.
With the introduction of Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) in the UK in April 2010, farmers and landowners are ideally placed to profit from solar technology.
Under the scheme up to 13.99p p/kWh is paid to agricultural enterprises that generate electricity under the Feed-in Tariff for renewable energy. Any excess electricity generated will earn more money under the export tariff which pays an extra 4.5p p/kWh on top of the maximum 13.99p for any unused energy that is sent back to the National Grid. The scheme is also retail price indexed linked for the 20 years which will keep your investment in line with the cost of living.
The rate at which FITs are paid is determined by the date of installation and are indexed linked for 20 years but, as the amount is intended to reduce every three months for new entrants, the sooner you join the scheme the greater the benefit.
According to the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales (NFU), farmers are in the front line of climate change and ‘solar PV is just the latest twist’ in using solar energy in farming. Now with the government FIT scheme up and running, it makes economic sense for farmers to invest in renewable energy technologies.