Renewable energy turns farms into thrilling fields
Farmers discovered how renewable energy could help them cut costs and increase income at a major conference held in the east of England.
The conference, organised by the NFU in conjunction with Norfolk UK company Windcrop Ltd, provided a one-stop-shop of information, case study examples and costings from experts in the field of all renewable energy sources.
Over 100 NFU members, farmers and landowners attended the event held at Easton College to learn more about how the different options available could suit their own land and businesses.
Alex Dinsdale, environmental policy adviser at NFU and one of the organisers, said: “We know some of our members have already taken up renewable energy sources. But, as we saw from the attendance at the event, there are still many who are intrigued by renewable energy and want to know more before they take the plunge and make final decisions.”
The conference began with a reminder of the importance of considering renewable energy systems for the future by UEA Emeritus Reader Keith Tovey, who highlighted the issues facing the UK’s energy supply and the dwindling availability of fossil fuel generated energy.
Alex added: “The subject of renewable energy and its importance is not new to farmers, it has been on the agenda for a while and most people have a basic understanding. But to take the next step, farmers want clear advice on what is available and evidence as to how different options could suit and benefit them.”
Informative presentations were delivered by John Moore from Windcrop Ltd on wind power and systems, Gary Battell from Suffolk County Council on biomass energy, Robin Purser from Econergy on solar power and Guy Ransom from Finn Geotherm on ground source heating.
Expert speaker John Moore, managing director of Windcrop Ltd, said: “We’ve helped to organise several of these renewable energy conferences across the region now and we are always pleased with the attendance and feedback received.
“In the current economic climate, and looking ahead to the future, many businesses and landowners are thinking about adopting some renewable energy systems to offset the rising cost of fossil fuels and, in some cases, as a source of revenue.
“Taking the final step can be difficult, with uncertainties about the actual return on investment, reliability of systems and the government’s commitment to the feed-in-tariffs. That’s why we believe it is important to work with organisations such as the NFU to organise events like this and bring all the information together.”
Following the success of the conference the NFU will be working with Windcrop to organise a similar event for other members across the east of England.
For more information about future renewable energy conferences or to organise a conference with Windcrop visit www.windcrop.co.uk or contact Katie Lown at Windcrop on 01603 882152 or email Katie.lown [at] windcrop.co.uk