Countrywide has become the latest UK firm to embrace the green revolution by launching a renewable energy division. The Worcestershire-based firm, which specialises in providing products and services for the rural community, chose this year’s Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd to unveil its new business venture that will offer an independent service to farmers looking to build renewable energy projects.

The launch comes just nine months after Countrywide completed the acquisition of specialist energy firm 7Y Services, and signals its intention to become one of the UK’s leading farm and renewable energy companies. And with more and more farmers and rural homeowners looking for ways to offset high electricity costs, renewable energy systems, such as solar, are becoming an increasingly appealing option.

“Our background in 7Y demonstrates we're in this for the long term and we can actually demonstrate these technologies to farmers where we've established them already,” Countrywide’s renewable energy director, Julian Morgan, said. “And if introducing these technologies can generate an income stream as well, it's even more valuable.

“We could be in a situation in three to four years where demand for electricity exceeds supply at some peak times. And it's possible that energy could become very expensive at those peaks.”

Morgan is one an increasing number of solar advocates within the rural community, matching his words with deeds by installing a solar energy system on his Herefordshire farm. Another supporter is Countrywide supplier George Swell, who has installed a 99kW PV system on the barn roof of his company, Certainly Wood. “We'd budgeted that this would provide about 11,000 kWh per month, but actually it's been nearer 13,000 kWh per month on average – about 20% of the business's electricity use.”

Countrywide's renewable energy division has a team of 10 full-time staff and has already established a number of business partnerships in the sector from its pre-existing contacts.