A new study released by Barclays has found that one third of British farmers are planning on investing in renewables in the next two years. An overwhelming majority of farmers (82 percent) considering investing in renewables cited concerns over rising energy costs as their primary motivator for implementing renewables.

Of those surveyed, 31 percent indicated that they believe installing renewables will help reduce their business costs or generate an income of between £5,000 to £20,000 a year. 

Martin Redfearn, Head of Agriculture at Barclays, explained: “Most farmers see a move towards renewable energy as another form of diversification – and rightly so, as it can substantially cut energy costs and create new revenue.

“Over half of farmers considering renewables are still undecided about when they will actually make the investment. Investment in this relatively new technology is a big step, but there is plenty of support out there for farmers who want to know more. Talking to your accountant or your bank relationship manager can be a key first step towards finding out whether it is right for your farm.”

Solar trumped all other renewable technology forms in terms of popularity amongst farmers, with 51 percent of farmers surveyed indicating that they have already invested or are considering investing in solar PV. Wind followed a close second with 43 percent, whilst biomass and ground source only received a 4 percent backing.

Those farmers that did not want to invest in renewables cited the expense of the technology as the main deterrent. Other reasons given included lack of time to consider (15 percent), a lack of understanding as to how it would help (13 percent) and poor return on investment levels (11 percent).

Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Climate Change, National Farmers Union, will be taking the stage at this year’s Solar Power UK event to explain where large scale solar PV is heading for UK agriculture, as part of the UK solar market’s largest dedicated exhibition, conference and seminar series.

As part of an exclusive agreement with Solar Power Portal, all MCS-accredited installers can register and attend the seminar sessions for free. Just use the following promotional code when booking tickets here: SPPMCSF3