Agri-Renewables Strategy for Scotland launched.

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The green shoots of agriculture

 

Agri-Renewables Strategy for Scotland launched.

Scotland’s agriculture sector is ideally placed to contribute towards Scotland’s low carbon economy.

Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead today launched the Agri-Renewables Strategy for Scotland to contribute to a cleaner and greener country.

Six key areas are identified to aid the development of renewables on farms:

  • community involvement and benefits – ensuring that local communities benefit from the generation of on-farm renewable energy
  • skills and advice – support available in considering renewables developments and increasing confidence to proceed with projects
  • planning and consents – explains actions being taken to streamline the planning system, including online advice and guidance
  • grid connection – sets out the long term aim to ensure Scotland can benefit from a flexible system accommodating increased use of renewables
  • finance and technology costs – outlines the range of support in place to encourage growth in the agri-renewables market, and future investment and innovation
  • research and innovation – reaffirms our support for research and innovation in renewables, and highlights achievements and activity in this field

The Scottish Government will continue to work with the agriculture industry and other key stakeholders to develop agri-renewables and help those who want to install renewable technologies.

Mr Lochhead said:

“Scotland has massive green energy potential and in many ways leads the way when it comes to implementing and using our natural resources for our own benefit.

“Farmers and crofters have access to our nation’s abundance of natural resources and are ideally placed to contribute towards Scotland’s low carbon economy. I’m confident that this strategy can help them introduce agri-renewable technologies best suited to local circumstances.

“Our climate is changing and we must be ready to face and adapt to the important challenges ahead. Introducing agri-renewable schemes will not only ensure a sustainable future for the industry, but also see communities benefit from green energy generation.

“I look forward to seeing farmers and crofters across Scotland making the most of our natural resources and helping us transform the way Scotland produces and uses its energy.”

Chris Morris from Local Energy Scotland said:

“We welcome the publication of the agri-renewables strategy that will support farmers and crofters to take action and realise the vast potential benefits from renewable energy.

“We hope the case studies within the strategy will inspire others to act and take advantage of the CARES advice and loans enabling them to generate their own energy locally.”

Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager for Scottish Renewables, said:

“According to recent figures almost £20 million of renewable electricity is being generated every year by Scottish businesses, farmers, public sector organisations and homeowners. With a new Agri-Renewables Strategy in place we are hopeful this level of investment could increase over the coming years.

“More and more businesses and homeowners are turning to renewable energy devices such as wind turbines, solar panels, small-scale hydro and heat pumps to reduce energy bills and lower their carbon footprint. This kind of move towards generating energy on-site makes a positive contribution towards Scotland’s target of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity needs and 11 per cent of our heat demand from renewables by 2020.”

Agri-Renewables Strategy for Scotland: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/02/7600

Scotland’s first three Climate Change Focus Farms, part of the Scottish Government’s Farming for a Better Climate programme, saved almost £60,000 between them over the past three years and two of the businesses reduced their carbon footprint by at least 10 per cent: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Reaping-the-rewards-5db.aspx

Local Energy Scotland website: http://www.localenergyscotland.org/

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