• COMING UP soon in the programme of farm energy events from Scotland's Renewable Development Initiative are the following open days, free to farmers and land managers to attend:

  • A WIND energy firm has written to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition calling on them to support Feed-in Tariffs after the General Election next year.

  • IT IS important to save as many natural resources for future generations as possible - and we can do that by ensuring we use as much renewable energy as we can.

  • Scotland has managed to establish itself as world-leader in renewable energy under the rule of the Westminster government, and remaining in the union presents a unique opportunity to make things even better.

  • NEW FIGURES from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that Scotland's renewable electricity generation in the first half of 2014 was 30% higher, compared to the same period in 2013.

Wind Power

Wind Power

  • WHEN THE tail end of ex-hurricane Gonzalo crossed the Atlantic last month, it put an emphatic full stop on the UK's untypically glorious summer - but it also brought a welcome burst of income for wind farmers.

  • RESULTS FROM a recent survey by UK showed that the average age of British farmers is 59 - just five years younger than the national average age of retirement for men.

  • SCOTLAND'S RENEWABLES tech specialist, VG Energy, has signed a new deal with Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Norvento, becoming its first Scottish agent.

  • Farmers are driving independent wind energy provision in Scotland, according to environmental consultancy Ecodyn, which reckons falling artificial incentives will favour the growth of smaller scale projects.

  • THE TREND for crowd-funding has hit the renewable sector with a UK company offering investors the change to put their money into wind-power.

Solar Power

Solar Power

  • TO THE fury of solar power enthusiasts, UK Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has announced that farmers are to lose their right to claim subsidies for fields used for solar generation.

  • WIH SOLAR farms an established diversification opportunity in the South of England, renewables companies are increasingly turning their gaze on the North for further developments, according to Victoria Lancaster, head of renewables for H and H.

  • MANY PEOPLE have gone down the route of diversification in their farm businesses, whether that's been selling farm produce, or opening a café in their steading, or - in more recent years - dabbling in renewables, but Stewart Gray at Milton Haugh near Carmyllie at Arbroath, has gone all out and done all three.

  • SOLAR WILL be the renewable energy to watch in 2014 according to rural experts.

  • WITH THE UK government legally committed to meeting 15% of the country's energy demand from renewable sources by 2020, there is currently an opportunity for landowners to play host to 'solar farms' - ranks of ground-mounted photo-voltaic panels feeding electricity into the national grid.



  • NEW TWO-STAGE anaerobic digesters are now available in Scotland, aimed squarely at the farmscale market because of their ability to run on feedstocks with a high content of grass silage or straw-based manures.

  • A FERRY which once carried passengers around the Greek islands has found a new lease of life off the West of Scotland - transporting timber from remote coastal and island locations to markets on the mainland.

  • Raising broiler chickens is big business in Northern Ireland - but the energy costs for heating broiler houses, from around 32oC for the young birds, lowering to 23oC by about the fifth week, are considerable and can have major impact on gross margins.

  • A LOT OF farm businesses have gone down the route of diversification in the past few years, and renewable energy developments have certainly been an avenue that many have at least attempted, with varying degrees of success.

  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY farming champions the Soil Association have a couple of events coming up this month, free for farmers and land managers to attend.

Hydro Power

Hydro Power

  • SCOTLAND'S FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has hailed pumped storage hydro as the 'natural complement' to Scotland's renewables revolution, and argued the case for transferring energy policy powers to Holyrood.

  • PLANNED reductions to the feed-in-tariff threaten the future of the hydro industry as developers rush to push schemes through planning.

  • A PERTHSHIRE farm which produces some of Scotland's highest quality wild venison and hill lamb has a new income stream - its own farmscale hydro electric scheme,

  • WHEN OLIVER Routledge and his wife Shara took over his dad's farm at Selcoth near Moffat two years ago, the family had already been looking into the prospect of installing a hydro power scheme on the land.

  • FIRST MINISTER Alex Salmond has announced that Scotland should aim to double its hydro electric output in 10 years, and that the country is on the brink of a hydro power 'renaissance'.

Farmer Right-hand Column