• 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.

  • ALTHOUGH SCOTTISH local authority planning statistics show that the time taken to determine renewable applications has improved, delays in securing grid connections and uncertainty over future funding continue to stall development, Savills Energy in Scotland chief Nick Green has warned.

  • VG ENERGY's new sales director, Gordon Smith, who joins the market-leading renewables installer bringing 37 years of sales and engineering experience in the agricultural sector, most recently from a 10 year stint at Gordon Claas dealers.

  • DETAILS OF official plans to protect Scotland's people, environment and economy from the impacts of climate change have been published.

Wind Power

Wind Power

  • 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.

  • ABERDEENSHIRE FARMER Roger Glennie recently hosting an open day to showcase the newly-installed Earthmill wind turbine at his Hill Head of Ardo unit.

Solar Power

Solar Power

  • 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.

  • POTATO GROWERS facing hefty electricity bills for their cold stores are leading the adoption of solar power in Scotland.



  • 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.

  • A NEW compact anaerobic digester aimed specifically at the farm market has been launched by Devon-based developers NGB.

  • With harvest underway, the good news for one Arbroath farmer is that investment in two batch boilers has slashed his potential grain drying costs by around 70%.

Hydro Power

Hydro Power

  • 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'.

  • WHILE IT pours down outside during the winter months - and most of the rest of the year, for that matter - being more efficient with water is probably one of the last things on farmers' minds as they prepare for the year ahead.

Farmer Right-hand Column