• FARMERS INTERESTED in renewable energy might want to add the following free Renewable Development Initiative events to their winter diaries.

  • CONFIDENCE IN renewables soared during 2014, with more and more farmers taking the plunge and investing in wind, solar and other green technologies - or at least offering site leases to developers.

  • FOR THE first time, electricity generated from Scottish renewable sources has equalled the amount generated from fossil fuels.

  • 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.

Wind Power

Wind Power

  • THREE RENEWABLE energy companies have joined forces to offer wind turbine maintenance across the UK.

  • MEDIUM-SCALE wind manufacturer, Norvento, has set a new daily generation record for its nED100 turbine at Slagnaw Farm, in Castle Douglas.

  • FARM-SCALE turbine supplier Earthmill has strengthened its Scottish operation with a new sales team.

  • 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.

Solar Power

Solar Power

  • SOLAR POWER will prosper without subsidies in Britain as early as 2020, according to a new report which uses the experience of Germany to project the outlook for the UK's solar sector.

  • AN ABERDEENSHIRE egg business is to invest in a further 150kW-worth of solar PV panels after an earlier installation of 50 proved a 'resounding success'.

  • THE UK'S first fully operational floating solar panel system has been launched - quite literally - at Sheeplands Farm, Berkshire.

  • 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.



  • BIOMASS BOILERS are often promoted as having an efficiency of greater than 90% - but recently released independent research data shows that these claims can be overstated and that many installations will only be performing at between 58 and 75% for a variety of reasons, Adam Baxendine, of Smiths Gore, has warned.

  • IT HASN'T been without stumbling blocks, but for south-west farmer Iain Service, the long struggle to get his Anaerobic Digestion Plant up and running now has an end in sight.

  • 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.

Hydro Power

Hydro Power

  • WITH AVERAGE annual rainfall approaching an incredible two metres in some areas, the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland can provide challenging conditions for farming - however, for Dougarie Estate, that amount of rain is just what their newly commissioned hydro-electric generation project needs.

  • 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.

Farmer Right-hand Column