Renewables experts at rural land and business specialists, Bell Ingram are urging farmers to think carefully about the potential impact on their business before agreeing to leasing land for renewables projects.

As the UK and Scottish Governments work towards meeting ambitious net zero targets, the race is on to find sites available for large scale battery storage, solar, hydrogen and wind projects.

With such high demand, farmers are being approached by developers offering the incentive of a substantial additional income to lease their land.

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While this may be an attractive proposition for many, Rhona Booth, Land Agent and Senior Associate at Bell Ingram believes farmers must think about the implications on their businesses before signing on the dotted line.

She said: “The UK is completely transforming the way in which we distribute energy and this will have a huge knock on effect for landowners and occupiers across the country.

“As a result, we are experiencing an increase in enquiries from farmers and clients who have been approached by developers looking for land for new renewables projects, in particular solar and battery storage.

“While there are certainly good deals to be done, especially for those looking for a solid retiral or succession plan, there is a long list of things to take into account when considering if this is the right move for your farming business.

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“Infrastructure projects such as these require land, not just for the footprint of the site, but for access, construction compounds and habitat management plans, which is a much bigger commitment than most realise. One must also consider the logistics of getting the land back at the end of the lease and the reinstatement of working crops.

“Therefore, farmers must weigh up the effects on their current business and future plans as well as the potential for depreciation on home value and assets against the likely financial gain.”