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Research finds UK farms hold 10GW of renewable energy potential

CTBR Staff Writer Published 24 November 2014

A new research by the Farm Power coalition has found that the UK farms hold about 10GW of renewable energy potential, enough to power 1.3 million homes.

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Of the total capacity, 2.5GW will be generated from small-scale wind power, 1.4GW from solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop, 5.9GW from solar PV ground and 0.1GW from anaerobic digestion.

The report adds that renewable energy installation technologies can complement food production, create new revenues streams for farmers and surrounding communities.

It will also improve biodiversity, land and water management, and other ecosystem services.

The Farm Power coalition was established by Forum for the Future, and Nottingham Trent University, with National Grid and the National Farmers Union.

Forum for the Future project lead Iain Watt said: "Our research shows that it's easy to quickly find at least 10GW of unmet potential across British farms, but that it's also pretty easy to get up to 20GW, too - especially if we embrace ground-based solar."

Commenting on the report, RenewableUK small and medium wind development manager Louisa Coursey said: "This new report shows that Britain's rural communities can play a crucial role in our transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources such as onshore wind.

"It can help revive our rural economy with new jobs and investment, while providing a self-sufficient electricity supply to millions. At a time when small-scale wind is fighting for survival due to a lack of Government support, this evidence should make Ministers think again before they allow this great British success story to fall by the wayside."

Image: The coalition says UK farms can make a significant contribution to the country's energy system. Photo: Courtesy of Nottingham Trent University.