The-Point-50kWp-websiteAs 2013 draws to a close, it is clear that renewable energy will form a vital part of the future framework of UK farming. In a recent survey of 700 farms by Nottingham Trent University, 38% of respondents said they currently generate renewable energy; with Solar PV (66%), Wind (30%) and Biomass (21%) the most popular technologies. Of those not already generating, 61% said they were likely to invest in some form of technology within the next five years, while 75% of those already generating were likely to invest again in the future.

However, the renewable marketplace remains complex and navigating your way through the many obstacles can be a confusing and daunting process. Do I need planning? Who secures grid connection? Which technology, product, or installer? The questions are endless. My advice to anyone considering renewable energy is to invest time researching each technology in detail before deciding which one, or combination is right for your farm. The more time you spend at this stage the more qualified you will be to make decisions at all the following stages and the greatest chance you will end up with the best possible installation – at the right price. The next step is to find a reputable consultant and installer. There are a plethora of ‘green’ tech firms out there, many of which will offer conflicting advice. Look for established firms with a track record in delivering projects similar to your own and always ask for references. Typically, depending on the scale of your project most firms will undertake an initial feasibility study free of charge. In today’s market there are also a small number of firms, like “Cleanearth”, who are specialised in multiple technologies and vertically integrated to handle all aspects of design, grid connection, planning, tariff / incentive guidance and installation on your behalf, in house. Whether you want or need all of these services, these firms are in the best position to advise on all aspects of farm renewables and I would recommend contacting one as your first port of call.