Union demands action on renewables policy

AN APPEAL to the Scottish Government to kick-start its much-vaunted agri-renewables strategy has been issued by NFU Scotland.

The government announced plans to develop a renewables strategy for the agricultural industry as far back as August but stakeholders have yet to meet formally to discuss the subject.

“The government’s ambitious target to produce 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand equivalent from renewable sources by 2020 is attainable but we need the strategy and a clear steer from government to be in place as soon as possible,” said union vice-president Allan Bowie.

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“It is a role that many farmers the length and breadth of Scotland are keen to be involved in.”

The union believes progress on the promised strategy is fundamental to tackle the growing list of issues emerging around farm-based energy projects. Many farmers say they are facing an inconsistent approach to planning applications while connection to the national grid is proving a problem in some areas.

“The government’s proposed strategy, with the assistance and involvement of industry stakeholders, would be invaluable to all farmers wanting to make the most of the opportunities for producing green energy on their land,” said Bowie.

Meantime, the union has produced a 28-page guide covering on-farm wind energy to help farmers who want to get started. The guide covers all aspects of wind energy generation and is available from NFU Scotland offices on request.