New research from Barclays claims that one third of UK farmers are planning to invest in renewables in the next two years, largely because of concerns over rising energy costs.
Overall, rising costs are seen as the biggest threat to the agricultural sector with over a quarter of respondents worried about the impact of this on their business in the next five years, and one in ten also worried about price volatility.
Almost a third of farmers questioned expect a move towards renewables to reduce costs or generate an income of between £5,000 to £20,000 a year.
Commenting on the research, Martin Redfearn, head of agriculture at Barclays, says: “Most farmers see a move towards renewable energy as another form of diversification – and rightly so, as it can substantially cut energy costs and create new revenue.”
For those who have invested or are considering investing in renewables, the favored forms are solar (51%); wind (43%); biomass (15%); ground source (4%) and hydro (2%).
Of those farmers not considering investing in renewable energy, the main reason given was that it would be too expensive (18%).
Other reasons include lack of time to consider (15%), a lack of understanding as to how it would help (13%) and return on investment (11%).