Energy grants for farmers

HAMPSHIRE farmers are being encouraged to save on bills by producing their own renewable energy. A £3m DEFRA scheme is making grants of up to £10,000 and loans of up to £400,000 available to farmers who want to run anaerobic digesters.

The technology works by converting waste into gas that can be burnt to produce electricity that can either be used on-site or sold back into the national grid. Some of the waste can also be used as fertiliser on farmland.

It comes as the Carter Jonas Energy Index 2013 report revealed solar panels, biomass and hydroelectric remain the most popular form of renewable energy, but the property company is urging farmers to consider investing in anaerobic technology.

Rural land expert Chris D’Olley, of Carter Jonas, Winchester, said: “The potential for the use of onfarm digesters has been recognised for some years but it is a complex process and some farmers can be put off by the initial cost.

“As a consequence, DEFRA has announced an On-Farm AD Fund to reduce financial barriers to the development of small scale on-farm anaerobic digesters up to 250kw in England.

“Alternative energy generation is a complex business that can be very beneficial if the various technologies are properly considered.

“Carter Jonas has wide expertise in its energy and marine team to help explore this together with sources of funding,” he added.

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