ALTERNATIVE energy has a key role to play in reducing fossil-based transport fuel use on-farm, according to a report published by the Royal Agricultural Society of England report published last week.

The report highlights the opportunities for farmers to become energy generators and even fuel stations to help meet the challenges of sustainable rural transport.

Re-Fuelling the Countryside: the prospects for low carbon farm and rural transport fuels identifies farm-sourced renewable energy such as biogas, electric, hydrogen and biofuels as fuels of the future for farms and rural communities.

It also points out barriers to the uptake of such practices, and solutions to current renewable fuel issues. More than 56 per cent of direct energy use in agriculture is associated with fossil fuels and the report claims there are “huge opportunities”

for farms.

It urges Government to commit to support low carbon vehicle deployment areas as well as encourage greater integration between research centres, supply chain operators and farmers.

Susan Juned, editor of the report, said engaging local communities in renewable energy and transport fuel production had been shown to have economic benefits.

She said: “This report highlights the potential role of Government in supporting and transforming the economic future of the farming and rural communities of the UK.”