Coalition urges supermarkets to support renewable energy on farms

21st November 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation ,
  • Renewable

Author

Stephen Byrne

A coalition of renewable energy and farming bodies is calling for supermarkets to join its campaign to radically increase the amount of energy produced on farms.

There is potential for at least 10GW of renewable energy across UK farms, according to the coalition, which is led by NGO Forum for the Future. It says that supermarkets could either buy the energy directly from farms, or support the use of it on farms that are supplying it with produce.

Crucially, supermarkets can make their own supply chains more secure by ensuring they have a supply of home-grown energy, according to Giles Bristow, Forum for the Future’s programme director.

The coalition is in talks with “a good proportion of major supermarkets” about its campaign, known as Farm Power, Bristow said. “There is definite interest, we’re now digging into how they go about it.”

The group also includes Nottingham Trent University and Farmers Weekly magazine, and is supported by a steering group made up of National Grid, farming body the NFU, Business in the Community and United Utilities, among others.

It argues that renewable energy can help farms and surrounding agricultural communities diversify, increasing jobs and economic growth. It also says that renewable energy technology can help biodiversity, land and water management and other ecosystem services.

The coalition has identified several barriers to realising its vision. These include a lack of consistent and accessible information to help farmers and rural communities install renewable energy; and problems with grid connections and the planning system.

Bristow said: “Individual farmers have made some investment, and are doing what they can despite a system that doesn’t really support them. We are trying to up the ambition – there is a lot happening but there could be more.”

Dr Jonathan Scurlock, chief adviser on renewable energy and climate change at the NFU, said that it strongly endorses farm diversification into renewable energy, for export as well as for self-supply, where it supports traditional agricultural production.

“We recognise that low-carbon energy production can actually enhance our national food security for only a modest land take, and the additional returns from renewables make farm businesses more resilient and better able to manage volatility in both the weather and in farm prices”, he said.


Transform articles

National climate plans could see fossil fuel demand peak by 2025

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.

23rd September 2021

Read more

COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.

9th September 2021

Read more

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert