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£100 Million Renewable Energy Fund for UK Farmers Launched

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£100 Million Renewable Energy Fund for UK Farmers Launched

£100 Million Renewable Energy Fund for UK Farmers Launched
August 30
13:22 2011

Barclays has launched a £100 million fund for UK farmers investing in renewable energy, tracking the massive groundswell of interest from farmers seeking to cut energy bills and generate new income.

 

New figures released by the bank reveal that more than a third (37%) of the UK’s 200,000 farmers are expecting to invest in renewable energy, with the majority doing so within the next year. Farmers are further expecting the investment to generate returns averaging £25,000 per year.

 

Developed with sector specialists including National Farmers Union (NFU), the fund is available for solar, wind, and hydro projects in theUK, with Barclays including projected feed-in-tariffs (FIT) when assessing each loan.

 

“For farmers investing makes sense – it’s good for the environment, but for the majority it’s about good business,” says Travers Clarke-Walker, product and marketing director for Barclays Business. “Over the years farmers have struggled with low commodity prices and increasing costs, and Barclays has already supported many farmers as they seek new ways of making money. Renewable energy production offers farmers a further opportunity to develop their businesses and add to their traditionally vital roles of producing food and managing the countryside.”

 

He adds: “What farmers see is a win-win – lower costs and increased income, and the majority expect the investment to pay for itself in under 10 years. Meaning they are looking forward to many further years of lower energy costs and a potentially new income as they sell energy back to the grid.”

 

Four out of five (80%) of the farmers questioned recognise that renewable energy can provide significant cost savings, with 60% expecting it to generate additional income for their business. In the medium term, increased investment in renewable energy appears even more likely, with Barclays predicting the costs of wind and solar projects to fall by up to 50% in the next three to five years.

 

The new fund will support the British Government’s recent commitment for the UK to generate 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

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