Taking the Strategy Forward
7.1 The Agri-Renewables Strategy was developed in cooperation with industry and other stakeholders and in looking ahead we aim to continue to work together closely.
7.2 Under each of the Focus Areas in Chapter 6, a number of actions have been identified, aimed at supporting the uptake of renewables on farms. Reporting on progress will be undertaken annually as part of the update of the 2020 Routemap For Renewable Energy in Scotland, which is made available through the Scottish Government website.
7.3 For the development of this annual update report, the Scottish Government aims to reconvene members of the Agri-renewables Strategy Consultative Group ( Annex B), seeking feedback on progress in implementing the actions, as well as wider aspects of the promotion of on-farm renewables. The Agriculture and Climate Change Stakeholder Group, specifically tasked with developing low carbon approaches in agriculture, will also act as a platform to discuss the growth of the sector.
7.4 Following the success of the Agri-renewables workshop in 2012, the Scottish Government will organise a follow up event in 2014. This will provide an opportunity for farmers to engage directly with the Scottish Government on the policy framework relevant for agri-renewables.
Advice and Skills: Low Carbon Skills Fund
Financial support is available to Scottish businesses through the Low Carbon Skills Fund ( LCSF) managed by Skills Development Scotland. This fund has been established to enable employers to have access to funding to undertake training to support sustainable development and growth. This includes learning and training to improve resource and energy efficiency; to adopt innovative technologies or new sustainable practices and processes; and to identify new market opportunities.
LCSF allows Scottish Businesses with up to 250 employees to apply for up to £12,500 towards employee training and can provide 50% of training costs (to a maximum of £500 per episode) for up to 25 episodes of training. Eligible training includes:
- Renewable energy, low carbon technologies and microgeneration
- Energy efficiency, environmental and clean technologies
- Waste management and re-use
- Reducing carbon in supply and energy management
Since the launch of the scheme in October 2010, the LCSF has supported over 2,100 episodes of training. We have asked Skills Development Scotland to provide at least 500 episodes of training in 2013-14 through the Low Carbon Skills Fund Programme.
Further information is available on the Skills Development Scotland website.
Wind Energy Case Study: West Adamston Farm
Farm: West Adamston Farm is situated in Muirhead, Dundee. It is farmed by John Brown & Son.
Installation: A Northwind 100 wind turbine was installed in June 2011; this has a rated power of 100 kW. The turbine has a hub height of 37 m and a tip height of 47.5 m.
Resource: The site has a good wind resource of approximately 7.2 m/s at hub height.
Economics: The total installed cost of the project was about £330,000. In its first year of operation the turbine generated about 180,000 kWh of energy, of which about 40% was used on farm, thus reducing the farm's bought electricity costs.
Why install a wind turbine? The business of John Brown & Son includes a potato enterprise with associated storage. The average annual energy usage is 180,000 kWh and the demand can be considerably higher during milder years. A wind turbine was the only renewable energy solution which could feasibly offset a proportion of the energy usage and in turn reduce costs associated with the business.
The business looked at renewable energy generation on farm as a way of reducing their dependency on fossil fuel electricity. Generating their own wind energy ensures that the farm business is more sustainable. In addition, this improves the carbon footprint of the farm and with consumers and retailers becoming more concerned with the carbon footprint of producers; the turbine will improve the marketability of the farm's produce.
With thanks to John Brown & Son, West Adamston Farm.
Research and Innovation: Technology Development
The Scottish Government is committed to innovation and research aimed at driving the development and deployment of renewable energy generation.
- The Scottish Government's support for renewables has created the right environment to encourage investment in manufacturing of technology. Small-scale wind, air source heat pumps and solar thermal technologies are being made in Scotland, creating new jobs.
- Increasing demand for biomass for heat has led to a growing list of suppliers delivering to local heat markets, particularly in rural areas, and significant investment in manufacturing of high grade wood pellet by companies such as Hot Stovies, Puffin Pellets and Verdo Renewables.
- The Energy Technology Partnership ( ETP), with £3 million funding from the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise and ETP Member Universities, has established a Knowledge Exchange Network which, inter alia, will support Scottish microgeneration SMEs by linking them with the world class research being carried out in Scottish Universities.
- RenewNet is an industry engagement platform funded by the Scottish Funding Council and European Regional Development Fund, and Member Universities. RenewNet offers specialist electrical power engineering advice and guidance to Scottish microgeneration SMEs, enabling these companies to gain access to University expertise and facilities and accelerate their technology.
- The Microgeneration Certification Scheme is an industry led scheme operating to ensure the quality of small scale renewable technology and installations.