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Renewables body to meet rural businesses at tough time for sector



Green energy industry body Scottish Renewables returns to AgriScot this year at a turbulent time for the sector. With UK Government subsidy cuts looming large, both Scottish Renewables sessions at the November 18 event will focus in part on what an ongoing review of the Feed-in Tariff means for the rural economy.

Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, told how the farming sector’s growing enthusiasm for green energy could be under threat.

She said: “Rural businesses have taken to renewables – particularly wind, biomass and anaerobic digestion – in good numbers in recent years, but with tariff rates set to fall it’s time to think ahead – either to optimising assets which are already operating or to making long-considered plans into reality quickly.

“Our two seminars at AgriScot aim to give practical advice on those issues, as well as some real-life examples of how renewables can benefit bottom lines. The Scottish Renewables events were standing room only last year, so we’re advising people to register early.”

Changes to UK Government support have already seen the early closure of one crucial scheme. Funding for solar, anaerobic digestion and wind under the vital Feed-in Tariff now faces cuts of 87%, 65% and 58% respectively – and an ongoing review could even mean the end of the tariff altogether.

These reductions will mean businesses will now look to work assets harder than ever to deliver the greatest benefits.

Ian McLean, from green energy developer Locogen, will tell those attending the day’s second session about the five key areas which can optimize returns from existing wind turbines, hydro schemes and more.

His top tips include maximising operational up-time through good maintenance; analysing performance; achieving the best possible price for every kWh generated and ensuring maintenance contracts provide best value for money.