A survey by Energy Now magazine in January this year revealed two startling statistics: 95% of farmers and landowners believe renewable energy will be vital to the future of farming in the UK, but 42% are confused about renewable energy options.
For many farmers and landowners renewable energy is a must-have, not an optional extra. It offers an opportunity to diversify and increase income as well as cut costs. In fact, recent research from RenewableUK found that farmers who invest in renewables earn between £12,000 and £50,000 more each year.
Similarly, with 75% of UK land area in the agriculture sector, farms have an increasingly important role to play in the UK’s future energy infrastructure. But despite efforts to help farmers and landowners enter into renewables, farms are not yet realising their full potential.
Organisations like Forum for the Future have started investigating this issue. Working with Farmers Weekly and Nottingham Trent University, it has launched a new initiative to outline the role farms and rural communities should play in the energy system. The Farm as Power Station project aims to create a better understanding of the barriers and incentives for farm-based renewables, helping farmers and rural communities fulfil their role in the energy system.
The Soil Association is also actively supporting farmers in understanding how to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. Its Low-Carbon Farming project provides farmers with advice and technical guidance on low carbon farm management and energy production.
However, there is also an immediate communications challenge emerging and this must be addressed directly by renewable energy companies and service providers. Ultimately, farmers and landowners aren’t receiving the information they need to understand and make a choice on renewables. Whether it is on wind, solar, biomass, anaerobic digestion or geothermal, many remained confused about the options available and how to capitalise on them.
We surveyed 130 farmers and landowners to find out directly how this issue can be addressed. We wanted to know what information they need to make investing in renewables simpler and how this should be provided.
Our respondents fell into three groups: converts, those who have already invested in renewables, understand the benefits and are likely to invest again; believers, those currently considering investing but haven’t decided whether or not they definitely will; and latecomers, those who haven’t considered investing at all.
Overall, the research revealed a growing need for better, more targeted communications across all three audiences. Each group has its own specific needs when it comes to messaging, content, and delivery and a single, broad brushed approach won’t cut it. To realise the sales opportunities each group offers, renewables companies must improve how they talk.
The full report, How to talk so farmers and landowners listen, outlines the information needs of all three groups, providing recommendations on how to communicate effectively with each – what to say, how to say it and where to say it. It provides the insight marketers need to design campaigns that get this balance right to deliver sales and enable easier investment.
The countryside plays a crucial role in the UK’s decentralised and clean energy future. But only by addressing the current confusion around renewables will greater investment from farmers and landowners be secured.
Overcoming this barrier holds huge potential for farmers, landowners, renewable energy companies and the wider green economy. But to realise this potential, businesses must get their communications right. Downloading the report and infographic is the first step to making this happen.
Charlotte Webster is head of clean technology at CCgroup.
Like our Facebook Page
Eco-Friendly Decisions That Will Enhance Your Quality of Life
List of Fantastic Places for Green Consumers to Settle in South Carolina
6 Amazing Eco-Friendly Bedroom Design Ideas for Sustainable Homeowners
5 Great Ways to be a More Environmentally-Friendly Cannabis User
Amazing Approaches to Cycling for Promoting a Greener Lifestyle
Understanding The True Environmental Impact of Dentistry
Incredibly Important Benefits of Effective Ethically Made Anti-Virus Face Masks
Best Natural and Eco-Friendly Ways to Treat Dog Ailments
Green Entrepreneurs Find Creative Ways to Balance Ethical Goals with their Retirement Objectives
The Surprising Environmental Benefits of Using an Organic Mattress
From Store to Door with Minimal Impact: How Companies Are Eco-Friendly Innovators
A Guide to Investing In Renewable Energy Stocks in 2021
Creative Ideas to Practice Eco-friendlier Consumerism
Hawkers Launch a Truly Innovative Eco-Friendly Sunglass Line
Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Using Renewable Energy in 2021
The Curtis Institute of Music Makes Facilities More Energy Efficient
What Can Ecotourists Learn from Visiting Chernobyl?
5 Essentials for Promising Eco-Friendly Businesses to Thrive in a New Economy
Charity Organizations Who Are Taking Steps to Become More Environmentally Friendly
Mastering the Art of Trading Bitcoins Profitably and Sustainably
- Editors Choice12 months ago
10 Green Companies With Amazing Environmental Initiatives
- Features12 months ago
5 Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas To Improve Your Home’s Value
- Energy12 months ago
10 Amazing Energy Saving Hacks for Spring
- Invest11 months ago
4 Super Simple Solutions To Create The Perfect Eco-Friendly Home