Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Fuelling farming after Brexit

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

Brexit is not the only cause of concern in what is becoming an increasingly unpredictable future for farmers, says Ben Parker.

Concerns over cleaner power sources are creating added questions for farmers – including how they should look to fuel their businesses, heat large buildings and importantly, work towards greater efficiency and avoid getting caught by government policy of the future.

A recent report from the Environmental Audit Committee called Green Finance: mobilising environment in clean energy and sustainable development provides a useful resource for farmers on how they might invest in sources of renewable energy.

It states that a “steadily rising carbon price” will be necessary to achieve UK carbon budget targets in the 2020s and 2030s. This suggests any farming business looking to become more efficient should incorporate renewable fuels into their business structure as much as they can.

Understandably, concerns may then turn to the costs and the benefits of making the transition to renewable energy sources. And the report challenges the government to restore confidence in the renewables sector to capitalise on the falling cost of electricity from renewables

With many references to ‘carbon pricing’ in the report, it does not seem viable that the cost in carbon fuel will ever decrease. Farmers should take note of this and see the potential for capitalising on what looks to be, an inevitable future.

Although many may agree that turning to renewable sources of fuel is both cost effective and better for the environment, farmers should examine how this can be achieved carefully – and consider the full legal implications.

The three main sources of fuel farmers can invest in are biomass boilers, onshore wind farms and solar panels. With each of these areas, planning permission, certification, leases and agreements should all be considered – and experts consulted where appropriate.

Ben Parker is a trainee solicitor at Hayes & Storr solicitors. For details, call 01328 863231 or email law@hayes-storr.com.

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