Self-generated, renewable energy is an opportunity to control farm costs, says energy experts

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Ahead of the Low Carbon Agriculture (LCA) show, taking place in February 2023, the event’s expert speakers are advising farmers to optimise renewable energy assets to cut the rising costs of electricity and gas. 

NFU technical director Jon Swain says: “By removing the reliance on grid-derived electricity and gas, self-generated energy from renewable resources can provide an opportunity to keep control of a user’s costs of energy and, in the case of solar photovoltaics (PV), provide energy at a lower cost than traditional alternatives with a reasonable return on capital investment.”

He continued: “Some sources of renewable energy are effectively free at source once the capital has been paid for. Other sources such as biomass or Anaerobic Digestion (AD) require feedstocks that have a cost, however the costs for these can often be less, and are certainly less volatile than energy markets.”

He also stresses that simple ‘turn-down or turn-off’ measure can be hugely effective at reducing energy consumption but may not always allow the necessary job to get done. “Therefore creative solutions for energy waste will be needed.”

Also speaking at LCA in February is Mark Sommerfield, head of power and flexibility at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology.

Mr Sommerfield believes that the government’s target of decarbonising the power system by 2035 is achievable, but that there are ‘significant barriers to be addressed’.

“A range of national scenarios demonstrate that if the UK was to prioritise the deployment of a decentralised and flexible energy system, making the most of all forms low carbon generation and storage technologies, it would certainly be possible to deliver an affordable, secure, and net zero aligned power system by 2035,” he states. 

 “However, achieving such a target requires a step change in the government’s approach; significant barriers need to be addressed, especially those concerning grid capacity constraints delaying the connection of clean energy systems.”

Mr Swain and Mr Sommerfeld will both speak at the Low Carbon Agriculture Show, taking place on February 7 and 8, 2023. Mr Sommerfeld will chair the session on ‘decarbonising our power’, while Mr Swain will present in the same session on combatting rising energy costs with clean energy solutions.  

The LCA show is free to attend, to find out more information visit:

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