Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead has revealed plans to help expand the number of renewable energy projects in Scotland’s agricultural sector.
Mr Lochhead’s announcement came at the Black Isle Show, where he expressed the hope that the Scottish Government’s new Agri-Renewables Strategy would ensure that land managers could unlock the green energy potential of their land.
“The renewables revolution offers our farmers and land-based industries the opportunity to cut energy costs, generate new income and contribute to our low carbon future”, Mr Lochhead said.
“In a few years’ time, I hope every farm in Scotland is benefiting from renewable energy in some shape or form. If we can make that vision reality, then that will be truly transformational.”
The Cabinet Secretary’s announcement was welcomed by NFUS President Nigel Miller, who said it could be valuable for farmers wanting to make the most of green energy opportunities.
“The Scottish Government’s announcement that it will draw up an Agri-Renewables Strategy, with the assistance of industry representatives, is welcome and could be valuable for all farmers wanting to make the most of the opportunities for producing green energy on their land”, he said.
“The Scottish Government’s manifesto commitment to develop this strategy and, in particular, to simplify the planning process, were spot on. “Farmers and crofters have already contributed a great deal in terms of cutting carbon emissions and installing the means of producing renewable energy on their land, however, inconsistencies and constraints in the planning system mean that many farmers are struggling to get energy projects off the ground.”