A new report finds that an unexpectedly large number of UK farmers have installed renewable energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines on their properties, a trend that could increase the profitability
of the agricultural sector and help the UK achieve its green energy targets. By the end of summer, one in six farmers will have solar photovoltaic systems on their properties and one in five will be producing clean electricity with some form of renewable energy technology, according to researchers from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and NatWest bank. The report said about 200 megawatts of power are already installed on UK farms — enough to power 40,000 households. “The NFU has been encouraging farmers and growers nationwide across all sectors to diversify into renewable energy for the past few years, but we are amazed at this level of uptake already,” Jonathan Scurlock, a renewable energy adviser to the Farmers’ Union, told the Guardian.