Renewable Energy - Future Proof Returns
In this short article, Richard Miller, a solicitor who specialises in agriculture, discusses renewable energy projects.
Within the agricultural sector, renewable energy projects are becoming the norm rather than being explored by the minority. In Cumbria, the developments being undertaken include:
Wind Turbines - either land being leased to developers or such installations financed by the landowner;
Solar - either as fixtures to houses/buildings or where leases are granted for solar farms;
Hydro - limited circumstances restrict viability of such projects but provide high yield returns from natural water sources;
Anaerobic Digestion - either as joint ventures or as self financed plants, these systems were originally only thought to be viable on a large scale. However, these are now being installed on a more proportionate scale with systems that can process high percentages of slurry with a relatively low input of crop; and
Bio-mass Boilers - the high returns and relatively minimal investment (compared to other energy projects) prove to be a great incentive to many farmers seeking to take advantage of the offer of effectively being paid to heat their properties/commercial buildings.
Whilst the returns provide index linked security of funding for the future, landowners are becoming increasingly aware of the pitfalls relating to these projects and why the need for specialist advice has never been more important especially when you consider the level of investment that the industry is placing in a renewable future.
About the author
Richard is Head of Burnetts’ Agribusiness and Property team.
Published: Tuesday 22nd April 2014