On these pages you will find information on all of the various renewable technologies, along with links to trade associations and the main bodies currently representing each area.
RE technologies convert a form of energy that occurs naturally into a form that we can use to support our direct or indirect human needs.
The main driving factors for embracing RE technologies are:
- Climatic change, a large part of which is caused by the emission of Green House Gases (GHG) from the use of fossil fuels.
- A gradual decline in global fossil fuel reserves that are used in almost all aspects of our lives from pharmaceuticals to fuel. So why burn them when we have alternatives that, if used wisely, will prolong fossil fuel reserves to be used for their more unique applications.
- UK agriculture is responsible for 7% of our GHG emissions, the main contributors being methane release by livestock and inorganic fertiliser production (Dairy Co., 2010)
- Financial benefits provided by government incentives.
- Security of energy supply – 2010 was the year that the UK became a net importer of natural gas (we have been a net importer of oil for some time).
And if that is not convincing enough, here is a quote from Farmers Weekly (27 Feb 2009): ‘If there are 2 things that were made for each other, it is farmers and renewable energy. Whether it’s biofuels or anaerobic digestion, wind turbines or biomass boilers, farmers have the land, the buildings, the entrepreneurial skills and often the raw materials to set up a renewable energy project’.
The concept of Climate Change is now universally accepted. However, even if you remain sceptical, measures being introduced at a global and national level will eventually impact on your operation. Visionary companies, large and small, have recognised that they have a corporate responsibility to reduce the effects of climate change and are adjusting practises to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental management. Market forces are already encouraging others to follow suit so, it is only a matter of time before that environmental accountability cascades down to farm level. Indeed, many farms are already experiencing the pressures and requirements associated with accounting for carbon use in their business process.