Farmers making strides in renewable energy

Farmers in the UK are increasingly producing their own renewable energy. At the launch this week of The Greening Campaign, which aims to incentivise communities into climate change adaptation, Madeleine […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Farmers in the UK are increasingly producing their own renewable energy.

At the launch this week of The Greening Campaign, which aims to incentivise communities into climate change adaptation, Madeleine Lewis, strategic advisor of Farming Futures, said: “Farmers are in the front line of climate change.”

She said that a recent survey found that 39% of farmers said that climate change is affecting them already, with many taking action themselves to counteract negative impacts.

Lewis stated that by 2020, farmers and landowners needed to make 11% of CO2 cuts and added that to further mitigate climate change, a “traditional breakdown between farmers and communities” had to be remedied.

Next month, a dairy in Dorset is expecting a ‘staggering’ reduction in its carbon footprint when it begins using pioneering liquid anaerobic digestion technology.

BV Dairy in Shaftsbury is planning to cut its emissions by 65%, reducing CO2 by around 1,200 tonnes a year and saving £150,000 per annum in the process. This would be the green equivalent of planting 120,000 trees.

The liquid anaerobic digestion system will generate 75% of electricity, which processes around 35m litres of milk a year from 35 nearby farms.

The high-rate liquid digester has been designed and built by Clearfleau while the combined heat and power technology that will convert biogas into renewable energy has been designed and supplied by ENER-G.

According to trade association Dairy UK, if the anaerobic digestion system was replicated across Britain’s dairy sector, some 346,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually.

Next week, Farming Futures is running a Carbon and Farming workshop, featuring talks from DairyCo, the NFU and Arla Foods. Email [email protected] for further details.