Research centre sows seeds of green farming

A research facility designed to help farming and business tackle climate change will open today in Scotland. The Scottish Agricultural College’s GreenCow facility will help scientists determine the impacts of […]

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By Kelvin Ross

A research facility designed to help farming and business tackle climate change will open today in Scotland.

The Scottish Agricultural College’s GreenCow facility will help scientists determine the impacts of climate change on farming and how best these should be tackled to maximise production.

Scotland’s Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead will open the centre and also announce three initiatives, worth over £3m, which will strengthen the links between science and business.

Last month, a fund of £2.4m was set up to help farmers in Scotland develop renewable energy schemes.

The cash will be put into Scotland’s Communities and Renewable Energy Scheme Loan Fund, which from April will be open to farmers and other land owners as a financial kickstart for their green business ambitions.

Mr Lochhead said: “Renewable energy generation at a local level has the potential to be a real money spinner. However, I am told repeatedly by farmers that, while aware of the benefits to be obtained from renewables, they are put off pursuing schemes because of the expense of reaching the pre-planning stage.”

In December, a UK-wide survey revealed that 80% of farmers want to have solar panels on their roofs by 2013.

The research found that demand for renewable technologies has increased on the back of the introduction of feed-in-tariffs.

The survey found that 88% of farmers are currently considering installing renewable systems on their land, where large buildings can provide ample space for numerous solar panels.