Barclays Establishes £100 Million Renewable Energy Fund For Farmers

Barclays UK has established a £100 million fund to support UK farmers seeking to invest in renewable energy projects.
There has been a growing trend among farmers who see more value in harvesting solar and wind energy rather than traditional crops, or as an opportunity to create an additional revenue stream while reducing operational costs.
Barclays released figures of a survey that found more than 37 percent of the UK’s 200,000 farmers expect to invest in renewable energy, with a majority doing so within a year. Farmers are further expecting the investment to generate returns averaging £25,000 per year.
The majority of those surveyed (80 percent) recognised that by installing solar farms or wind turbines on their land they could see significant savings in electricity bills, with 60 percent saying they would expect to generate additional income for their farms.
“For farmers investing makes sense – it’s good for the environment, but for the majority it’s about good business,” said Travers Clarke-Walker, Product and Marketing Director for Barclays Business. “Over the years farmers have struggled with low commodity prices and increasing costs. Renewable energy production offers farmers a further opportunity to develop their businesses and add to their traditionally vital roles of producing food and managing the countryside.”
Barclays says collaboration with the agricultural industry, including Britain’s National Farmers Union will ensure the fund is available for solar, wind, and hydro projects in the UK, with feed-in tariff returns factored in to every investment.
The new fund will support the government’s recent commitment for the UK to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. 
“The opportunities for farmers to produce renewable energy thereby helping to decarbonise the economy and contribute to the UK’s long-term energy security are there for all to see,” said Meurig Raymond, NFU deputy president.