Townsend Chartered Surveyors can offer independent advice to landowners looking to benefit from renewable energy and there are still good opportunities despite FIT reductions. We can assess the options available including feasibility, from leasing land to a third party to running your own generation project on-site. We are also able to advise about:
- securing public subsidy and grant payments
- ‘risk-free’ lease agreements
- capitalisation of renewable rents/FIT
- renewable rents
- lease negotiation
Generating electricity can reduce costs by supplying electricity at more attractive rates than offered by national generators. This has the added benefit of generating income through the sale of surplus electricity into the national grid and allows the supply of electricity to off-grid sites (sites that are not connected to the mains electricity grid). Significant payments are also available from public funds in the form of FITs and Renewable Obligations Certificates.
Technologies that are commonly used to generate renewable electricity on farms and estates are:
The process of breaking down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas which can be used to create heat or electricity, and nutrient rich digestate/fertiliser.
In suitable locations, a small scale hydro scheme, which is the harvesting of power though a water turbine, can be an effective and reliable method of electricity production.
Wind farms have been at the forefront of the renewable energy debate in the UK. We can advise on turbine feasibility , and the process and planning stages required to achieve a successful installation. Small scale turbines on a domestic or small business level can also help to reduce energy bills and produce an additional income stream.
The reduction of FITs available for domestic, commercial and field scale solar have been in the media recently. However, there are still good returns available and the reductions illustrate significant uptake of solar technology as diversification for farmers and landowners as the cost of installation continues to drop in the UK.
Generating heat with renewable technologies can save money on the heating of buildings, to heat water for milking, etc. and can generate payment per unit of heat generated through the Renewable Heat Incentive . Generating heat can also be combined with generating electricity, in a process known as CHP (Combined Heat and Power).
Renewable heat on farms and estates is typically in the form of biomass / estate heating . Where there is a year-round requirement for heating / hot water, solar thermal panels can generate renewable heat that is eligible for receipt of the RHI per unit of heat generated.
“Biogas” produced by anaerobic digestion can also be burned, a process that is primarily used for generating electricity, but the heat can be harnessed to aid the AD process, and it is also possible to “upgrade the biogas” for use in the gas mains. This would receive a payment under the RHI.
There are a number of schemes that provide grants for the production of renewable energy including the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC).
It is also possible to lease land or even sell the right for its usage over a fixed term such as twenty years. We can advise on the best options for your situation, and are able to carry out feasibility assessments for projects that are self-managed or self-financed.
We advise clients on the options available in respect to self-funded projects or leasing land to a developer and can provide feasibility studies.
We are also advising clients on the capitalisation of income streams from both FITs and rental income from land leased for renewable facilities.
FITS are no longer open for new applications since 2019.
Townsend Chartered Surveyors can offer advice and guidance to farms or estates looking to improve their energy efficiency, reduce costs and generate alternative income.