The results from a seminar held in Edinburgh will be used to develop a consultation on the Scottish Government’s long-awaited agri-renewables strategy.
The event involved presentations and four case studies from farmers and landowners who have diversified into green energy.
Jamie Williamson, of the Alvie Estate, Kincraig, spoke about its switch into biomass and wood chip supply, while Dumfries-shire farmer Neil Gourlay was critical of the continuing delays that renewable electricity projects face in securing grid connections and the costs involved.
Mr Gourlay has a micro- hydro scheme on his farm near Moniaive and has plans for an 80 kilowatt wind turbine. He is also involved in other windfarm developments and is to develop an eco-house.
Mr Gourlay highlighted the huge potential for farmers to create micro-hydro generation schemes.
Borders farmer John Seed updated the meeting on his straw-fuelled grain drier and the solar scheme he has up and running. He wants to create a district heating scheme using neighbouring cottages, but said he was frustrated at the lack of skills available to make it a reality. Farmer Andrew Stewart is involved with a wind turbine scheme near Lesmahagow and provided background on how he had developed it.
The government is expected to launch its consultation on the strategy in the coming weeks. Scottish Agricultural College group consulting manager Graham Kerr said the discussions and recommendations from the seminar would be fed into the strategy’s development.