40% of farmers disappointed by wind power revenues
Four out of 10 farmers surveyed by Lloyds TSB Scotland are disappointed with the performance of their wind power investments which they say are producing less income than expected.
This revelation is described as a 'telling finding' by Professor Donald MacRae, editor of the Bank's long-running economic bulletin, the latest issue of which includes survey responses from 465 farm businesses. This includes a section on renewable energy production indicating significant investment plans for next year.
"17% of responding farmers have already invested in either wood fuel heating (5%) or wind power (12%)," said Prof. MacRae, who is also the chief economist at the Bank of Scotland. "Investment plans for the next year are significant with 22% of responding farmers indicating they intend to invest in wind power."
There's still a gap between intention and achievement, however, with the survey showing that 65% of those who were intending to invest found obtaining planning consent for wind power 'difficult or very difficult'.
Similarly for hydro power developments, 47% of investors said achieving a grid connection was 'difficult or very difficult' while grid connection issues were given a negative mark by 43% of wind power investors.
At least financing came out as a positive with Professor MacRae saying that responding farmers found 'few difficulties in financing their renewable investment'. This was based on a survey finding that 53% said financing a wind power investment was 'not difficult or not at all difficult'.