A third of farmers to invest in renewables
Traditionally frugal farmers are embracing renewable energy with a third expected to invest in green technologies, according to a bank hoping to fund projects.
Barclays claims a third of the UK's estimated 200,000 farmers (37%) will invest in renewable energy as it launches a new £100M fund to bankroll potential projects today (August 30).
The funding, which has been planned with support from organisations including the influential National Farmers Union (NFU), is aimed at helping farmers install all renewable technologies with Barclays including projected feed-in-tariffs (FITs) when assessing each loan.
Barclays Business product and marketing director, Travers Clarke-Walker, said: "For farmers investing makes sense - it's good for the environment, but for the majority it's about good business.
"Over the years farmers have struggled with low commodity prices and increasing costs, and Barclays has already supported many farmers as they seek new ways of making money.
"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."
The NFU, and other countryside and engineering groups, will work with Barclays as advisors with their views taken into account for loan applications.
NFU deputy president, Meurig Raymond, added: "Given the significant up-front costs of renewables technologies, commercial lending is essential to unlocking these opportunities, so it's great to see Barclays committing to make additional funding to the sector."