Experts speaking at the Low Carbon Agriculture show, taking place February 7 and 8, 2023, at the NAEC, Stoneleigh, will be talking about how the ‘smart’ use of renewable electricity and gas can save farmers money.
Jon Swain, NFU Energy technical director, who will be presenting on ‘combatting rising energy costs with clean energy solutions’ at LCA, said: “By removing the reliance on grid-derived electricity and gas, self-generated energy from renewable resources can provide an opportunity to keep control of a user’s costs of energy and, in the case of solar PV, provide energy at a lower cost than traditional alternatives, with a reasonable capital investment return.
“Some sources of renewable energy are effectively free at source once the capital has been paid for. Other sources such as biomass or Anaerobic Digestion (AD) require feedstocks that have a cost, however these costs for these can often be less, and are certainly less volatile, than wholesale energy markets.”
Mr Swain added that energy efficiency is often overlooked and, though a ‘poor relation to renewable energy’, it can be a more immediate means of reducing energy costs. “Simple turn-down or turn-off measures are highly effective at reducing energy consumption, but may not always allow the necessary job to get done. Therefore creative solutions for energy waste including re-using heat and other energies that will be needed.”
Mark Sommerfeld, head of power and flexibility at the Association For Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, will chair the LCA session on ‘decarbonising our power’; he believes that the government target of decarbonising UK power by 2035 is achievable.
“A range of national scenarios demonstrate that if the UK was to prioritise the deployment of a decentralised and flexible energy system, making the most of all forms low carbon generation and storage technologies, it would certainly be possible to deliver an affordable, secure, and net zero aligned power system by 2035,” he said.
“However, achieving such a target requires a step change in the government’s approach. significant barriers need to be addressed, especially those concerning grid capacity constraints delaying the connection of clean energy systems.”
The event is free to attend and features conference sessions on biodiversity, transitioning to regenerative farming systems, niche crops, maximising returns from existing clean energy assets, and much more.
A policy workshop has been added, where farmers and landowners can quiz experts on agricultural, energy and environmental policy. Plus, new topics have been introduced alongside already popular sessions, such as carbon farming, soil health, each renewable energy type and an open debate on reaching net zero in agriculture too.
To find out more, visit: www.lowcarbonagricultureshow.co.uk.