Johnnie Andringa, CEO of UK small wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind, today called on the Scottish Government and UK rural businesses to act now to protect the Farm Scale wind industry in the UK.
Speaking on the eve of the ministerial onshore wind summit in Glasgow – headquarters of Gaia-Wind – he said:
“Farm Scale wind, one of the few sectors with a substantial, if shrinking, base of British manufacturers, is becoming a core element of the rural economy: • Farm scale turbines are the embodiment of distributed energy (generation mostly for on-site use) and in many cases can be the difference between a rural business being feasible or not. • “If DECC gets the Farm Scale wind part of the upcoming Fits review right, more than 300,000 UK farms could benefit from energy independence. But; • “We need to act now”. He went on: “If we are to help this vital part of our rural economy thrive, we need a re-instatement of the sub 15kW fit tier and pre-registration of turbines of less than 50kW. “A farm scale turbine is a world away from the wind farm. Similar in scale to a mature tree, it is a unit of farm machinery, in harmony with its setting and an integral part of the farm business. The Farm Scale renewables sector needs several more years of a strong and supported home market to be able to grow to a sustainable size, providing a reliable source of support to rural business, helping farmers to cut their carbon footprint and attain energy independence, and to build up a strong export position. “The Fits review will be preceded by a period of public consultation: Farms and other rural businesses can make a difference in helping DECC to recognise the importance of energy independence to the sector. The Scottish Government also has a big role to play here in championing onshore wind.