NFU Scotland calls on Government to help farms become more energy independent
NFU Scotland has used a recent conference in Glasgow to call for the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy to support Scotland’s farms and crofts, to help them become more energy independent and to enable a transition to a more resilient energy future.
The Scottish Government consultation on its Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan set out actions to support the transition to a greener and fairer energy system for Scotland.
NFU Scotland say that as Scotland’s farmers and crofters are both a significant consumer and growing producer of energy, its own response has mapped out the clear actions it wants to see implemented to explicitly support the ongoing contribution which farms and crofts can make in the transition to a green energy system.
In its submission, which was submitted on 9th May, NFU Scotland wants to see a finalised Energy Strategy which:
- Supports energy resilience for Scottish agriculture and the wider food chain by increasing the production of energy on farms and crofts, decoupling our reliance on the current unfair energy system to protect food security.
- Supports farms and crofts to decarbonise, by setting out the preferred options to reduce our dependency on red diesel and other fossil fuels used on farm as we move to greener fuels.
- Removes the barriers to on-farm green energy production, such as grid blocking, delays in the planning system and the significant costs of connections to the grid.
- Recognises and rewards the contribution that farms and crofts are making in transition to a green energy system for Scotland through carbon foot printing and the new Agriculture Bill and future support system.
Speaking at the All-Energy Exhibition and Conference in Glasgow yesterday (10th May), NFU Scotland’s Climate Change Policy Manager Kate Hopper said: “NFUS is calling for the finalised strategy, over the next five years, to explicitly support the ongoing contribution which farms and crofts can make in the transition to a green energy system.
“Scottish Government must set out support for Scotland’s farms and crofts not only to decarbonise, but also to become energy independent. Protecting food and other crop production from energy price shocks and maximising the production of home-grown clean energy provision must be a key aim of the Energy Strategy.”
She added: “Scottish Government must champion on-farm energy as a vital part of the national energy network and our future energy mix. It must also recognise that Scottish agriculture and its wider food and drink supply chain has been exposed to the effects of global energy price shocks.
“Agricultural businesses have faced unprecedented increases in electricity and other input costs which are threatening to make production unviable. The lack of control within our energy system is severely affecting the resilience of our sector and is impacting across the wider supply chain.
“As we transition to a new green energy system it is essential that we can decouple our farms and crofts from the current, unfair energy system.”