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Don't be put off the idea of renewable energy.

Byline: Karen Dent

FARMERS considering renewable energy should not be put off by the "bamboozling" amount of information available, according to sector expert Simon Beeby.

Mr Beeby, a partner in Strutt & Parker's Morpeth office, spoke out about the issue at the North East Renewable Energy Event.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) organised conference at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Carrville, Co Durham, attracted around 150 delegates plus industry specialists. Mr Beeby said: "There is a lot of information out there and it is important not to be bamboozled by choice and science.

"It can be difficult to sort out the wheat from the chaff and you need to step back. There is no need to be scared of renewable energy, as long as it is approached in a strategic fashion with an organised plan."

He said people should not be frightened of taking the next step because many of the technologies and the financial returns expected have now been tried and tested.

And he told the conference that people should take a holistic approach, embracing not just energy production but conserving it too.

"People are forgetting to look at how we can conserve energy before we can create some more," said Mr Beeby.

"The income earning potential is a very obvious driving force and that is understandable but it is also clear that our clients want to look after their assets and make them viable for future generations. Stewardship can be as important as financial reward.

"Furthermore, the compliance with forthcoming legislation to control carbon emissions will undoubtedly become a major driving force for many landowners and businesses."

People interested in renewable energy schemes were advised to carry out a comprehensive audit of their current energy use, take measures to conserve it, research the opportunities available for energy generation, weigh up the pros and cons, consider financial performance and possible funding and, finally, carry out careful monitoring.

Mr Beeby said it is crucial to get the most out of the available subsidies, even though some opportunities are less than obvious and landlords should consider "piggy backing" solar PV on tenanted houses to capture the very best rates of Feed-In Tariff.

He also spoke about forthcoming opportunities created through the emergence of energy service companies, creating flexible and large scale funding options to gain the best economies of scale for resource and energy projects.


BAMBOOZLING The whole issue of renewable energy can be totally confusing to land owners and farmers. Right, Simon Beeby
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2011
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