Posts tagged with: wind

Estate agency firm Knight Frank claims that rural estates and farms in the UK could bring in extra income in the tens of thousands if they take advantage of the renewable energy feed-in tariff. In its latest publication, Rural Report Knight Frank created a hypothetical renewable energy farm utilizing all forms of renewable energy as a means of generating revenue through the feed-in tariff calculating the cash that could be generated from wind, solar, hydro and anaerobic digestion.

The report found that if complete grid-connectivity were achieved, the following incomes could be generated:

  • 2 wind turbines: £300,000
  • Anaerobic digester: £460,000
  • Hydroelectric Installation: £190,000
  • Solar Panels: £26,300

The total income for these renewable projects would be an impressive £916,000 with a potential of £18.5m to be made over the project’s lifetime.

The potential for landowners to benefit from feed-in tariff legislation in the UK is enormous with the potential not only to receive tariff payments but also to significantly reduce overheads by using the energy produced on the land.

The Knight Frank report explains the mechanism stating,

“Feed-in tariffs were introduced in the dying days of the Labour government and were designed to encourage people to create their own renewable electricity.

An index-linked payment guaranteed for up to 25 years is made for each unit of electricity produced even if it used by the generator for their own consumption. The tariff varies depending on how the energy is being generated and the scale of the scheme”.

Although the hypothetical estate set out in the Rural Report gives the absolute optimal conditions for generating revenue from renewable energy, it nevertheless highlights the potential to make money though renewable energy. With project lifetimes of 25 years and revenues protected by government legislation, landowners are catching on to the fact that there is real money to be made from investing in renewable installations.

Although slowing somewhat in the past year, the renewable energy expanded despite the global credit crunch especially in the sector of solar, wind and geothermal investment. According to the World Wind Energy Association around 12,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity were installed in 2008 along with 9,740 megawatts of Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy power generation potential. The geothermal sector saw a further 6,000 megawatts of capacity installed and it is believed that 2009 will see added expansion.

To oversee this expansion, The Renewable Energy Industry Agency (IRENA) has been established as a multi-national agency dedicated to the growth the renewable sector. It is hoped that the agency will help energy companies invest in renewable plant and increase investment in green technology. Similarly, they will be hoping to develop an awareness of renewable energy solutions in developing nations. Sigmar Gabriel, the German Environment Minister stated that,

“IRENA will help to remove the many obstacles which up to now have delayed the rapid expansion of renewables. The market is still distorted by subsidies for conventional energies, technological know-how is inadequate, information is not always correct.”

Last Monday in Bonn saw the inaugural IRENA conference, attended by over 120 delegates of a number of nations, such as Germany, Spain, Denmark, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kenya (all the founder members).

Although the agency is conspicuously missing the membership of such countries as Australia, China, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom, its original founder members are more than happy with the uptake in participation thus far and are confident that the other major industrial nations will be brought on board eventually. Indeed, a British representative of the Department for Energy and Climate change who was present at the conference was quoted in the Guardian as saying,

“We are certainly supportive and are interested in joining, but we need to make sure that what we’re joining has the right focus. There needs to be more focus on the deployment of renewables rather than just talking policy and issuing papers. And there needs to be a wider membership.”

The newly established Energy Technology Institute (ETI) has announced that the innovative Nova Project will be one of the first recipients of its research funding. The V-wing turbine design, unorthodox in that it is designed to be supported in the air by two giant vertical wings represents a dramatic step forward in green technology design. The government hopes that the V-wing along with other renewable energy sources will soon be supplying energy in to the UK national grid. Recent energy legislation and the establishment of the ETI highlight the government’s desire to meet its green target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

ETI, made up of BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell are thought to have around £1.1 billion to dedicate to similar such projects as the V-wing and will be a key driving force behind renewable investment in the near future alongside the proposed feed-in tariff. The Nova project represents a worldwide move towards greener technology. As Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation minister stated,

“This is evidence of a real shift to green jobs and green engineering”.

Other funding will go towards researching floating offshore wind and tidal turbines around the UK and will contribute greatly to the success of the renewable technology industry in the next twenty years.

Germany added further credence to the Feed-in Tariff system at the Sydney Energy convention last month by asserting that their success in the renewable energy sector has been based on Government legislation there which promotes investment in renewables.


The payment of premium rates for energy supplied to the national grid by the German Government combined with decades of green issues being pushed to the fore in Scandinavia and northern Europe has seen Germany become a world leader in the field of Solar and Wind energy. This will certainly come as a boost to environmental groups in the UK where important government legislation, passed at the end of November will see the UK compete in this area by 2010.


In the UK a number of initiatives have been taken, including the installation of industrial wind turbines in public spaces such as supermarkets and petrol stations. It is widely believed that when more ‘solar-rich’ states such as Australia and South Africa put their weight behind the Feed-in Tariff system, there could be no limit to its success across the globe.