How solar panels benefit farms and agriculture

how much can you really save with solar Posted on 3rd Mar 2020 by Ged Ennis

Farming and agriculture comprises one of our key sectors here at Low Carbon Energy, and our solar panel solutions have a long history of helping clients in this industry to achieve maximum energy efficiency and return on investment. The numerous advantages of solar panels are applicable to a wide range of sectors, but they can be especially beneficial to farmers. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the biggest reasons why!

Saves costs (and protects the business)

Modern farming is incredibly energy intensive, especially given the scale involved, and the volume of what farmers have to produce. That means that for almost all farmers, energy comprises one of the single biggest costs of running their farm. There are a huge range of agricultural technologies and appliances that need a constant, reliable supply of energy, including refrigeration warehouses, grain stores, dairy units and chicken houses. These are energy intensive enough to start with, but in recent years farmers have been hit by energy price rises that have taken severe tolls on their business.

how much can you really save with solar

Solar panels provide a simple, elegant solution to many of these issues. Primarily, they do this by helping farmers to generate their energy on-site, which reduces their reliance on the National Grid. This can help save significant amounts on their energy bills and reduce business overheads. What’s more, it also futureproofs the farm against current and future price rises. (This was a big priority for Ash Tree Farm in Cheshire, one of our many satisfied customers here at Low Carbon.) As an extra bonus, as well as protecting the business financially, it also protects farms against power outages, which can have highly stressful (not to mention expensive) repercussions in terms of caring for livestock.

Reduces carbon footprint

The UK’s agricultural industry is under more pressure than ever to curb its collective emissions, so this is another benefit that’s especially relevant to farmers. In Scotland for example, agriculture is the second highest cause of greenhouse gases (second only to the transport sector) and it’s responsible for almost 25% of the country’s total emissions. While reducing the emissions of any industry isn’t an overnight task, solar panels can certainly help farmers make significant steps towards it. The clean energy generated by solar panels can help farmers enormously in meeting their energy requirements while successfully cutting down on their carbon footprint. The owners at Huntingdon Farm, based in Cheshire, approached our experts at Low Carbon Energy to help them do exactly that – and we were pleased to be able to do so!

Diversifies land use

Agriculture demands a highly efficient use of land, and most farmers can’t afford to let any go to waste. Happily, modern solar panel solutions save customers from having to sacrifice the valuable land that would normally be used for grazing – today, solar panels are designed with dual land use in mind, which means they can be safely grazed by cattle or sheep. Silent and static, they’re unlikely to intimidate animals in the same way that new machines could.

What’s more, the sprawling nature of large agricultural buildings like barns and warehouses can make them a perfect environment for solar panels, so some farmers may find they don’t have to dedicate any already occupied land to them at all. Lots of these buildings typically have a 10-15° roof pitch, which helps them to generate significant amounts of sunlight even if they’re not technically south-facing.

These are just a few general examples of solar panel benefits for farms – depending on your own circumstances, you may be able to enjoy a few specific ones of your own! And of course, all the other general advantages still apply. Here at Low Carbon, our experts have over 30 years of combined experience behind us in helping you save on business costs, and profit from having cleaner energy. To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!

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