Tag Archive: CHP

Opportunities in Agriculture for North East Farmers

Farmers across the region looking to create jobs, diversify their business, and grow the rural economy could access grants and receive support through LEADER.

Providing grants to rural SMEs, farmers, foresters and communities, LEADER supports projects that create jobs and grows the rural economy. Supporting micro and small businesses, farm diversification, boosting rural tourism, increasing farm productivity, increasing forestry productivity, providing rural services and providing cultural and heritage activities are all LEADER priorities. This means that farmers across the North East have an opportunity of accessing funds for their diversification project.

LEADER delivers a bottom-up, community-led approach to rural and community development, promoting sustainable development in rural areas. An initial outline application will enable applicants to get a ‘yes, progress to a full application’ or ‘no’ answer at an early stage, reducing the risk of spending time and money developing an application for it to fail at an early stage.

The funding available will primarily be for capital expenditure, with funding of up to 40% of eligible costs, a minimum grant of £2,500 and no maximum limit. North East Farmers looking to submit an expression of interest can do so to Northumberland Uplands LEADER or Northumberland Coastal & Lowlands LEADER. There are no set deadline dates or application windows and the funding is open until 2020.

Another current diversification opportunity is Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units. For those businesses with a heat requirement CHP could provide a generous income stream through electricity generation and government incentives as well as heat cost savings. For farmers looking to become self-sufficient from the National Grid and produce their own energy, CHP is an opportunity worthy of serious consideration. CHP provides both heat and electricity through the gasification of burning woodchip or wood pellets. This gas is used to drive an engine which generates electricity and heat. The electricity can either be consumed on farm or exported to the grid. A constant demand for the heat produced through the burning process is needed and can be used for district heating, drying woodchip, heating warehouses, poultry sheds, or reversing the heat for cold storage etc. Through Renewable Heat Incentives (RHIs) from the heat generation, Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) on the electricity and also the potential value from the heat, it can also provide significant income generation.

With a 20 year guaranteed income (with connection prior to April 2017) and a payback between 3 – 7 years CHP systems are fast becoming a very attractive option. We are guiding and encouraging a number of clients to look at these systems as a form of diversification and often an alternative enterprise for younger members of the family. There are however a number of salesmen currently pushing expensive CHP units without managing the process, as well as selling maintenance agreements that only apply 9 – 5, Monday – Friday.

For further information on both LEADER and CHP please contact Louis Fell or David Hume in the George F White Alnwick office on 01665 603231.

Changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive from DECC

The Government has recently announced plans to reduce its support for payments concerning the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). New suggestions through an open consultation were recently released by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) which outline proposals to decrease payments for all new biomass and biogas [amongst other] installations as a result of sustained uptake.

Along with this consultation, DECC have also stated that they will cut the biogas RHI tariff by 10% as of the 1st April 2016. Plans have also been announced to completely phase out subsidies for any new solar thermal installations, which also claim the RHI subsidy.

DECC announced that whilst they allegedly support the RHI as an element of subsidy payments, these schemes must “deliver their objective in a manner which is affordable and offer value for money.” These reforms will be discussed following the closure of the consultation on the 27th April.

The announcement has caused fresh controversy as landowners and businesses are looking to offset their heat and energy demands by installing biomass or biogas systems, especially at a time when investment in solar and wind schemes to offset businesses carbon emissions is now dwindling.

It now appears that the government are generating uncertainty regarding the RHI as to how long tariff payments will be available for, similar to previous trends for superseded heat & energy generation tariff schemes.

Gasification or cogeneration Combined Heat & Power (CHP) units claim the biogas RHI payment and are fast becoming an attractive investment model in the UK to offset heat and energy demand.

Following a successful accreditation process through the non-ministerial department of Ofgem (The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) numerous systems are now available which vary in both size and fuel type.

CHP machines generate both heat and electricity by burning wood chip or wood pellets at extremely high temperature in a gasification chamber, this gas then powers an engine in turn generating an electricity output.

If you’d like to learn more about Combined Heat & Power Units and the business opportunity they hold, please email Tom Vaughan or call 01665 511988



Further reading on the consultation from DECC


Could CHP hold the key to helping landowners become self-sufficient

Following the success of our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) seminar last month, this month we partnered with NatWest and Park Lodge Shooting School to deliver another seminar on how CHP works financially and current funding options available. With farmers increasingly struggling against falling commodity prices, farm diversification is becoming a key way of introducing new revenue streams.

Combined Heat and Power, or CHP, integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity), in one single, highly efficient process. CHP using the Renewable Heat Incentive and Renewable Obligation Certificate, is the latest Government initiative calling for more individuals to become less reliant on the National Grid. The schemes aim to support landowners become self-sufficient by producing their own energy and in turn being paid to produce excess energy and feeding it back into the National Grid.

By producing heat from sustainable sources, CHP lowers the costs of carbon emissions in homes, businesses and the public sector. It can also provide a means of generating another income for farms during these challenging times. Working alongside Lombard and NatWest, our seminar hosted by Park Lodge Shooting School looked to highlight not only a concept which is sustainable and supported favourably by Government policy, but also to indicate the investment opportunities to individuals. With a strong turnout, the seminar was a great success, and we’re looking forward to helping our clients explore the benefits of implementing CHP.

If you’d like to learn more about CHP, the investment opportunities or funding available, please email Tom Vaughan or call  01665 511988