The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

How to Talk Renewables so Farmers and Landowners Listen

A survey by Energy Now this year revealed two startling statistics: 1. 95 percent of farmers and landowners believe renewable energy will be vital to the future of farming in the UK, and 2. 42 percent of farmers and landowners are confused about renewable energy options.

For many farmers and landowners, renewable energy is a must-have, not an optional extra. It offers an opportunity to diversify and increase income as well as cut costs. In fact, recent research from RenewableUK found that farmers who invest in renewables earn between £12,000 and £50,000 more each year.

Similarly, with 75 percent of UK land area in the agriculture sector, farms have an increasingly important role to play in the UK’s future energy infrastructure. But despite efforts to help farmers and landowners enter into renewables, farms are not yet realising their full potential.

Organisations like Forum for the Future have started investigating this issue. Working with Farmers Weekly and Nottingham Trent University, it has launched a new initiative to outline the role farms and rural communities should play in the energy system. The Farm as Power Station project aims to create a better understanding of the barriers and incentives for farm-based renewables, helping farmers and rural communities fulfil their role in the energy system.

The Soil Association is also actively supporting farmers in understanding how to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. Its Low Carbon Farming project provides farmers with advice and technical guidance on low carbon farm management and energy production.

However, there is also an immediate communications challenge emerging and this must be addressed directly by renewable energy companies and service providers. Ultimately, farmers and landowners aren’t receiving the information they need to understand and make a choice on renewables. Whether it is on wind, solar, biomass, AD or geothermal, many remained confused about the options available and how to capitalise on them.

We surveyed 130 farmers and landowners to find out directly how this issue can be addressed. We wanted to know what information they need to make investing in renewables simpler and how this should be provided.

Our respondents fell into three groups: Converts, those who have already invested in renewables, understand the benefits and are likely to invest again; Believers, those currently considering investing but haven’t decided whether or not they definitely will; and Latecomers, those who haven’t considered investing at all.

Overall, the research revealed a growing need for better, more targeted communications across all three audiences. Each group has its own specific needs when it comes to messaging, content, and delivery and a single, broad brushed approach won’t cut it. To realise the sales opportunities each group offers, renewables companies must improve how they talk.

The full report ‘How to talk so farmers and landowners listen’ outlines the information needs of all three groups, providing recommendations on how to communicate effectively with each – what to say, how to say it and where to say it. It provides the insight marketers need to design campaigns that get this balance right to deliver sales and enable easier investment.

The countryside plays a crucial role in the UK’s decentralised and clean energy future. But only by addressing the current confusion around renewables will greater investment from farmers and landowners be secured. Overcoming this barrier holds huge potential for farmers, landowners, renewable energy companies and the wider green economy. But to realise this potential, businesses must get their communications right. Downloading the report ‘How to talk so farmers and landowners listen’ and infographic is the first step to making this happen.

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Charlotte joined CCgroup in June 2012 to establish the company’s new Clean Technology division. Charlotte specialises in messaging, communications strategy, lobbying and rich content development. Former PR Manager at Solarcentury, Charlotte has ov...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Sponsor/Exhibitor: MIREC Week 2015

Solectria, Pillar, and Variadores together are co-Silver Sponsors! Come ...

COMPANY BLOGS

EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

How GreenLancer Streamlines the Solar Design Process

Post originally appeared on the GreenLancer Blog by Ardelia Lee Cr...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS