The emergence of the renewable energy sector offers a potential new revenue stream for forest owners, driven by climate control policies and targets for diversifying the nation’s generating capacity. Moreover, government grants and institutional capital are available for capital investment in heating and power plants fuelled by renewables, whether these be wind power, hydro power or forest biomass. A number of our clients already benefit from participation in such projects.
Fountains Forestry, working closely with trusted consultancy partners, has already assisted many forest owners in the development of wind farms and hydroelectric projects on their properties.
Wind Farms and Hydro Projects
Generation of electricity from wind is still a growing source of renewable energy, in spite of recent withdrawal of government subsidised tariffs. As one of the most viable current options for delivering clean energy, wind power has a crucial role to play in reducing carbon emissions.
Many forests in the UK are suitable locations for the development of wind farms. They can provide forest owners and investors with significant additional revenue, subject to planning, infrastructure and topographical constraints. Fountains Forestry has helped many of its clients exploit this potential, to increase their forest revenue and to enhance the value of their forestry assets.
Forest properties can be assessed by our consultant contacts for their general suitability to wind farm development. Factors examined include: wind profile; access to the electricity grid; any planning guidance for the area already issued by local authorities. If located in a suitable location, we then use partners to invite competitive proposals from various potential developers. Finally, if the wind farm is approved and proceeds to construction, Fountains Forestry agrees with the forest authorities how the Forest Plan should be adapted to accommodate the development.
A similar approach is used in assessing and progressing potential hydro projects.
Biomass to Energy Projects
Fountains Forestry works with associates to develop domestic or estate scale projects which use wood fuel sourced on their properties, for heating and power generation. Fountains Forestry also advises forest owners on the supply of timber biomass to Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plants in the UK.
For information on grants for sustainable and renewable energy projects and general information, see the Biomass Energy Centrelink on the Forestry Commission website: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/bec