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Q: Who has got the best access to wind in the UK?

A: Farmers.

Agricultural land accounts for almost 75% of the UK’s land cover.

Allowing farmers to use renewable energy technology on their land will help the nation meet its future food and energy needs, experts suggest.

By generating on-farm electricity, farmers would be able to cut their costs of producing food and more likely to remain in business, they added.

“There are about 300,000 farms in the UK so if you are going to have renewable energy generation at any level of scale, farmers have the land and the capacity to install those renewable energy schemes,” explained Nicky Conway, principal sustainability adviser for Forum for the Future and one of the speakers at the Great British Wind Meal event.

Broadcaster and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who designed the Wind Meal’s menu, said the idea of seeing wind power as an additional “crop” for farmers was “an intelligent and timely one”.

“All farmers are in the business of renewable energy – that’s what food is,” he told BBC Spotlight.

“Farmers produce food, we consume that food for our energy, and for farmers to stay in business it has to be a renewable business.”

He added that if generating renewable energy helped a farm to remain in business then it also helped maintain food supplies and food security.

“The idea of farmers diversifying into ‘pure energy’ as well as food energy makes a whole lot of sense.

“We know that wind is going to be an important part of our energy into the future.”

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