Farmers and landowners are being encouraged to harvest the wind after new energy tariffs opened up a green bonanza in the countryside. Following the introduction of a ‘feed-in tariff’ on 1 April, the economics of small wind generation have been transformed and a conference this month will show farmers and landowners how to benefit from a profitable and environmentally sound income stream.

A small wind system can pay for itself in less than five years and can present an attractive option to enhance the yield from landholdings with minimal impact on the existing use, it also provides a secure and independent source of power at a time when energy supplies are becoming more uncertain. The National Union of Farmers are working with RenewableUK (formerly BWEA) to encourage farmers and landowners to learn more about the opportunities now available by attending the International Small Wind Conference takes place at Glasgow Science Centre on April 27-28th 2010.

The conference includes a free seminar for farmers wanting to understand the options available to them.

The feed-in tariff pays owners of small scale renewable energy devices a fixed premium for every unit of electricity generated.

Dr. Jonathan Scurlock of the National Farmers Union said: "For many farmers and landowners it now makes environmental and financial sense to consider installing small scale turbines. The NFU's aspiration is for every farmer to have the chance to produce renewable energy, and the International Small Wind Conference is a great starting place for those looking for advice on how to enter this market."

The exhibition will see around 50 small wind companies demonstrating their technologies, products, and services to allow those with an interest in small wind systems to find out more for free. The places can be booked on a first come basis via the conference website www.renewable-uk.com/events/small-wind-conference/index.html In two examples, RenewableUK found that an 11kW device with an installation cost of around £50,000 on a site with a wind speed of around five meters per second could yield a total income of £10,026 per annum; while a 6kW device costing in the region of £22,000 under the same parameters could return £3420 per annum.