20 April 2022

Farming is an uncertain industry. You never know what life will throw at you – from sickness to unexpected weather. The inconsistency within the industry is why government bodies have stepped in to ensure farms across the country can continue to function and keep supply chains operating. For many farmers, these subsidies acted as a vital lifeline that continued to allow them to farm their land.

Since Brexit, their most important subsidy – the Basic Payment Scheme – is on the way out. This funding was received as part of the EU’s agricultural programme. Without it, thousands of farmers are finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. How can they continue to farm their land or make a decent living without government subsidies?

Enter solar farms. In the face of falling government funding and challenging conditions, farmers across the country as switching seeds for solar. At Green Switch Capital, our solar energy projects offer a vital lifeline for farmers who need a consistent income stream.

What was the Basic Payment Scheme?

For years, the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) has been the backbone of the farming industry. It’s the largest form of rural grants and payments that are provided to help maintain the functioning of the farming industry. Under this system, farmers apply every year between March and May for their BPS payments, which begin that December.

Farmers who have at least 5 hectares of agricultural land and 5 relevant entitlements are allowed to apply for the scheme. BPS acts as a safety net for farmers and essentially supplements their primary income to allow their farms to continue to function. In light of Brexit, the government currently plans to phase out direct BPS scheme payments from 2021 to 2027. There will be a progressive reduction in payments with percentage reductions currently only known for the years up to 2024.

By removing BPS payments, farmers have lost one of the most consistent forms of income. For many of them, it makes it impossible for them to continue to operate their farm without the support of BPS payments or a scheme that offers a similar income stream.

Why farmers are switching to solar farms

Inconsistent earnings and crushing overheads are part of the farming industry. But they don’t have to be. Farmers who want to continue traditional farming are switching to solar farms to facilitate the continued development of their work.

By renting out a portion of their land for solar farms, these individuals can benefit from the security of a consistent income stream that allows them to continue with traditional farming. For some farmers, the monthly payments they receive for a solar farm has taken the place of the Basic Payment Scheme in their mindset. It’s a consistent passive income stream that guarantees money in the bank.

With Green Switch Capital, it’s never been easier to leverage a solar farm as a replacement for the Basic Payment Scheme. Our programme is set up to help struggling farmers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to finance the up-front cost of getting planning permission for installing solar panels.

It’s not just the ending of BPS payments that are making farmers swap seeds for solar. For many of them, our solar farming scheme will boost their typical income by three to four times that – all without having to lift a finger. Our solar farming scheme is the perfect way to unlock a consistent and guaranteed passive income stream that puts you back in control of your business.

How to get started with a solar farm – without breaking the bank

There’s a common misconception that you need to have thousands – if not millions – of pounds in your bank account to switch to solar farming. That’s not true. At Green Switch Capital, we recognise the financial position that most farmers find themselves in. That’s why our solar energy programme has no costs for our farmer partners.

With no costs and a guaranteed income stream, our solar farming can help you fall back in love with your land. We’ve streamlined the process for getting started to make it as quick and consistent as possible.

You’ll start by speaking with one of our account managers, who will advise you on the best way to proceed and offer an estimate of how much you could earn through our scheme. One of our trained site surveyors will call in to visit you and check out the land to ensure that everything is in the correct condition.

You’ll receive a confirmation of your land boundary by email, as well as having a letter of authority sent for your signature. This document allows us to deal with the electricity grid on your behalf. While this is happening, our in-house team will carry out an analysis of your property to see how feasible the area of land is.

We’ll submit the grid connection application and provide you with a lease/option document for your signature. We’ll talk you through everything you need to know – including the lease duration and what you can expect to be paid.

Once the paperwork is finished, our team of consultants will get started on your planning applications. And once that has gone through, our construction team will be on-site to install your solar panels. It’s that easy.

There are no costs to you, and we’ll cover everything from the installation to maintenance. You’ll get a great price for your land and ensure a better future for our animals and wildlife. Most farmers can make 3 to 4 times their typical income through solar farming. All you have to do is sign the lease for at least 40 acres for at least 30 years. You can find out more about our solar farming here.