CHARTERED surveyors in rural areas are getting busier – as more landowners consider siting wind turbines on their properties.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said growing concern about climate change and energy security had sparked the country-wide development of renewable energy facilities and commercial interest from landowners and developers.
RICS members in rural areas across Yorkshire were seeing a substantial increase in demand for due diligence reports from banks seeking advice on the viability of using a given site to develop wind or solar power.
Most commonly prompted by developers, banks were increasingly asking surveyors to advise on the suitability of sites to build wind farms.
Most importantly, they were seeking advice on the performance of wind turbines, construction and planning issues and if the site is windy enough to generate sufficiently high energy levels.
Said the RICS: “The additional revenue and income stream that can be generated for landowners and developers by selling the renewable energy generated – mainly electricity – into the grid has become an increasingly attractive prospect.
“The UK government has taken a number of steps, including the Feed in Tariff to encourage growth in the renewable energy market as it comes under increasing pressure to meet UK and international carbon reduction targets.
“Surveyors across Yorkshire are also seeing a rise in the demand for freehold and leasehold valuations for sites where the value may rise as a result of its potential to generate renewable energy as the market continues to grow.”
The RICS said it had recognised this demand and provided some guidance in its recently published information paper that can assist surveyors in the valuation of the freeholds and leaseholds which should help to deliver consistency and reliability to landowners, investors and the lending community.
The valuation approaches discussed in the paper should provide additional reassurance to financial backers.
Andrew Fallows, of Carter Jonas, with offices at Slaithwaite, said: “Landowners and developers in rural communities can create a good income by selling the energy from renewable energy installations, like wind turbines to the national grid – powering homes with electricity across the country. So it is no surprise that interest in the financial benefits of generating such renewable energy is growing.”