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Energy storage a new option for farmers, says legal expert
21 Feb 2017
by Simon Alton

Storing electricity is a new land of opportunity for farmers despite the practice being something of a “postcode lottery”, according to a legal expert in Shropshire.

David Brammer, a planning specialist from Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, was speaking following a major energy conference in Telford which attracted industry leaders, farmers and landowners from across the region.

He said that one key message from the Energy Now expo was that energy storage as well as generation provided more options for farmers looking to diversify.

“A lot of the talk at the conference was about the challenge of how renewable energy generation can remain profitable despite the subsidy regime being cut,” David said.

“As lawyers, we deal with a variety of farmers and landowners looking to use their land for renewable energy projects, and we appreciate the complexities involved.

“Storing energy is now a major growth area and you can see the attractiveness, because of course much of the power generated by renewable energy – solar in particular – is only available at certain times

“By developing energy storage schemes, farmers and landowners can either store the power to use themselves or put it back into the national grid when it is needed.”

But David said one drawback to energy storage was that it was not a viable option for everyone.

“There will be winners and losers, and it will be something of a postcode lottery depending on whether your land is close to infrastructure such as an electricity substation or if you already have a suitable solar farm on your land, for example,” he said.

“The Energy Now conference was a very interesting event and it was evident that the renewable energy sector has continued to develop and is performing extremely well despite challenges many faced as a result of changes on policy and funding.

“Figures show that about a quarter of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2015 and that rose further last year.

“But the changes to tariffs and reductions in subsidies are giving everyone a lot to think about in terms of how to make renewable energy schemes profitable for farmers and landowners.”

For more advice about renewable energy schemes, contact David Brammer at Lanyon Bowdler on 01743 280280 or visit the website at www.lblaw.co.uk