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Exploring the rise of renewables opportunities

The Renewables Conference marked the start of a new era of ongoing change for land management.

Landowners, land agents, farmers, and their advisors came together with specialist developers and industry experts to explore the opportunities and routes into the world of energy generation, storage, and transmission at a landmark conference in Warwickshire last week (16 May 2024).

With a growing number of landowners seeking to generate new income streams by exploring renewable energy options, the conference provided insights into how renewables projects are steered from the drawing board stage right through to build.

The Renewables Conference, hosted by Lodders at Merevale Hall, Atherstone, attracted more than 100 delegates and marked the start of a new era of ongoing change for land management. Alastair Frew, partner and head of the Renewables team at Lodders explains:

“There is growing interest in renewables within the landowner community, and we are supporting more individuals than ever through the complex documentation required to create renewables schemes on their land. These can range from solar PV developments, battery storage schemes, and wind farms, to installing gas generators or anaerobic digestion equipment.

“There were clear themes running through the talks on the day, including the National Grid Electricity System Operator’s (NGESCO) connections reform coming into force in January 2025, the continuing demand for solar PV, and the need for battery storage in certain locations, to feed the nation’s seemingly limitless demand for electricity which is in turn driven by internet cloud storage and data centres. We also tackled the thorny question of hydrogen – when will this technology come of age? If you pool the right expertise to support your renewables project, whether this be specialist accountants and lawyers or the engineers, you have a much better chance of making your scheme a reality.”

Providing practical guidance on renewable energy opportunities were the following speakers:

  • Simon Murrells of Innova Renewables, who presented a developer’s guide to renewables project. He explained the full development life cycle of a project from site selection to operation, highlighting the key benefits of investing in renewables to landowners.
  • Nick Green of Savills, who discussed what goes into making a good development site, and the importance of ensuring land and property is suitable for hosting energy projects.
  • Hugh Taylor of Roadnight Taylor, who highlighted the NGESCO’s upcoming move from a first-come first-served to a first-ready first-served approach. With a significant number of projects in the queue awaiting connection to the National Grid, Hugh emphasised the importance of projects having the option to lease and being ready to submit planning.
  • Peter White of Gopsall Accountants, who discussed how the change in land use impacts tax position, which is important for succession planning. Alongside, John Rouse, partner in the Private Client team at Lodders, explained key considerations for estate planning and the importance of taking a commercial approach.
  • Finally, James Collier of Howkins & Harrison, who provided an overview of the local renewables market, looking at solar opportunities from a landowner’s perspective and considerations for the future of a scheme.
Renewables Conference
(left to right) James Collier – Howkins & Harrison; Peter White – Gopsall Accountants; Alastair Frew – Lodders; Nick Green – Savills; John Rouse – Lodders; Simon Murrells – Innova Renewables; Hugh Taylor – Roadnight Taylor.

Renewable energy experts

Alastair Frew adds: “The renewables sector is rapidly evolving, driven by the UK’s goal to reach net zero by 2050, and achieve decarbonisation of the electricity grid by 2035. It is important that landowners seek specialist advice with regards to renewables, particularly if approached by an operator or developer looking to install a scheme on their property. Lodders’ team of renewable energy experts can help ensure landowners get the deal, whether they are developing land to produce solar energy for a whole new settlement, erecting a single wind turbine, putting in an energy from waste plant or gas reserve power station, or even installing a row of public car-charging points.”

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For help with a legal problem or more information on any of our services at Lodders, please get in touch with our friendly team. You can contact us via the number or email address below, or fill in the form and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Emily Brampton, Lodders Solicitors

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