Impact of Brexit on UK renewable energy policy debated at leading agricultural event

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The effect of Brexit on the UK’s renewable and low carbon energy policy will be outlined by the Right Honourable John Gummer, Lord Deben - chairman of the committee on climate change, at the Energy Now Expo next February 8 and 9 2017.

A key note speaker at the event, Lord Deben was the former minister for agriculture, fisheries and food between 1989 and 1993 and was the UK’s longest serving secretary of state for the environment. His sixteen years of top-level ministerial experience also includes minister for London, employment minister and paymaster general in HM Treasury.

He has consistently championed an identity between environmental concerns and business sense, and will give insight into the impact of Brexit, as well as the latest developments in the renewable energy industry and what this means for British farmers.

The renewable energy sector, while maturing, is in flux, as the industry at large awaits the government’s decisions on subsidy. Currently experts can only predict what will happen, but at the Energy Now Expo, farmers will be able to access the most up to date information on government support.

As the renewable energy industry has developed, a corresponding drop in government support was always predicted, as initiatives become self-financing. But the speed at which subsidy has been reduced has cast some doubt over the government’s stance.

“While there’s still uncertainty around subsidy, by the Expo next February, we will have more insight,” says Energy Now Expo director, David Jacobmeyer. “We’re honoured to have Lord Deben speaking at the event. His experience and vast knowledge will give visitors a detailed insight into policy,” he says.

The theme of Energy Now Expo 2017 is ‘renewable energy in a post subsidy world’ and over 80 speakers will cover a range of topics, to inform on present and future opportunities for farmers. Conference highlights include:

l A dedicated energy storage session, on each day of the event, offering a practical guide to the opportunities, risks and the rewards, including a focus on ‘behind the meter’ developments. The sessions will be chaired by Ray Noble from the REA, with contributions from Jonathan Scurlock, NFU’s chief adviser on renewable energy, and Adam Simms from the national grid who will talk about the future of grid services and the role storage has to play. Mark Newton from Fisher German will also provide a practical guide to energy storage

l A ‘question time’ session on the continued opportunities within the Welsh renewables sector chaired by BBC Wales. Participants in the session include Jennifer Pride from the Welsh Government, Chris Brooks, farmer and renewables engineer, Steffan Messenger, BBC Wales environment correspondent, Alistair Marsden, from Dulas and Gideon Carpenter from Natural Resource Wales

l The RSPB’s Head of Sustainable Development, Simon Marsh will be presenting on the RSPB’s energy vision to meet the 2050 climate targets in harmony with nature

l Getting ready for the private rented sector minimum energy efficiency standards, presented by Tom Beeley, renewables advisor from the CLA

l An update on the RHI and the ramifications for the biomass heating sector, by Nick Monether, director of Greenfields Consulting

l Grid rights and wrongs, from Hugh Taylor, CEO of energy consultants, Roadnight Taylor

l Examining the financial feasibility of AD projects in light of subsidy changes, from Anne Laleman from Alpha financials Environmental

l James Veaney, head of electricity connections and constraint management at Ofgem, will be discussing the policy behind fast and cost effective grid connections

l REA’s Chief Exec, Dr Nina Skorupska, will be discussing the UK renewables sector’s achievements so far, as well as the future direction and opportunities available

This is just a snapshot of the wide range of speakers this popular event has attracted. Each will be tackling the issues facing different energy sectors, as an increasing number of farmers seek alternative ways to reduce bills, lower carbon emissions and boost incomes.

Features not to miss at the event include:

l The Energy Now Awards returns for the second year, to reward farmers and landowners for their achievement within the sector

l Three zones; featuring an educational sector, a new product development area and re-structured advice clinic

l An extended exhibition hall, accommodating 200 exhibitors

Energy Now Expo is the only renewable energy event organised exclusively for the agricultural and rural sectors. To attend the even free of charge, please register online at www.energynowexpo.co.uk or call 01293 854405.