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Statement from Livos Energy regarding Pasture House Solar Farm

Livos Energy is pleased with the decision taken by Allerdale Borough Council to permit the development of Pasture House solar farm. The development will benefit the local economy by supporting the viability of the existing farm and the land will continue to be available for its current use of grazing, as well as make a contribution towards the UK achieving its renewable energy targets.  The Secretary of State has carefully considered the application, and has determined that he is content for the local planning authority to issue the planning permission. Continue reading

High Court overturns Eric Pickle’s Solar Farm Block

James Madigan - Livos Energy CEO says "Ruling is great news for Renewable Energy Development"

James Madigan – Livos Energy CEO says “This Ruling is great news for Renewable Energy Development”

The High Court has overturned a “perverse” decision by Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, to block plans for a solar farm at a disused airfield in Suffolk.

In October 2013, Pickles overturned planner’s recommendation for approval for the development of a 24MW solar farm by solar developer, Lark Energy.  The project was on Ellough, a former WW2 airfield and next to an industrial Estate.

The Secretary of State acknowledged that the scheme would cause only limited harm to the character and appearance of the area, but concluded that this harm outweighed the benefits of the scheme in terms of renewable energy generation.

On Friday, Justice Lindblom ruled that Pickles had reached “a perverse conclusion” that showed “substantial prejudice” overturning the decision and refused the Secretary of State leave to appeal against its decision.

Mr Pickles has personally intervened in the last few months to block a number of solar and wind farms, including those that had be recommended for approval by planning officers or with significant support from local communities.

This case is a victory for SME’s engaged in the Renewable Energy sector who have not understood why parts of the Government seem to be against large-scale solar developments which have the majority of public support yet seem to be supporting the far less popular fracking and nuclear industries.

James Madigan, CEO of Livos Energy said, “This is a very big deal for Renewable Energy Development.  Government appointed experts at the planning inspectorate considered the site viable and granted permission only to have their decision overturned by the Secretary of State. It is a waste of taxpayers’ money in having to bring this case to the High Court to have it approved again.”

In May, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed that it planned to remove solar support for Renewables Obligation (RO) for developments over 5MW from April 2015.

Gaynor Hartnell who is a non-executive Director for Livos has expressed her views about the DECC Solar PV review and the implications for Solar Energy in the countdown to Contracts for Differences (CfDs) in previous blog posts.

DECC Solar PV review leaves more questions than answers

Implications for Solar Energy in the Countdown to Contracts for Differences (CfDs)

DECC’s Solar PV review leaves more questions than answers

Solar PV ReviewRenewable Energy industry expert, Gaynor Hartnell who is a Non Executive Director for Livos Energy gives her views of this month’s DECC’s Solar PV review in a guest blog post on Solar Power Portal : PV review leaves more questions than answers

Gaynor Hartnell gives this advice “Right now the solar industry should be studying CfDs very hard, pushing DECC to say sooner rather than later how much capacity will be awarded in the first allocation round and exactly what the rules are. ”

Read the full blog post here:

PV Review leaves more questions than answers

Implications for Solar Energy in the Countdown to Contracts for Differences (CfDs)

Gaynor Hartnell - Livos Energy“The sooner Solar Energy no longer needs support, the better!” says Gaynor Hartnell, who has worked in the Renewable Energy sector for nearly twenty years and is a Non-Executive Director for Livos Energy.

The Renewable industry has to deal with the transition from Renewables Obligations (ROCs) introduced in 2002 to Contracts for Difference (CfDs) which take over in 2017. 

Gaynor Hartnell suggests that there are plenty of things to worry about regarding Contracts for Differences (CfDs) but, for solar, having to compete on price is not likely to be one of them. She shares some of these concerns in a guest blog post on Solar Power Portal and asks:

  • Will CfDs be good value for money?
  • Is there enough money in the pot?
  • Are solar park projects going to prove too small for CfDs but too large for FiTs?
  • Can the timetable be met?
  • Who’ll be taking part in the competition?

To read the full blog post on Solar Power Portal, click here :

Countdown to Contracts for Differences – What’s the outlook for Solar?

To read Livos Energy response to Contracts for Differences (CfDs) click here:

Livos Energy response to DECC consultation

Solar Energy’s falling costs can cut politics from Renewables

Gaynor Hartnell - Livos EnergyHave you considered the implications of the falling costs of Renewable Energy and it’s long term impact?  Gaynor Hartnell, who has worked in the Renewable Energy sector since 1995, and is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of  Livos Energy, shares her views  about how the falling costs of solar power can cut the politics from Renewables in this interesting post.

She looks at the recent “open” disagreement between Cameron and Clegg on onshore wind energy and it’s implication for solar energy.

She says, “Solar’s cost is falling so fast that the conventional energy sector does not realise how inexpensive it has become, policy makers find it a challenge to keep pace with and find the comparison metrics challenging.”

To read the full post on Solar Power Portal:

Landowners: How to harvest wind and solar energy for your Farm

renewable-energyIn these times of low interest rates, an attractive and secure additional income can be a boon.

One option for farmers and landowners to consider is to supplement and diversify their income by renting out a portion of their land for use as a solar or wind power farm in return for an income which is long term and secure. Continue reading

UK wind output tops 6GW

National Grid has confirmed that the average wind-generated electrical output reached a record 6,004MW on 29th November between 2.30pm and 3.00pm. ReNews reported that it accounted for 13.5% of total electricity demand, surpassing the previous record of 13% set on 15th September this year with 5,739MW.
Jennifer Webber, director of Renewable UK recognised the occasion as an endorsement for efficient renewable energy: “Wind energy is consistently setting new records and providing an ever-increasing amount of clean energy for British homes and businesses… a secure supply of power at a cost we can control”. Click here for more

Opinion poll shows 70% in favour of wind farms near them

RenewableUK media release – Sunday 27th October 2013

An independent opinion poll commissioned by the Mail on Sunday by the company Survation showed today that 70% of people surveyed backed wind farms being built near them. Asked the question “Which of the following statements is closest to your opinion: (a) I would be happy to have a wind farm built in my local area (b) I would not be happy to have a wind farm built in my local area”, 70.1% of respondent plumped for the first option, with 29.9% saying they wouldn’t be happy. There was a clear majority in favour across the political spectrum with 60.8% of those intending to vote Conservative, 74.6% of Labour voters, 81.1% of Liberal Democrat voters, and 57.8% of those intending to vote for UKIP saying they would be happy to see wind farms near them.

The Mail on Sunday poll also asked if forced to choose between fracking and wind farms in their local area, which saw 31.9% back a fracking plant and 68.1% say they would choose wind farms. Again more voters of every political persuasion backed wind farms over fracking plants.

Separately a YouGov poll commissioned by the Sunday Times found 51% of people think that looking at future energy needs the Government is right to spend money encouraging wind compared to 32% who said that the Government shouldn’t. When asked about green levies, the largest proportion of people felt that the money should continue to be spent but should be moved into general taxation.

Welcoming today’s news RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jennifer Webber, said: “We’re pleased that a massive 7 in 10 people would welcome a wind farm near them. It goes to show that the loud opposition we sometimes hear just isn’t representative of general people’s views. This vote of support is consistent across age groups, voting intention and regions of the country. In other words for politicians no matter which party you represent, or where in the country you are, if you oppose wind you’re out of touch with your voters.

Responding to claims that polls showed voters didn’t back green levies, Webber said: “There’s a lot of confusion about what green levies represent and that makes it difficult for people to know whether they support them or not. What’s clear is when directly asking whether they favour Government spending money into the future encouraging wind, a majority of people say yes. Currently wind adds less than £20 a year to consumer bills, but we’re not taking this support for granted, and the wind industry is going to work hard over the next few years to reduce costs even further, ensuring that we have a clean, secure, affordable energy source which can provide tens of thousands of jobs in areas of the country which need them most”..

For further details, please contact:


  1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with over 600 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.
  2. The Survation Poll for the Daily Mail can be found here Questions on the support for local wind farms are Q26 and Q27.
  3. The YouGov poll for the Sunday Times can be found here questions on pages 6 and 8 are referred to in this document.
  4. For future job predictions, please see RenewableUK’s recently published report “Working for a Green Britain and Northern Ireland 2013-2023