THE operator of North Yorkshire power station Drax has lost its court battle against the Government over subsidies surrounding the site's conversion to biomass.

Last month the High Court ruled in favour of an appeal launched by Selby-based Drax against the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

The appeal followed DECC's announcement in April that the planned conversion of Unit 3 from coal to biomass did not qualify for an Investment Contract, a new and higher subsidy for the generation of renewable energy, despite previously indicating that it did.

However Drax's victory has been short lived as three appeal judges, Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Richards and Lady Justice Gloster, have now allowed a subsequent Government appeal and set aside last month's High Court decision.

In the lead judgment, Lord Justice Richards said DECC had taken a "reasonable approach" to the issues raised and it was "not an appropriate case for interference by the court".

In a statement Drax said it will not appeal against the decision, adding: "Drax will now consider its options for the full conversion of this unit, where eligibility for support under the Renewables Obligation has been confirmed."