Posted on Jul 25, 2012 by | 0 Comments
Energy suppliers are required to purchase Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) as part of the requirement to purchase an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources. Banding was introduced in 2009 to provide a varied level of support to different technologies to take account of a number of different factors such as costs, relative maturity and potential for future deployment.
The banding review covers the full range of technologies including anaerobic, biomass conversion, energy from waste CHP (combined heat and power), tidal, landfill gas hydroelectric and others. The banding approach means that logically as renewable technologies mature and development costs fall the subsidy falls. To take one example the current support for anaerobic digestion of 2 ROCs per MWh will be maintained in 2013/2014 falling to 1.9 in 2015/2016 and 1.8 in 2016/2017.
Scottish Renewables has welcomed the level of the cut in the onshore wind subsidy while expressing concern about the announcement of a further review later this year. The DECC announcement states “A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013. If the findings identify a significant change, the Government will initiate an immediate review of ROC levels with any new support arrangements taking effect from April 2014, with grandfathering and grace periods for projects already committed.” At least any changes would be based on facts rather than on the vociferous harrumphs of Tory MPs who simply don’t like the way wind farms look.
This week’s announcement covers England and Wales only but it is expected that the Scottish Government will announce similar levels of support. This would be in line with its stated intention at the start of its separate consultation process.
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