Tiered credits set to change Renewables Obligation

Plans to introduce different tiers into the Government's system of Renewables Obligation Credits (ROC) will go ahead, ministers have announced.

Recently published Government papers confirmed that from April next year, ministers intend to introduce banding using four different bands to group different renewable technologies.

The decision follows a public consultation on a number of proposed changes to the Renewables Obligation, which was introduced in 2002 in a bid to incentivise electricity suppliers to use more renewable electricity generation and cut carbon emissions.

Ministers said most of their proposals were welcomed by those who responded to the consultation, but they would make a number of changes in response to the comments.

This includes giving all microgeneration stations two ROCs per MWh regardless of the technology they use, and introducing a requirement to report on the sustainability of biomass used in generation, except for stations with a capacity of 50kW and under.

Energy from waste and biomass combined heat and power (CHP) stations over 25MW will also now qualify for additional support if they achieve a minimum efficiency of 35% of gross calorific value.

Introducing the paper, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: “The changes outlined here will bring on additional deployment of renewable generation using a wider range of technologies, while protecting the position of existing renewable energy projects and reducing the deadweight costs.”

The British Wind Energy Association and Renewable Energy Association were among the organisations who responded to the consultation.

In a statement, they said: “We are in favour of the proposals set out in this consultation document.

“We believe the proposals for small-scale generation will bring benefit in reducing the amount of administration involved in accommodating micro-renewables within the Renewables Obligation.

Ministers will be given powers to introduce the proposed changes once the Energy Bill has been passed by Parliament.

Kate Martin

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