The UK government yesterday confirmed that small-scale renewables generators will still be eligible for support under the Renewables Obligation (RO).
The announcement represents a U-turn on the proposals published in July this year, which would have excluded new solar, anaerobic digestion, onshore wind and hydro power installation of between 50 kW and 5 MW from the RO as of April next year.
The government had wanted to look at the option of using the RO to support renewables developments over 5 MW and feed-in tariffs (FITs) for solar, small scale wind, anaerobic digestion and hydro power projects under 5 MW.
But industry responses to the proposals have prompted the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to leave both options open for investors backing renewables projects between 50 kW and 5 MW.
“In light of feedback from industry on our intention to consult on the overlap between the RO and FITs we believe that now is not the time to make further changes to these schemes,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker in a statement.
“Industry needs certainty, and keeping the current arrangements for small scale renewables as they are will help provide this assurance,” he added.
The change of heart has been publicly welcomed by the industry, with Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, commenting:
“This decision is most definitely the right one, and will be welcomed by all those in the renewables industry. This is evidence of the government’s willingness to listen to sensible and constructive debate.”
Maria McCaffrey, chief executive of RenewableUK, adds that the decision will avoid an influx of large developers in the FIT scheme.
For further information:
Europe leads the world in solar panel installations (25-Sept)
UK government confirms final cuts to microgeneration subsidies (23-Jul)
UK government promises ‘certainty’ with fresh solar FIT cuts in August (25-May)
03 October 2012