On 20 October the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) opened a consultation on the Renewables Obligation banding review, which proposes new support levels for large-scale renewable electricity generation from 2013-17. Many in the industry and Government have rushed to comment on the announcement.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Today's announcement makes clear the Government's commitment to supporting long-term investment in the UK's renewables industries." Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne said as a result of the proposals announced the Government expects to see a total of 70TWh-75TWh renewable electricity generation in the UK by 2017.
Owner of the UK's largest and most efficient coal power plant, Drax, said on 20 October the proposed level of 1 Renewable Obligation Certificate (Roc) per MWh for enhanced co-firing will enable the company to increase its co-firing generation. Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson noted that Drax "would need a moderate uplift to maximise potential for producing low-cost renewables electricity."
On Thursday 20 October, the Solar Trade Association said it was "perplexed" at the lower Roc allocation proposed by the Government of 2Rocs/MWh, as opposed to the 3Rocs/MWh-4Rocs/MWh it was expecting. It said the new level would not be able to support the industry.
Renewables Energy Association (REA) chief executive Gaynor Hartnell welcomed the publication of the consultation on 20 October as the delay in publishing had "had put billions on ponds worth of investment on hold." But she noted that development activity could not fully resume until the new support levels were in legislation.
DECC Drax Solar Trade Association REA