Farmers and landowners planning to install large-scale solar photovoltaic schemes in the future under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme could suffer a 25% reduction in government support payments.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has issued a six-week consultation which would see a reduction in ROC scheme payments for solar PV schemes installed and accredited after 1 April.
At present the payment rate is 2 ROC/kWh and there is a proposed reduction to 1.5 ROC/kWh (a ROC is worth approximately 4.5-4.75p/kWh). In financial terms this equates to a loss of approximately £25/MWh.
“There is going to be an enormous stampede to finish loads of these projects quickly,” said NFU chief renewable energy adviser Jonathan Scurlock.
Strutt & Parker head of resources and energy Michael Verity added: “There is still time for landowners to negotiate a deal and gain planning consent and accreditation prior to 1 April 2013 if they act quickly. Time really is of the essence and any sites that have been under discussion will need decisions making about them in the next couple of weeks.”