Government U-turn on renewables support

The government has made a U-turn on plans to exclude small-scale renewables projects from support under the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme.

In July, the Department for Energy and Climate Change suggested excluding new small-scale renewables installations – between 50kW and 5MW – from RO support.

This would have meant that any solar, anaerobic digestion, onshore wind and hydro power installations, installed after 1 April 2013, would only get RO support if they were over 5MW, and Feed-in Tariff (FITs) support if they were under 5MW in size.

However, following lobbying from industry bodies including the Renewable Energy Association, NFU and the Country, Land and Business Association (CLA), the DECC has decided to keep the option of both FiTs and RO support for these small-scale projects.

“I am fully committed to spurring on growth in clean green energy generation across the nation and want to provide long-term certainty for those who choose to invest,” said energy and climate change minister Greg Barker.

“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.

“Industry needs certainty and keeping the current arrangements for small-scale renewables as they are will help provide this assurance.”

CLA president Harry Cotterell: “I am delighted the government has confirmed that the RO will remain open for small-scale projects. These are of exactly the size that most CLA members invest in and install on their land.

“The power of a united industry has made the government listen and we look forward to working closely with the DECC in future to ensure its decisions are based on what is best for generating renewable energy.”

Gemma Mackenzie on G+

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