DECC Consults on 1.5 Roc’s

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released its much-anticipated consultation over the ongoing level of support for solar PV technology under the Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme.

DECC proposes that large-scale solar PV installations should receive 1.5 ROCs/MWh from March 31, 2013. The proposed support level will then reduce by 0.2 every year to: 1.3 ROCs in 2014/15, 1.1 ROCs 2015/15 and 0.9 of a ROC in 2016/17.

In the consultation document DECC reiterates its viewing of solar PV as a core technology in its renewable energy strategy, stating: “Solar PV is one of a number of renewable technologies that Government supports under the RO, and solar power is one of the technology areas which underpin the Government’s renewable energy strategy.”

However, the document continues by stating: “The pace of cost reduction has been consistently underestimated and we have therefore adopted a cautious approach to support levels, based on the information that is available.

“Affordability and the need to ensure value for money for electricity consumers are important considerations for the Government when setting support levels under the RO.”

An RO banding of 1.5 will be seen to many in the solar industry as yet another harsh decision by the powers that be, especially considering before the consultation was released, industry was expected 2ROCs for 2013/15.

The department maintains throughout the document that it is setting the RO banding level for solar PV to be broadly inline with the equivalent tariffs for solar PV under the revised feed-in tariff scheme.

Commenting on the proposals, Edward Davey, Energy Secretary, said: “Solar PV and biomass are important renewable technologies as we move towards a more low-carbon energy mix.

“It is vital that our support for solar PV projects under the Renewables Obligation reflect the fall in the cost of the technology. Our proposals are designed to encourage the most economically sound solar PV projects under the RO and ensure value for money for the consumer.

“We understand the need for market certainty and have moved quickly to finalise these plans. We want our policy to be based on the best available evidence, so it is vital that we receive strong engagement from the solar industry and other interested parties.”

DECC is accepting responses to the consultation up to October 19 and is keen to stress that it will listen to industry’s response, stating: “We want to hear from industry on the levelised costs associated with large-scale solar PV, as well as the deployment potential, so that we can get a more complete picture of the likely costs and deployment potential of large-scale solar PV up to 2017.”

Posted on Sep 11, 2012.

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