REA responds to RO decision for solar power

The REA welcomes many elements of DECC’s decisions today on support for large and mid-scale solar PV under the Renewables Obligation (RO) from April 2013 [1].

The proposed level for large scale ground-mounted solar to kick in next April is a little disappointing. It has been reduced from 2 ROCs to 1.6 ROCs – above DECC’s original proposal of 1.5 ROCs, but short of the REA’s recommendation of 1.8 ROCs.

However, the consultation also looked at how the support levels would continue to reduce year-on-year through to 2017 when the RO will close to new applicants. The good news is that the degression profile for solar power has been softened, meaning lesser reductions to support levels going forwards. 

The REA also welcomes the explicit recognition of the enormous potential of mid-scale roof-mounted solar power projects, especially given the stagnation of deployment at that scale under the Feed-in Tariffs.

REA Head of On-site Renewables Mike Landy said:
“Government has heard the evidence provided by industry and has increased the support for large-scale solar PV compared with its consultation proposals, albeit only slightly. We welcome the decision to provide higher support for roof-mounted PV (compared with ground-mounted) and to recognise the very much larger deployment potential for ground-mounted PV than originally foreseen. 
“However we do not understand the rationale for limiting large-scale PV to “slow but steady deployment” when much more could be achieved at a cost below that of the Government’s ‘marginal’ renewable technology, offshore wind.  Nevertheless large-scale solar PV has now joined the UK’s Premier League of renewables and is poised to make a major contribution to our electricity supplies in the coming years. Solar PV has truly come of age.”

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