DECC looks at new cuts to solar
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:20
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
As the costs of solar power generation continue to fall, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has issued another consultation on cuts to the support available under the Renewables Obligation.
Proposals would see the present level of 2.0 ROCs (Renewables Obligation Certificates) per megawatt-hour reduced to 1.5 from April.
The NFU was invited to discussions between the solar power sector and DECC officials at the end of last month, and also met separately with the major representatives of the solar industry, the Renewable Energy Association and the Solar Trade Association.
In our consultation response, we disagreed with the DECC's ambition to 'bring on only the most economically sound solar PV projects under the RO'.
Reducing the level of support too quickly may have the unintended consequence of skewing deployment towards the largest multi-megawatt projects, in the South West and South of the country.
Instead, we have supported counter-proposals that RO support should be 1.8 ROCs per MWh for capacity added in 2013/14, falling by 0.1 ROCs every year thereafter.
We contributed to the responses submitted by the REA and STA, and agree with them that more moderate and progressive reductions will enable a more diverse and geographically dispersed solar power sector to emerge in Britain, as it follows a path towards parity with retail electricity prices around 2017/18 and then wholesale grid electricity around the end of the decade.
The NFU also agreed with the REA and STA that the DECC has seriously underestimated the deployment potential of large scale solar PV over the next five years.