Support for renewables unveiled

Published on Friday, 21 October 2011 15:33
Posted by Scott Buckler

The NFU has joined renewable energy trade associations and NGOs in anticipating a comeback for bioenergy under government proposals announced yesterday Global warming The long-awaited review of renewable energy support under the Renewables Obligation is expected to free up investment in new power stations fuelled by straw, wood fuels and perennial energy crops like willow and miscanthus.

A consultation published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change proposes new support levels for large-scale renewable electricity between 2013-2017, and is expected to deliver an annual 75 billion kilowatt-hour units of electricity by the end of this period.

Such a return would take Britain most of the way towards its 2020 target for renewable power generation.

The expected 'banding' of incentives has now been confirmed for a wide range of technologies, from onshore wind power to large-scale solar PV and biogas, with increased support offered to new marine technologies like tidal stream turbines and wave power. Many technologies are expected to follow a gradual reduction in support, demonstrating value for money as renewable energy supply chains become more mature.

Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU chief adviser on renewable energy, said: “The government’s renewed commitment to the Renewables Obligation is a great relief, following recent confusing signals over the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-In Tariffs.

“Farmers and growers look forward to developing and fuelling renewable power projects of all kinds, but particularly the new opportunities and rural jobs supported by biomass power stations. Agriculture has a great new role to play in keeping the nation’s lights on, as we decarbonise our electricity sector. A window of opportunity is opening for rapid deployment of a range of renewables, leading to progressive reductions in cost, reduced energy price volatility, and enhanced national energy security.”

The Renewable Energy Association, RenewableUK, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and RSPB have all generally welcomed the financial certainty that DECC’s announcement offers, although some NGOs maintain their concerns about the sustainability of bioenergy.


Source: NFU

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