REA comments on two unhelpful consultations from DECC

Published on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 14:32
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

New DECC consultations for solar power and biomass power/CHP were published on Friday afternoon. The consultations follow from the RO Banding "Decision" document published in July which, as the REA commented at the time, raised more questions than it answered.

The first consultation for solar PV proposes cutting support by 25% from 2 ROCs to 1.5 ROCs per MWh from 2013. The REA believes that 25% is asking too much of PV at this stage.

REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell comments:

"The largest PV projects now match the costs of offshore wind (which also gets 2 ROCs per MWh), but are not necessarily 25% cheaper."

The second consultation for biomass power and CHP introduces new levels of complexity for biomass projects, and puts a limit on the amount of plant coming through. Biomass currently has to demonstrate greenhouse gas savings of 60% compared to fossil generation in order to qualify for support under the RO (1.5 ROCs per MWh for dedicated biomass and 2 ROCs per MWh for CHP).

Gaynor Hartnell comments:

"Proposing to cap the amount of new dedicated biomass generation is not helpful at a time when we should be bringing forward as much of the cheaper renewables as we can."

Furthermore, biomass CHP, a highly efficient use of biomass, has received little investment because the CHP uplift under the RO will be withdrawn in 2015.

The new consultations come as the Coalition Government articulates plans for its industrial growth strategy. The REA organised an open letter from over 200 companies and organisations to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in July, urging them to put renewables at the heart of the Government's growth strategy, to overcome party politics, and to address the burgeoning complexity of the renewables policy framework. This call was echoed this weekend by Lord Deben, Chair of the Government's advisory Committee on Climate Change.

Gaynor Hartnell concludes:

"Renewables can support a much bigger and broader vision for jobs and growth than we've seen so far from this Government, as Lord Deben, Chair of the Government's advisory Committee on Climate Change, made plain this weekend. First Government needs to acknowledge that, and then we need a stable and effective policy framework to achieve it.

"Instead of ramping up progress, Government is actually making the project development process unworkable for some technologies. The Coalition must focus not only on the tremendous benefits renewables have to offer the UK, but also on the overall framework and approach, which has become overly complex and debilitating."

Source: ©REA

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