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Financial support for onshore wind farms in the UK is to be reduced by 10% from 2013 it was announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) yesterday.

The change to the value of the renewable obligation certificate (ROC) will mean every megawatt hour of electricity generated by onshore wind farms will attract 0.9 ROCS rather than 1.

DECC say that this reduction in support will reduce the contribution of large-scale onshore wind energy towards the 2020 target by 0.6-0.8%. DECC say the reason for the drop is evidence showing predicted falling costs by 3.6% in the period to 2016.

A further review of onshore wind energy costs will commence in September 2012 – thereby putting investor confidence in UK renewable energy market on hold yet again.

The review will also look at how local communities can have more say over and receive greater economic benefit from hosting onshore wind farms and participate more in the economic supply chain.

If a further review shows a significant change, the Governement will look at changing ROC levels further potentially taking effect from April 2014 but with grace periods for projects already accredited under the RO before this date and consented projects with a grid connection and turbine order in place.

All onshore wind farms already accredited under the RO before the date of the implementation of a review would be given grandfathering rights and would therefore not be affected.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said:

“Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.”
“The support we’re setting out today will unlock investment decisions, help ensure that rapid growth in renewable energy continues and shows the key role of renewables for our energy security.”
“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

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