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2013 ROC levels to be confirmed a year early

Developers and investors of renewable energy facilities will be able to begin building facilities sooner following the announcement that the timetable for the 2013 Renewables Obligation (RO) Banding Review will be brought forward a year.

Originally, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) scheduled the launch of a statutory consultation on new renewable obligation certificate banding proposals in spring 2012 with a decision on banding levels to be announced by autumn 2012. DECC will now consult on banding proposals in summer 2011, confirming new bands by autumn 2011.

The new bands will still come into effect as planned on 1 April 2013 (1 April 2014 for offshore wind), subject to Parliamentary and State Aids approval.

Announced by energy minister Charles Hendry, it means that indication of support levels for projects that start generating renewable electricity from 2013 will now be available as early as mid-July 2011. This was originally scheduled for autumn 2012.

Hendry revealed the changes to the timetable for the 2010-13 RO banding review at the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group. He said: “We are determined to increase significantly the amount of renewables in our energy mix and we want to remove barriers to this goal. The previous timetable for reviewing support for large-scale renewable electricity developments created some uncertainty for investors, so we’ve decided to bring it forward.

 “Taking this action will help us realise our full potential for growth in renewable electricity. We think we’ve found the right balance between speeding up the process and making sure our decisions are based on solid analysis”.

The change has been made as Government felt investors may delay early investment to wait for the decision on support, which may hinder the UK’s ability to meet the EU target of 15% energy from renewable sources by 2020. It is expected that by speeding up the timescale investors and developers will have greater certainty and confidence to build renewable energy facilities.

Arup and Ernst & Young began the current review of market costs and eligible renewable electricity technologies in October. This report is to be delivered to the (DECC) at the end of February 2011.

Companies affected by the RO are also being invited to undertake a project to model the impacts of different banding scenarios.

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