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Industry heads slam delay on ROC decision

Senior industry figures have slammed the government for delaying a crucial decision on the level of subsidy for renewable energy, threatening a raft of projects.

Renewable energy bodies said that uncertainty over the how much support the Renewables Obligation Certification (ROC) subsidy mechanism would give was “immensely damaging” to the prospects of a host of energy from waste (EfW) schemes.

Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell called for the Department of Energy and Climate Change to resolve the issue.

She said: “Those within DECC know that this delay is immensely damaging to the industry and will be seeking to resolve things as rapidly as they can.

“Developers need certainty and soon. This delay is the most serious yet. It does not bode well for the schedule for electricity market reform, which is far more complex.”

Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), said the delays were concerning.

“DECC and the Treasury need to embrace the potential for green growth which their policies could unlock, for the economy as well as for the planet,” she said.

The decision had been originally slated for spring but has now been pushed back until the autumn.

The delay has reportedly been caused by the high-profile and unresolved row over wind farm subsidies within in the coalition Government.

Projects including anaerobic digestion, biomass and certain types of gasification and pyrolysis schemes, are entitled to the subsidy and the any delay in the announcement about the details will be a blow to the sector.

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint blamed “dithering” ministers for threatening the UK’s economic competitiveness.

“Britain’s green businesses are crying out for certainty,” she said. “Unless ministers end the dithering and get their act together, investment in clean energy will grind to a halt and jobs and growth that could come to Britain will go overseas. Just yesterday the IMF downgraded Britain’s growth forecast and warned of years of slow growth and high unemployment. There can no longer be any excuses for delay.”

EfW developers warned earlier this year that delays to the review were putting jobs and financing for schemes could at risk.

Chris Williams, managing director of Green Energy Park, told MRW in May that news on ROCs was “critical” for waste infrastructure developers.

He said it would have a “direct effect on planning and permitting, and an even greater impact on project funding,” he said. “It is of the utmost importance that the review is published as soon as possible.”

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