The anaerobic digestion (AD) sector has welcomed a Government U-turn on cuts to energy subsidies.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change had proposed to close the Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC) scheme to all small-scale AD plants below 5MW from April 2013.
Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said: “In light of feedback from industry on our intention to consult on the overlap between the RO and FITs [feed in tariff] we believe that now is not the time to make further changes to these schemes.
“Industry needs certainty, and keeping the current arrangements for small scale renewables as they are will help provide this assurance.”
Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) welcomed the U-turn and said it would “give confidence to anaerobic digestion plants which rely on the RO”.
Ministers had wanted smaller renewables generation to be supported only by the feed in tariff (FiT) subsidies rather than having a choice of support. But some in the industry warned the cut, combined with changes to the FIT annual capacity threshold, could damage the sector.
The Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) head of biogas David Collins warned at the time the changes “would be a disaster for the AD industry”.
REA’s chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said DECC’s climb-down was “evidence of the Government’s willingness to listen to sensible and constructive debate”.