Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs);changes proposed.

Image: Severn tidal barrage a step closer to reality?


ROCs are issued to electricity generators, which need to have certificates to cover a growing percentage of their electricity generation and are currently handed out uniformly to all renewable technologies.

That’s about to change if draft proposals put forward by the energy minister, Mike O’Brien, go through.

Marine energy, biomass and offshore wind are set to qualify for greater subsidies according to draft proposals released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

“We have taken the necessary powers in the Energy Act 2008 to deliver this,” he is quoted as saying. “In particular, to band the Renewables Obligation to allow it to bring on the wider range of technologies, such as offshore wind and biomass, that we need to be more cost-effective.”

The announcement came as the industry gathers in London today with DECC to discuss the Renewables Obligation Order 2009 currently being drafted by the government.

New Energy Focus has learnt that under the new proposals, wave energy, tidal energy – including tidal stream and tidal barrage – and solar photovoltaics will be eligible for two Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) per MWh of electricity produced, while biomass and offshore wind would be eligible for 1.5 ROCs per MWh.

Hydro and onshore wind would remain the same at one ROC per MWh, while landfill gas energy would be “banded down” to a quarter of a ROC per MWh.

Last month Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling extended the RO by 10 years from 2027 to 2037 . The mechanism allows renewable energy producers to sell ROCs for the electricity they produce.

Created in 2002, the ROC provides financial support to renewable energy producers as they develop their technology, and provides the security necessary to secure investment.

The new RO Order seeks to establish a banding system to financially support less developed and more high-risk renewable technologies.

The proposed bandings;

Generation type ROCs/MWh
 Hydro-electric 1   
 Onshore Wind 1   
 Offshore Wind 1.5
 Wave 2   
 Tidal Stream 2   
 Tidal Impoundment – Tidal Barrage 2   
 Tidal Impoundment – Tidal Lagoon 2   
 Solar Photovoltaic 2   
 Geothermal 2   
 Geopressure 1   
 Landfill Gas  0.25
 Sewage Gas 0.5
 Energy from Waste with CHP 1   
 Pre-banded gasification 1   
 Pre-banded pyrolysis 1   
 Standard gasification 1   
 Standard pyrolysis 1   
 Advanced gasification 2
 Advanced pyrolysis 2
 Anaerobic Digestion  2
 Co-firing of Biomass 0.5
 Co-firing of Energy Crops 1   
 Co-firing of Biomass with CHP 1   
 Co-firing of Energy Crop with CHP 1.5
 Dedicated Biomass 1.5
 Dedicated Energy Crops  2   
 Dedicated Biomass with CHP  2   
 Dedicated Energy Crops with CHP 2  
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