A government review of Renewable Energy Certificates (ROCs) to promote renewable generation has proposed raising support for marine and biomass energy while easing subsidies for wind and hydro.
Tidal stream and wave energy projects of up to 30 MW will qualify from 1 April 2013 for five ROCs per MWh generated, up from two ROCs now.
But support for hyrdo projects will halve to 0.5 ROCs per MWh and onshore wind will see a 10 per cent cut to 0.9 ROCs.
A new category of enhanced co-fired biomass/coal plants would qualify for 1 ROC, while existing co-firing would remain at 0.5 ROCs. Drax and International Power have said their plans to build new biomass-fired power plants would depend on support levels.
Electricity suppliers must produce ROCs to meet their obligation to source a growing amount of their generation from renewable sources. The buy-out price per ROC in 2011-12 is set at £38.69 ($60.90). Renewable generators also gain from the regulator Ofgem’s Buy-Out fund, which amounted to £14.32 per ROC in 2010–11.
The proposals are open to consultation until 12 January 2012.
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