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Renewable Energy

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the merits of feed-in tariffs for the propagation of renewable energy; and whether he has investigated whether it would be possible to migrate from a system based upon renewable obligation certificates to one of feed-in tariffs. (128072)

The renewables obligation (RO) was introduced in 2002 to replace the previous support scheme, the Non Fossil Fuels Obligation (NFFO), which was a form of a feed in tariff. It was introduced as a means of encouraging greater deployment of renewables, providing investor confidence, and increasing value for money for the consumer. A review of the RO, carried out in 2005-06, confirmed that the RO was a more successful mechanism. Since its introduction eligible renewable electricity generated under the scheme has increased to 4.0 per cent of total electricity sales to UK consumers in 2005 up from 1.8 per cent. in 2002, compared with an increase under the NFFO from 0.2 per cent. of electricity sales in 1992 to 1.8 per cent. in 2002.

The Energy Review has confirmed the Government’s commitment to the renewables obligation as the mechanism to support deployment of renewables. The Government has recently consulted on their proposals to reform the RO. A consultation document, “Reform of the Renewables Obligation and Statutory Consultation on the Renewables Obligation Order 2007”, was published 9 October 2006 and 206 responses were received. This Government will be considering all issues that have been raised.

An announcement on the results of the consultation will be made in the Energy White Paper due to be published in March or May of this year.