The renewables obligation (RO) was introduced in 2002, and microgenerators have always been eligible to participate under the scheme. We recognise that it is not always appropriate to treat microgenerators under the RO in exactly the same way as larger generators, and we have made a number of changes to the RO to reflect this. These include:
allowing ROC claims to be made either monthly or annually;
removing the need for microgenerators to enter into sale and buyback agreements in order to be eligible for ROCs;
introducing a simplified online accreditation form and guidance; and
allowing agents to represent microgenerators and to pool the ROCs of two or more microgenerators to help obtain a better price.
The most recent changes were made in April last year with the introduction of agents. Since then, the number of microgenerators accredited under the RO has risen by 250 per cent. Later this year we will also be consulting on a more flexible annual ROC claim process for microgenerators, with a view to implementation in April 2009.