Department of Energy and Climate Change
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Stability, certainty and sustainability for solar and biomass
Solar PV and biomass power will play an important role in boosting our energy security and tackling climate change, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said recently. This came as proposals to provide certainty for investors and pave the way for construction of new plant powered by sustainable biomass were published.
Solar projects under the Renewables Obligation:
New rates for solar power projects that fall under the Renewables Obligation were proposed recently. Support levels will be set under the Renewables Obligation that are broadly equivalent to the tariffs for solar PV (>250kW – 5MW) under the revised FITs scheme. This reflects the falling cost of the technology in recent years.
Edward Davey, Energy Secretary, said:
“Solar PV and biomass are important renewable technologies as we move towards a more low-carbon energy mix.
“It is vital that our support for solar PV projects under the Renewables Obligation reflect the fall in the cost of the technology. Our proposals are designed to encourage the most economically sound solar PV projects under the RO and ensure value for money for the consumer.”
“We understand the need for market certainty and have moved quickly to finalise these plans. We want our policy to be based on the best available evidence, so it is vital that we receive strong engagement from the solar industry and other interested parties.”
Biomass electricity – sustainability and costs:
Tough criteria designed to ensure that the biomass used in UK power stations is sustainable have been set out. These include a requirement for wood fuel to come from sustainably managed forests, and a proposal to set a clear pathway to reduce the carbon intensity of biomass generation.
The biomass paper also proposes a cap on the support provided to new dedicated biomass power under the Renewables Obligation. This will ensure that the Renewables Obligation delivers value-for-money for the bill-payer while enabling shovel-ready projects to come forward.
Edward Davey added:
“Biomass has the potential to provide a significant amount of renewable electricity in this decade and beyond.
“These proposals make clear our commitment to ensuring that the use of biomass power is sustainable both for the environment, and for the consumer.”