U.K. Sets Higher Solar Rates than Proposed, Caps Biomass

The U.K. set solar incentives under its renewables support program at higher rates than it proposed in September, while placing a cap on biomass.

Solar plants mounted on buildings from April 2013 will get 1.7 Renewable Obligation Certificates per megawatt-hour of electricity generated, while those placed in ground arrays will get 1.6 ROCs, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said today in a statement. That compares with the 1.5 originally proposed.

The renewables program, which will close to new power plants in 2017, compels generators to derive a proportion of their electricity from clean sources. At present it’s the government’s main tool to meet a European Union target of obtaining 15 percent of all energy from renewables by 2020.

The government also said it’ll place a non-binding cap of 400 megawatts on new dedicated biomass plants. New plants will get 1.5 ROCs per megawatt-hour from next year, and 1.4 ROCs in 2016. Once the cap is reached, the government said it will consider holding a consultation on proposals to restrict further biomass deployment.

The number of ROCs awarded for new solar panels on buildings will decline by 0.1 per year through 2017, the energy department said. Solar panels mounted in arrays on the ground will get 1.6 ROCs next year, declining to 1.4, 1.3 and 1.2 in subsequent years, according to the document.

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