Renewables Obligation (RO)

The Renewables Obligation (RO) is the main support mechanism for renewable electricity projects in the UK. Smaller scale generation is mainly supported through the Feed-In Tariff scheme (FITs).

The RO came into effect in 2002 in England and Wales, and Scotland, followed by Northern Ireland in 2005. It places an obligation on UK electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of the electricity they supply from renewable sources.

For information on how the obligation level is set each year please see the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.

Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) are green certificates issued to operators of accredited renewable generating stations for the eligible renewable electricity they generate. Operators can trade ROCs with other parties. ROCs are ultimately used by suppliers to demonstrate that they have met their obligation.

Where suppliers do not present a sufficient number of ROCs to meet their obligation, they must pay an equivalent amount into a buy-out fund. The administration cost of the scheme is recovered from the fund and the rest is distributed back to suppliers in proportion to the number of ROCs they produced in respect of their individual obligation.

If you have any questions relating to the Renewables Obligation that you are not able to find the answer for in the relevant sections of our website or guidance documents, please call our Renewables team on 020 7901 7310 or email:

Publications and updates

  • Published: 16th Feb 2015
  • Reports & plans
  • 1 Associated documents
The Renewables Obligation annual report provides an overview of scheme activated between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

  • Published: 12th Feb 2015
  • News
  • 0 Associated documents
To inform our stakeholders and suppliers about the value of the Renewables Obligation (RO) buy-out price and mutualisation ceiling applicable for the 2015-16 RO year.

  • Published: 28th Jan 2015
  • Closed: 25th Mar 2015
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This is a draft of our guidance for comment on our proposed administration of the closure of the RO to large-scale solar PV and the associated grace periods.

  • Published: 19th Nov 2014
  • Data and statistics, News
  • 0 Associated documents
We have just redistributed the 2013-14 RO late payment fund, paying a total of £6,171,656 to suppliers who presented Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) this year.

  • Published: 17th Oct 2014
  • Data and statistics, Open letters & correspondence
  • 0 Associated documents
This week we have redistributed the Renewables Obligation (RO) buy-out fund for 2013/14.

  • Published: 10th Sep 2014
  • Data and statistics, News
  • 0 Associated documents
For 2013-14 there have been 60,757,250 Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) presented to us by suppliers towards the total UK obligation of 61,858,174 ROCs.

  • Published: 2nd Sep 2014
  • Data and statistics, News
  • 0 Associated documents
Total obligations for England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for the 2013-14 compliance period.

  • Published: 1st Sep 2014
  • Open letters & correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter sets out the proposed administration costs of the Renewables Obligation for 2014-15. We welcome comment by the end of 29 September 2014.

  • Published: 1st Jun 2014
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This document provides an overview of the generating technologies that might be eligible under the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme, explains how generators become accredited and sets out the information we require from generators in order to issue ROCs.

  • Published: 3rd Apr 2014
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This draft document is available for public comment until 1 May 2014. It has been updated to include greater clarity and additional guidance for reporting supply volumes under the Renewables Obligation (RO).