About the RO

The Renewables Obligation (RO) is one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale renewable electricity projects in the UK. Smaller scale generation is mainly supported through the Feed-In Tariffs (FIT scheme).

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.

The RO will close to all new generating capacity on 31 March 2017. There are also a number of early closures which are in force for specific technologies. Generators who are eligible to apply for a grace period can gain entry to the RO after these closures for a specified amount of time. More information on the 2017 closure and early closures is on the RO closure page.

Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs)

ROCs are 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 in the reporting period (one year), 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 meeting their individual obligation. For more information on ROCs, see Applying for the RO.

Annual obligation levels

For information on how the obligation level is set each year, please visit the DECC website.

Ofgem's role

The RO scheme policy is set by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and, in Northern Ireland, the Department for the Economy (DfE), but the scheme is administered by Ofgem.

We assess and, where appropriate, accredit RO applications that have been made to us. Assessments are made based on the evidence submitted with the application and the circumstances specific to the generating station.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria to be granted accreditation under the RO. It is not our role to interpret legislation on your behalf; we encourage you to seek legal and technical advice to help understand how the legislation applies to you.

We are unable to comment on future policy amendments or on speculative applications and scenarios.

Need help?

If you still have questions, but can't find the answer on our website please contact our Renewables team:

Tel: 020 7901 7310

Email: renewable@ofgem.gov.uk

Publications and updates

  • Published: 18th Aug 2017
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter sets out our proposed administration costs for the Renewables Obligation for 2017-18.

  • Published: 22nd Mar 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
The Renewables Obligation Annual Report 2015-16 provides an overview of scheme activity between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.

  • Published: 8th Mar 2017
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This document lists the deadlines for data submission for the purpose of issuing ROCs, and the dates by which Ofgem intends to issue ROCs for the period April 2017 to March 2018.

  • Published: 24th Feb 2017
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
The buy-out price for the 2017-18 obligation period is £45.58 per Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC). This is the amount suppliers will need to pay for each ROC they do not present towards compliance with their 2017-18 obligation.

  • Published: 14th Oct 2016
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This page is for operators of onshore wind generating stations in England, Scotland and Wales affected by the closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme to onshore wind on 13 May 2016.

  • Published: 5th Oct 2016
  • News and blogs
  • 0 Associated documents
Last month we published the total UK obligation of 84,439,465 Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). Since then, suppliers have presented 84,384,727 ROCs towards this obligation.

  • Published: 5th Oct 2016
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This step-by-step guide explains how to amend and re-submit your application following a query being raised through the Renewables and CHP Register.

  • Published: 2nd Sep 2016
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
See a breakdown of the Renewables Obligation for 2015-16, which totals 84,439,465 ROCs.

  • Published: 30th Jun 2016
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This page is for operators in Northern Ireland affected by the closure of the NIRO scheme to onshore wind >5MW on 1 April 2016.

  • Published: 19th Apr 2016
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This document answers some of the most frequently asked questions around output data submissions under the Renewables Obligations (RO) scheme.

Pages