RO closure

The Renewables Obligation (RO) closed to all new generating capacity on 31 March 2017. There have been early closures under the RO for solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind. Generators can gain entry to the scheme after these closures for specified amounts of time, if they are eligible to apply for a grace period. Details of grace periods available and the evidence required to demonstrate eligibility can be found in our guidance documents on the closures.

The closures don't affect capacity with an accreditation date on or before the relevant closure date. Before making changes to your station after closure, you should ensure your station will continue to meet the requirements of the legislation. If you intend to increase the capacity at your RO accredited station after the closure of the scheme please refer to our Guidance for Generators and contact us at Renewable@ofgem.gov.uk to discuss your circumstances before making changes. 

Closure dates and grace periods

In July 2011, the government announced it intended to close the RO to all new generating capacity on 31 March 2017. This includes Renewable Obligation Scotland (ROS) and the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO).

There are a number of grace periods, which will allow generators to gain accreditation under the RO in certain circumstances after 31 March 2017. The availability of grace periods differs across England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A summary of closure dates can be found in the table below. More information can be found in the relevant guidance.

To continue to support low-carbon electricity generation, the government has introduced the Contracts for Difference (CFD) scheme. This scheme is being administered by National Grid.

Country Technology Closure date Guidance
England, Scotland and Wales

All, except solar PV and onshore wind

31/03/2017

Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme in England, Scotland and Wales

 

Onshore wind

12/05/2016

Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme to onshore wind in England, Scotland and Wales
  Solar PV ≤5MW

31/03/2016

Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme to small-scale solar PV
  Solar PV >5MW 31/03/2015 Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme to large-scale solar PV
Northern Ireland

All, except onshore wind

31/03/2017 Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme
  Onshore wind ≤5MW 30/06/2016 Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme to small-scale onshore wind
  Onshore wind >5MW

31/03/2016

Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation: Closure of the scheme to large-scale onshore wind

Further information

If you would like to join our mailing list to be kept updated about any of these changes, please email us.

If you are interested in our publications, we also recommend that you follow us on Twitter @Ofgem_EServe and on LinkedIn.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 14th Mar 2017
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
Guidance on the closure of the Renewables Obligation scheme in England, Scotland and Wales

  • Published: 14th Mar 2017
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
Guidance on the closure of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation scheme

  • Published: 9th Dec 2016
  • Closed: 10th Feb 2017
  • Consultations & responses
  • 2 Associated documents
This consultation on draft guidance is for generators in England, Scotland and Wales who may be affected by the closure of the Renewables Obligation to new capacity (excluding onshore wind and solar PV) from 1 April 2017.

  • Published: 9th Dec 2016
  • Closed: 10th Feb 2017
  • Consultations & responses, Guidance
  • 2 Associated documents
This consultation on draft guidance is for generators in Northern Ireland who may be affected by the closure of the NIRO to new capacity (excluding onshore wind) from 1 April 2017.

  • Published: 25th Oct 2016
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This document summarises grace periods under the Renewables Obligation for Solar PV and Wind.

  • Published: 14th Oct 2016
  • Guidance, Open letters & correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This guidance explains how we will administer this closure and the process for applying for the grace periods that will be available.

  • Published: 14th Oct 2016
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This document is for operators of onshore wind generating stations in Northern Ireland affected by the closure of the NIRO scheme to onshore wind ≤5MW on 1 July 2016.

  • 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: 30th Jun 2016
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This guidance document is for operators of large onshore wind generating stations (>5MW) affected by the closure of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) scheme to onshore wind >5MW on 1 April 2016. This closure is brought into effect...

  • Published: 30th Jun 2016
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This page is for operators of onshore wind generating stations in Northern Ireland affected by the closure of the NIRO scheme to onshore wind >5MW on 1 April 2016. It should be read alongside our final guidance on the closure of the NIRO to onshore...

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