The Renewables Obligation (RO) closes 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 accredited before the relevant closure date. Before making changes to your station after closure, you should ensure the changes 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 of the RO to all new generating capacity on 31 March 2017
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.
More information can be found in the guidance on the closure of the RO in England, Scotland and Wales and the guidance on the closure of the NIRO. These guidance documents are currently published in draft form and are open to consultation until 10 February 2017.
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.
Early closures under the RO
The RO has closed early to the following technologies and capacities:
- new solar PV generating capacity greater than 5MW in England, Scotland and Wales on 31 March 2015,
- new solar PV generating capacity 5MW or less in England, Scotland and Wales on 31 March 2016,
- new onshore wind capacity greater than 5MW in Northern Ireland on 31 March 2016,
- new onshore wind of all capacities in England, Scotland and Wales on 12 May 2016, and
- new onshore wind capacity 5MW or less in Northern Ireland, on 30 June 2016.
We have published a summary of the early closures and grace periods.
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