Ofgem E-Serve has published its Renewables Obligation (RO) Annual Report for 2015-16. The report shows:
• RO-accredited stations generated 69.1TWh of electricity, equivalent to 23.4 percent of the total electricity supplied to the UK of 295.8TWh.
• When the 5.6TWh of electricity generated by Feed-in Tariff installations is included this figure rises to 25.2 percent, an increase of 5.3 percentage points on last year.
• 90.4 million Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) were issued – more than the total UK supplier obligation of 84.4 million ROCs.
• An equivalent of 33.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided through the scheme – a 14.4 percent increase on last year.
• 6,724 generating stations were accredited under the RO, a small increase on the 6,658 stations accredited in 2014-15, bringing the total to 20,789 stations with a total capacity of 25.5GW.
• RO accreditations were driven by micro Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) generators which comprised 6,308 stations accredited in 2015-16.
Introduced in Great Britain in 2002 and Northern Ireland in 2005, the RO supports the deployment of large-scale renewable electricity generating stations in the UK.
Accredited power stations are awarded Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) based on the amount of renewable electricity they generate. These ROCs can then be sold directly to energy suppliers or to other third parties.
Suppliers submit ROCs to Ofgem E-Serve as proof that they have met their obligation under the RO to source a proportion of their power from renewable sources.
The overall Renewables Obligation is set by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Individual suppliers’ obligations are set by Ofgem E-Serve per the amount of electricity they supply to customers. In 2015-16 all suppliers met their respective obligations.
Any supplier which does not present enough ROCs to meet its obligation must pay into a buy-out fund instead. The level of supplier compliance using ROCs in 2015-16 was at 99.9 percent, the highest it has ever been. Consequently, this resulted in the lowest buy-out fund since the scheme began.
Generation technologies accredited under the scheme include: onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaic, fuelled (biomass, biogas).
Onshore and offshore wind combined received the largest share of ROCs, followed by fuelled stations and solar photovoltaic, which more than doubled when compared to 2014-15.
The Renewables Obligation has now closed to new solar PV generating capacity across Great Britain and new onshore wind across the UK. It will close to all other technologies in March 2017.
Ofgem E-Serve is the delivery arm of Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, and administers the RO on behalf of BEIS in Great Britain, and on behalf of the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.