DECC u-turns on removing Renewables Obligation from small-scale AD plants


The Department for Energy and Climate Change has decided to keep support for small-scale anaerobic digestion plants under the Renewables Obligation (RO).

In its review of support for renewable energy published in July, DECC had proposed removing RO support for new AD plants between 50kW and 5MW in size from 1 April 2013.


This would have meant that the RO would support renewables over 5MW with feed-in tariffs (FIT) aimed a plants below this output.

However, following feedback from industry in recent months, DECC has decided to keep both RO or FIT support.

Energy Minister Greg Barker said: “I am fully committed to spurring on growth in clean, green energy generation across the nation and want to provide long term certainty for those who choose to invest.

“In light of feedback from industry on our intention to consult on the overlap between the RO and FITs, we believe that now is not the time to make further changes to those schemes.

“Industry needs certainty, and keeping the current arrangements for small scale renewables as they are will help provide this assurance.”

Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “This decision is most definitely the right one, and will be welcomed by all those in the renewables industry. This is evidence of the Government’s willingness to listen to sensible and constructive debate, and the kind of mature working relationship we need to have.”

Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) chief executive Charlotte Morton added: “ADBA strongly welcomes this announcement, which will give confidence to anaerobic digestion plants which rely on the RO either as their primary support mechanism or as back up to progress.

“This sensible decision recognises the huge value which AD can generate for the UK with the right support: tackling climate change, providing economic growth and supporting up to 35,000 jobs.

“We are very pleased with the speed at which DECC has responded to industry concerns, and ministers’ recognition of the need for certainty to ensure investment in technologies such as AD.”