Industry reacts to RO banding decision

REA‘s head of on-site renewables Mike Landy: “Government has heard the evidence provided by industry and has increased the support for large-scale solar PV compared with its consultation proposals, albeit only slightly. We welcome the decision to provide higher support for roof-mounted PV (compared with ground-mounted) and to recognise the very much larger deployment potential for ground-mounted PV than originally foreseen. 

“However we do not understand the rationale for limiting large-scale PV to “slow but steady deployment” when much more could be achieved at a cost below that of the government’s ‘marginal’ renewable technology, offshore wind.  Nevertheless large-scale solar PV has now joined the UK’s Premier League of renewables and is poised to make a major contribution to our electricity supplies in the coming years. Solar PV has truly come of age.”

Robert Goss md of Conergy UK: “Britain may not be the sunniest country in the world but neither are we rich in mineral resources. The government response has been well thought out and shows that in an era of austerity, solar offers a cheap and efficient way of powering the nation. 

“There are 300,000 acres of brownfield sites and commercial roofspace available in the UK, offering opportunities for investors, landowners and property owners who now have clear visibility up until 2017. We expect significant interest from large users of power across both the public and private sectors. 

“Today we also have clarity on the capacity of the grid to accommodate a tenfold increase in solar power. By 2017, we can expect that solar will generate a quarter of the country’s energy needs on a typical day. That means if you’re flying into Britain in four years time, you’ll see solar panels everywhere.” 

REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell: “REA has been listened to on the proposed cap on new biomass projects. Instead of implementing legislation that would have stopped investment in its tracks, DECC is taking more of a ‘wait and see’ approach, with the option of consulting if deployment exceeds 400MW. Today’s decision recognises the substantial contribution that these projects can make to delivering cost effective carbon savings and steady baseload output.”

STA ceo Paul Barwell: “There are pros and cons here. We are somewhat disappointed with the decision on the level of ground-mounted support for 2013. We brought DECC and the industry together to provide the data needed to make an evidence-based decision. But DECC has at least agreed an improvement on previous proposals and the degression rates are much more sensible. 

“We are pleased to see that our hard work on mid-scale roof-mounted solar has paid off as it has finally gained recognition from government. We are very pleased that minister Greg Barker has recognised the huge potential for this sub-sector.

“The STA has long argued this sub-sector needs greater support, and we will be looking at the economics of the 1.7 ROC level. The STA also recommends that this sector should be supported within the Feed-in Tariff, which is much more user-friendly for investors outside the power industry.”