The Solar Trade Association has welcomed the decision by the DECC not to remove sub 5 MW solar schemes from eligibility for Renewables Obligation (RO) support – the UK’s biggest support mechanism for renewable power.
The proposal, put forward as part of the RO Banding Review Decision in July, could have left the market for mid-sized solar highly constrained.
Sub 5 MW solar would have been forced to rely solely on the Feed-in Tariff, which is designed around a much lower resource commitment than the RO.
If proposals had proceeded, solar deployment at the mid-scale would have been greatly constrained even when solar power is cheaper than other technologies supported under the RO.
The STA and REA have both been making the case to officials and ministers to reconsider the proposals.
Energy minister Greg Barker, who announced the decision from his East Africa solar trade mission, has highlighted the effectiveness of the REA and STA arguments on Twitter.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has now decided to keep the option of both FiTs and RO support open for those investing in projects between 50 kW and 5 MW in size.
The news has provided a big boost to the 3,000 delegates at Solarpower UK, the UK’s largest solar power conference which is currently under way at the NEC in Birmingham.
The STA is currently responding to the consultation on RO support for solar from April 2013.