Presentation on theme: "ESRC SEMINAR THE INTRODUCTION OF THE UK RENEWABLES OBLIGATION University of Bath, 9 May 2008 Iain Todd Renewable Energy Consultant."— Presentation transcript:
ESRC SEMINAR THE INTRODUCTION OF THE UK RENEWABLES OBLIGATION University of Bath, 9 May 2008 Iain Todd Renewable Energy Consultant
Renewables Obligation Introduced in 2002 Main policy instrument for renewables in the UK; treats all technologies equally Emerging technologies also to receive supplementary, variable support RO support forecast to rise to £1 billion per year by 2010
NFFO scheme Renewable energy companies bid for competitively-let, long-term contracts, to supply electricity at premium rates Mixed success Costs of renewables fell during 1990s But projects delayed due to planning, technical and commercial reasons; certainly no market transformation
Objectives of RO (1) To transform the market, to transfer renewables into the mainstream from a peripheral position To compel energy suppliers to develop major renewable energy projects To provide long-term commitment in legislation (2027)
Objectives of RO (2) To use the power of the market to control costs To harness competition between energy suppliers
Objectives of RO (3) To assist energy security To create economic opportunities for domestic companies To promote innovation, to reduce unit costs
Technologies Several consultations Exclusion of large hydro Exclusion of incineration of mixed waste Inclusion of live NFFO sites Buy-out price increased from £20 per Mwh to £30
Early life issues (1) (2002-2004) Communication Confidence, esp financial sector Calls for more help from some technologies Calls for greater duration – extension from 2010 to 2015 Extension of co-firing policy from 2011 to 2016
Early life issues (2) (2002-2004) TXU bankruptcy (£20m in first year) Differences between England/Wales and Scotland Introduction of Northern Ireland Headroom Exit strategies
NAO report (2005) It is unlikely that a policy tool focussed directly on reducing emissions across all sectors of the economy – such as a carbon dioxide tax – would have yielded the same level of renewable generation in this time.
NAO report (2005) The level of support provided by the RO is greater than necessary to ensure that most new onshore wind farms and large landfill gas projects are developed.
NAO report (2005) No criterion for reducing or withdrawing support from a particular technology.
NAO report (2005) NAO consultants predict hitting 2010 target Report recommends consideration of banding Report recognises planning and grid as the key factors affecting the success of the policy
NAO report (2005) Co-firing will not discourage the development of other non- biological sources of renewable generation There is a confusing proliferation of support schemes – Carbon Trust, DTI Technology Programme, RDAs, now ETI …
RO v Feed-in Reward for generation of renewable electricity, per Mwh Could vary between technologies Could either be fixed sum, or vary with the market – ideal might be elements of both?
RO v Feed-in Pace of development in UK not set by RO v Feed-in Pace of development set by planning regime And in future possibly constrained by grid
RO v Feed-in Speculatively, non-variable rewards might favour more community-based schemes, which might move more quickly through the planning system But very speculative
Trading of certificates between countries Not the same as harmonisation of support schemes Investment would be drawn to the area of greatest economic efficiency Missed opportunity to reduce costs
Future development of RO Banding Trading; eventual link to ETS? Devolution ( marine, island, EFW ) Fixed rewards for micro- renewables ? If so, boundary?