Launch of consultation on new band of Renewables Obligation subsidies
Energy minister Fergus Ewing has announced his intention to help attract more offshore wind developments in deeper water off the coast of Scotland.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament he confirmed the launch of a consultation on introducing a new band of the Renewables Obligation subsidies for “innovative ways to deploy offshore wind” in the country’s “more challenging waters”.
He also announced support for hydro generation would remain at current levels and support for large-scale biomass schemes would end after 2013.
Earlier this year the UK government said it was reducing its support for hydro power, which led from a warning that Scottish-based SSE that future projects would be threatened.
But the energy giant welcomed the move from the Scottish Government, which will see the level of support maintained at one Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) per Megawatt Hour, compared with 0.7 proposed for the rest of the UK.
A statement from SSE said: “This level of support fairly reflects the average costs of progressing new hydro projects inScotland, ensuring that consumers get best value for money whilst allowing development to continue.
“Future development would not have been possible at the UK Government’s 0.7 ROCs support level and the Scottish Government’s decision is therefore very positive for the Scottish hydro industry and associated supply chain. SSE will now review the position of its planned schemes on a case-by-case basis and will make announcements on these in due course.”
Wood-burning biomass stations generating more than 10MW, which do not have the capacity to capture and use the heat used, will not be supported after 2013, except those which have already been given planning permission.
The government had already confirmed in July that onshore wind support would be cut by 10 per cent until 2017, unless evidence emerges it should be cut further.
Ewing said: “Over the last decade the Renewables Obligation has helped to almost triple renewable output in Scotland, and attract around £2.8bn of investment since 2009.
“Scotland has astounding green energy potential and vast natural resources, and we have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment in our economy. Today’s announcement will allow us to continue along that path.”