In September 2009 we reported on a consultation which was taking place in relation to amendments to the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2009. (Click here to see that e-update). The consultation has now ended and the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) (Amendment) Order 2010 has been published; it came into force on 1 April 2010.

The Amendment Order does virtually everything that was proposed under the consultation. An Executive Note to the Draft of the Amendment Order recorded that the consultation revealed a strong consensus on the majority of issues raised in it.

In brief, the more important changes made by the Amendment Order are:

Structural Changes

  • Extension of the life-time of the Renewables Obligation (RO) to at least 2037.
  • Introduction of a 20-year limit on support under the RO.
  • Removal of the 20 ROC/100 MWh renewable electricity limit in the RO.
  • Increase the level of headroom from 8% to 10%.

Offshore Wind

There is to be a temporary increase in the banding for offshore electricity generation by wind from "relevant wind turbines". The criteria for award of ROCs, however, have moved from being contract-based to accreditation-based, in line with other technologies. A "relevant wind turbine" is defined as "a wind turbine which, in the Authority’s view, forms part of the station from a date no earlier than 1 April 2010 and no later than 31 March 2014." So the temporary increase is only until that latter date.

Feed-in Tariffs (FIT)

A FIT scheme has been introduced for small-scale electricity generation up to a maximum of 5W, to provide an alternative route to support for investment in small-scale generation. Small-scale operations which are already accredited under the RO scheme will remain under that scheme, while qualifying projects which have not applied for RO accreditation can choose between RO and FIT.

The Amendment Order can be found here.