HC Deb 23 March 2004 vol 419 cc735-6W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the operation of the Renewables Obligation Certificates scheme. [162954]

Mr. Timms

The Renewables Obligation (RO) will only have been in operation for two years at the end of March 2004. However, in this short period of time it has proved successful in bringing forward new renewables generation and in encouraging investment. More new capacity was installed over this period than in the previous decade, and we remain confident that this support mechanism will help us meet our 2010 renewable energy target.

An initial assessment of the RO came in the form of a technical review shortly after the first year of operation. This was to ensure that the RO was working as first intended and proposed changes to benefit biomass and small generators. Changes to the Obligation resulting from this review and from the 'Late-payments' consultation are currently before Parliament. In February of this year Ofgem also released their review of the RO's first year of operation.

All of this leads into the major review of the RO, which is scheduled for 2005–06.

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