Renewables Obligation (RO)—key features
Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson of Energetics
Renewables Obligation (RO)—key features

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson of Energetics provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Renewables Obligation (RO)—key features
  • What is the Renewables Obligation?
  • What are ROCs?
  • What is the role of electricity generators in the RO?
  • How do electricity suppliers comply with the RO?
  • For how long will accredited generators receive support under the RO?
  • Closure of the RO to new generation and grace periods
  • Co-locating RO projects with battery storage
  • Levels of support for biomass/bioliquid generation
  • Latest developments

What is the Renewables Obligation?

The renewables obligation (RO) is intended to support investment in renewable generation projects. It does this by placing customer-facing electricity suppliers—who (directly or indirectly) purchase their electricity from generators—under an obligation to source an increasing proportion of their wholesale electricity from renewable sources. The required proportion is set by the Secretary of State (SoS) for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Subject to certain exceptions, the RO closed to new electricity generation projects being accredited, for the purposes of the RO, as renewable sources from 1 April 2017. For more on this, see Closure of the RO to new generation and grace periods below.

The SoS calculates the required proportion in accordance with the Renewables Obligation Order 2015 (RO Order 2015) SI 2015/1974, arts 7–13. These calculations produce a number of megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable output to be purchased by suppliers for each MWh of electricity (of whatever source) that they supply to customers in England and Wales.

The SoS must determine the required proportion by 1 October each year; it then applies for the 12 months running from the next 1 April until 31 March the following year (an ‘obligation period’). The SoS recently published its report setting out the methodology used in calculating the renewables obligation for the 2017/18 period. See LNB News