The Renewables Obligation Closure and Grace Periods: a consolidated summary
The Renewables Obligation Closure and Grace Periods: a consolidated summary

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Renewables Obligation Closure and Grace Periods: a consolidated summary
  • Introduction
  • RO Closure and Grace Periods: a technology by technology summary

Introduction

On 31 March 2017 the Renewables Obligation subsidy scheme (RO scheme) for renewable electricity generation in England and Wales (RO scheme) closed to most types of newly commissioned generating station/extensions to generating station. The RO scheme is principally governed by the Renewables Obligation Order 2015 (RO Order 2015), SI 2015/1947, and its closure by the Renewables Obligation Closure Order 2014 (RO Closure Order 2014), SI 2014/2388. These were enacted pursuant to powers in section 32–32Z2 of the Electricity Act 1989 (EA 1989).

However, the closure of the RO scheme on 31 March 2017 was subject to a great many exceptions for particular technology types, as the government looked to rapidly close the RO scheme to new entrants (in particular those deploying onshore wind and solar) while at the same time looking to avoid legal challenge. As a result, in many scenarios closure has in fact been earlier or, in cases where certain ‘grace periods’ were applied, later than 31 March 2017. This Practice Note provides a one-stop-shop for brief summaries of closure dates and grace periods as they applied to each RO eligible technology type, along with links to relevant legislation, government consultations and Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) guidance. For a more detailed overview of the mechanics of the RO scheme as a whole, see Practice