The Renewables Obligation (RO) is a support scheme for large scale renewable electricity projects in the UK. It places an obligation on UK electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of their electricity from renewables.
For the seventeenth obligation, or CP17, which runs between 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019, the ROC buy-out price has been set by Ofgem at £47.22 / ROC.
A Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) is a green certificate issued to an accredited generator for eligible renewable electricity generated within the United Kingdom. A technology dependent number of ROCs are issued for each megawatt hour (MWh) of eligible renewable output generated.
Both the Renewables Obligation Order and Renewables Obligation Order (Scotland) came into effect in April 2002, with the Renewables Obligation (Northern Ireland) Order coming into effect in April 2005.
Electricity suppliers meet their obligations by presenting sufficient ROCs. The obligation for CP17 in England, Scotland and Wales is for suppliers to procure 0.468 ROCs for every MWh supplied to Great Britain.
Where suppliers do not have sufficient ROCs to meet their obligations, they must pay an equivalent amount into a fund, the proceeds of which are paid back on a pro-rated basis to those suppliers that have presented ROCs, this is known as the ROC Recycle.
Changes to the Renewables Obligation as of 1 April 2017:
- Throughout the UK, the scheme has been closed to all applicants.
- There are a number of grace periods, which will allow generators to gain accreditation under the RO after 31 March 2017 – in certain circumstances only, as outlined in Government guidance*.
- To continue to support low-carbon electricity generation, the government has introduced the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which is administered by National Grid.