New ROC Rates for Solar Better than Expected

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced smaller than expected cuts in its support for solar PV projects larger than 50kWp.

The new rates from 2013-17 are expected to deliver steady growth in the large-scale solar PV sector.

Ground-mounted projects will receive 1.6 Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) per megawatt-hour (MWh) from April 1, 2013, compared to the current level of 2 ROCS.

A brand new building-mounted band has been set at 1.7 ROCs in 2013/14, reflecting the higher costs involved in that sector.

Frans Van Den Heuvel Solarcentury Chief Executive said:

“After the uncertainties of 2012, this is good news. We welcome the fact that the government has listened to the industry and that it is introducing new ROC rates that will enable us to grow with confidence in 2013/14. The new rates are tough but workable. Today’s decisions means solar is still a good investment in the UK”.

Today’s decision includes no additional review mechanism beyond that which already exists under the legislation.

The cuts reflect the falling costs of doing solar. In the UK, solar PV is now a cheaper way to generate electricity than off-shore wind, which will continue to receive 2 ROCs until 2015.

With a deployment speed of 6-9 months for 5-10 MW, inclusive of planning, solar PV is dramatically faster to roll-out than other renewables and nuclear energy.

Solarcentury is the UK’s dominant player in solar PV, having seen significant business growth as a solar farm EPC contractor and more recently, developer.

Solar projects became viable under the RO scheme in 2010 when the cost of developing solar farms and the price of panels dropped significantly.

According to the national electricity regulator, OFGEM, the ROCs system has added £21 per annum per home. This covers all renewable technologies.

The Renewable Obligation is currently the main financial mechanism by which the UK Government incentivises the deployment of large-scale renewable electricity generation. Support is granted for 20 years. Currently, ROCs have a minimum buy-out value of £40.71 per ROC for the 2012-13 period. Alternatively they are traded on the ROC market, average price for November 2012 was £41.24.

Solarcentury is one of the most respected solar companies in the world. Founded in 1998, we have been around since the early days of the solar industry and have been part of the evolution that has made PV the attractive investment it is today. We have put solar on a greater variety of sites than any other company in the industry, and have won multiple awards for product innovation.

We work directly with our clients to design and install commercial, industrial and utility scale solar. We also supply our products and services to installers and distributors. All of our customers benefit from our experience in terms of engineering quality, superior yields and sheer breadth of deployment.

We are a big believer in helping solar PV change our world for the better and contribute 5% of our net profits every year to the charity we founded, SolarAid, which aims to eradicate kerosene lamps from Africa by 2020.

Solarcentury has offices in the UK, Italy, The Netherlands and a growing presence in Africa and Latin America.

Source: Solarcentury

For more information on: Solarcentury