The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has published a consultation on amendments to the renewables obligation. The renewables obligation, which began in 2002, set out targets for suppliers to source an increasing amount of their energy from renewable resources. Renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) are awarded to suppliers using renewable sources, allowing them to demonstrate compliance with the targets.London, England – September 4, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The consultation outlines a number of changes that the DTI proposes to make with effect from April 2004. The majority are technical adjustments but two are more substantial. First, the DTI is proposing to relax the rules so that small generators, such as photovoltaic (PV) installations on houses, can qualify for ROCs. The second set of proposals will mainly benefit farmers who grow energy crops, and co-firing power stations, ie those that burn a combination of biomass and fossil fuels. The main measures outlined are to: – Extend the timescale by which co-firing generators will be eligible to benefit from ROCs from 2011 to 2016. – Extend the eligibility timescale for which co-firing generators can use any type of biomass generators from 2006 to 2009. – Stage the current limit of eligible biomass that must come from energy crops from 25 percent to 75 percent over 2009-2016. – Reduce the 25 percent cap from co-firing on an individual supplier’s obligation to 10 percent from April 2006 until the end March 2011 and to five percent from April 2011 to the end March 2016 to cut the risk of flooding the market with ROCs. It is hoped these new moves will mean farmers have more time to plant and harvest energy crops, creating a greater incentive and certainty to the developing energy crops market. The consultation paper is available at the following site. Responses to the consultation must be received by 21 November 2003.