Euro Wind Group Seeks Early Renewables Review

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), which represents the UK wind industry, has offered evidence to the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) urging the government to bring forward its intended 2005-6 review of the country’s Renewable Obligation.

London, England – May 22, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The group believes that an early review setting out the future of renewables beyond 2010 is critical to ensure that the recent success in bringing forward new onshore and offshore wind projects is maintained. The Renewable Obligation has dramatically stimulated the market for wind energy development with BWEA predicting that 2003 will see a six-fold increase in onshore planning applications from three years ago. “There is no doubt that the Renewable Obligation is catalyzing the expansion of wind energy in the UK,” said BWEA Chief Executive Marcus Rand. “We need to build on the obligation’s early success and set out a longer-term firm commitment beyond 2010.” Now one year old, the Renewable Obligation lays a legally binding target for the UK to achieve 10 percent of electricity supply from renewables by 2010. Described as the ‘cornerstone’ of delivering the UK’s commitments on Renewable Energy, its currency is the Renewable Obligation Certificate or ROC, which for the first time ever places a higher value on the green credentials of electricity than the price of power itself. Green energy is in demand and none more so than that harnessed from the power of the wind, available at some of the cheapest prices in Europe. BWEA is concerned that as the industry moves closer towards 2010 without a clear decision being made on Renewable Energy targets beyond that date, then increasingly the industry, and more crucially financiers, are left in doubt as to the value of the ROC. Quite simply, this makes it more difficult to obtain financing for wind farm developments, jeopardizing both the 2010 target itself and also the White Paper’s 2020 aspirations. Large-scale offshore developments could be particularly affected by the difficulty in obtaining the necessary financing. Government’s recently published Energy White Paper suggested an aspiration to broadly double renewables’ contribution to the energy mix to 20 percent by 2020. However, setting new targets must be done within the context of ensuring that the RO is an effective delivery mechanism to achieve Government’s climate change strategy. “We believe it will be beneficial for all if government brings forward its review to ensure that the industry has a clear and secure footing post 2010,” Rand said. “The potential benefits of getting this right are immense. We have the chance not just to build a new power source for Britain but also a new industry generating thousands of new jobs. Central to all this becoming a reality will be the Renewable Obligation and its ability to offer a long-term stable market for our industry.”
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