Market Regulator to Change Rules To Help Renewables

Ofgem, the energy regulator in the United Kingdom, is helping small renewable power generators to compete under the deregulated New Electricity Trading Arrangements.

LONDON, England, UK, 2002-01-24 [SolarAccess.com] Ofgem wants smaller generators to compete more effectively under NETA, following criticism that the structure disadvantages generators with unpredictable electrical output. Wind turbines and other producers of green power are most affected. A significant growth of green electricity will be required under the pending introduction of the Renewables Obligation, which forces utilities to use portion from renewables facilities. Ofgem plans to issue a report this month, but admits that there are shortcomings in the aspect of operation intended to allow smaller generators to consolidate power for sale under NETA. Ofgem had “put work in hand” to facilitate further development of consolidation options for smaller generators, to take effect before this April. By that date, many generators will be renegotiating contracts with suppliers and, until now, Ofgem said many contracts in place pre-dated NETA. The regulator set up a Consolidation Working Group of smaller generators, suppliers and government regulators which has addressed technical barriers which prevent fixed output being separated from less predictable output, which could be sold separately. “Ofgem supports greater flexibility under NETA for smaller generators to package and sell, fixed and unpredictable output separately,” explains the group’s Eileen Marshall. The British government has set a target of 10 percent for electricity from renewables by 2010, up from the present level of 3 percent.

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