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Scottish Ministers have today launched a consultation to change the levels of support for renewable technologies under the Renewable Obligation (Scotland) scheme. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing plans to reduce financial […]

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By Tom Gibson

Scottish Ministers have today launched a consultation to change the levels of support for renewable technologies under the Renewable Obligation (Scotland) scheme. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing plans to reduce financial support for large-scale biomass electricity generators while increasing it for the more sustainable form of tidal energy.

Smaller biomass projects will continue to receive support, but large-scale electricity only stations, above a certain generating capacity, would no longer be eligible for support under the ROS. The consultation aims to increase the number of ROCs allocated to tidal energy from three to five per Megawatt hour. The Renewables Obligation requires electricity suppliers to provide more power from renewable sources. Operators can trade the ROCs and are used by suppliers to demonstrate that they have met their obligation.

Mr Ewing said changes were vital to encourage investment in long term renewables: “We have a quarter of Europe’s tidal stream, and the increase in support for this technology will encourage energy firms to capitalise on the enormous potential this presents.”

Support for biomass still exists, but the Scottish Minister said biomass was not the ultimate solution, He added: “UK ambitions for large-scale electricity only woody biomass plants are an inefficient use of a finite resource. We have serious concerns around the sustainability of supply. If proposed levels of imports are not matched with forecast demand or become more difficult to access, there is the danger that energy generators will find it easier to access their feedstocks from domestic wood processing industries’ well-established wood supply chains.”