Energy Minister Charles Hendry has announced that developers of new large-scale renewable electricity projects will get earlier and greater certainty about how much support they will receive under the Renewables Obligation from 2013. New utility project developers will now have more of an idea of the support they will receive from April 2013, as early as mid-July 2011.

This news is expected to reinforce industry confidence in the Government, as previous arrangements meant that support levels were not due to be finalised until Autumn 2012, meaning developers had been reluctant to begin construction of projects with long construction periods.

Announcing the changes to the timetable for the 2010-13 Renewables Obligation banding review at the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, Charles Hendry said, “We are determined to increase significantly the amount of renewables in our energy mix and we want to remove barriers to this goal. The previous timetable for reviewing support for large-scale renewable electricity developments created some uncertainty for investors, so we’ve decided to bring it forward.

“Taking this action will help us realise our full potential for growth in renewable electricity. We think we’ve found the right balance between speeding up the process and making sure our decisions are based on solid analysis”.

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) now intends to consult on new banding proposals in summer 2011 and confirm the new bands by autumn 2011. The new bands will take effect on 1 April 2013 as originally planned, subject to State Aids and Parliamentary approval.

This news was announced alongside other Government energy plans, including paying large energy consumers for using less during peak times.