The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) expects less than 0.5GW of ≤5MW solar to be deployed under the renewable obligation (RO) next year.

Responding to a written question from Caroline Lucas, which asked the government to clarify what funds are available for sub-5MW solar under the levy control framework (LCF), Matt Hancock minister of state at DECC confirmed that departmental modelling assumes that between 0.3GW and 0.5GW of sub-5MW solar will be installed in 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Hancock said: “While we do not publish separate figures setting out projected expenditure on particular size projects of individual technologies, the government’s response to the consultation to close the RO to large-scale solar (above 5MW) estimated that between 1.7GW and 4GW of solar of all scales would deploy in 2014/15 under the RO, and that between 300MW and 500MW of solar under 5MW would deploy in 2015/16.”

The government has calculated that deployment in the sub-5MW sector does not currently represent a budgetary risk and therefore would continue to receive funding under the RO. However, DECC has warned the sector that if deployment is “growing more rapidly than can be afforded, we will consider taking measures to protect the LCF”.