Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) support for solar PV installations in Ireland up to 50kW is to be upgraded to 3 ROCs until October next year, Arlene Foster, Enterprise, Trade and Investment minister for Northern Ireland, revealed.

Foster made the announcement through the publication of the government’s response to the small scale banding review consultation, but decided against the 1.6 ROC level put forward in the consultation.

“Solar PV has an important role to play in the wider energy market. However, the current four ROCs for microgeneration solar PV up to 50kW do not represent incentivisation at lowest cost to the consumer, who ultimately funds the ROCs mechanism.

“Having listened to concerns raised by the solar industry, I have decided on a higher level of support than the 1.6 ROCs proposed in the consultation,” Foster said.

Solar installations up to 50kW will receive 3 ROCs until October 2016, after which the level will be reduced to 2 ROCs until April 2017.

“I would like to thank the solar industry for their engagement during this process and I am confident that this gradual reduction in ROC levels between now and April 2017 is the best approach to ensure deployment continues at a steady pace, while sustaining jobs and ensuring lowest costs to consumers,” Foster added.