Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd has said that details regarding the next contracts for difference allocation round are to be released “in the near future”.
During the first parliamentary questions session for energy and climate change since last month’s general election, Rudd and the minister for energy Andrea Leadsom were quizzed by MPs with the majority of questions relating to last week’s contentious decision to cut renewable obligation support for onshore wind.
The decision to cut subsidy support a year early has caused uncertainty over how CfDs will be allocated in future rounds with Rudd having previously hinted that onshore wind could be excluded from the process, seemingly leaving a far greater allocation for solar projects.
When pressed on the subject, both Rudd and Leadsom failed to give a timetable for when details would be released, merely stating that CfDs were being considered right now and that clarification would be forthcoming in the near future. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has also yet to respond to questions on the subject when asked by Solar Power Portal earlier this week.
The next CfD round is scheduled to take place in October this year and while former energy minister Matthew Hancock said before the election the Conservative Party was “committed towards moving to a level playing field” within the process, a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey conducted with the Solar Trade Association found CfDs would “not be the focus” of investors and developers going forward this year.
However Rudd was buoyant when asked about her commitment to community energy programmes and in particular solar installations on schools and other public buildings, stating that news on the programmes would be coming from DECC “very soon”.
Rudd said that the department was “reviewing the best way to use solar” in its Electricity Market Reform commitments. Rudd is known as a huge proponent of rooftop solar, having earlier this week commented that the government “does not want large-scale solar” in the energy mix after cancelling RO support for projects above 5MW in capacity in April this year.