The revised Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) available to new anaerobic digestion plants could be even more heavily restricted than first thought, according to an analysis of Ofgem figures by the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA).
The trade association explained that the new FIT scheme has quarterly ‘caps’ on maximum deployment for each technology, which are set at 5MW for anaerobic digestion (AD). An application for a plant which breaches the cap is counted towards the next quarter – but any capacity unused is simply lost.
ADBA said that this is despite the government’s consultation response which said that “any unused capacity for a particular technology and degression band from one quarter simply gets added on to the next quarter.”
On 13 May Ofgem released data on the FIT deployment indicative queue, which shows the level of FIT capacity the scheme is likely to waste in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2016.
According to ADBA, while these figures and application places in the queue may alter if any applicants withdraw their plants, at present more than 2.38MW of the FIT’s total installed capacity is due to be lost. This is over 10% of the year’s allocation for AD.
The organization also noted that tariff period two has 1024kW wasted capacity, tariff period three 424kW, and tariff period four 487kW.
Ofgem did not release data for tariff period one but told ADBA that of the 5.8MW cap 445kW was unused and is therefore not being carried over.
Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s chief executive, commented:
“The FIT deployment cap of 20MW per year for AD is already constraining much needed baseload capacity, failing to recognise our industry’s ambition. Not rolling over unused capacity from one tariff period to the next is salt in the wound and a shocking waste of MWs worth of renewable electricity which DECC has already accounted for.
“The figures released by Ofgem show the scale of wasted capacity but future quarters could see far more MW of wasted potential. We are calling for DECC to urgently review this situation.
“ADBA has written to DECC to raise the impact this interpretation of the FIT regulations, and seek a resolution which will allow the industry to continue to develop at least at up to the 20MW cap.”
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