Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Round up of 2010

2010 has been a significant year for the sector, especially with the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for smaller-scale (sub 5MW) low-carbon electricity generation.

As you may have seen from the firm’s Energy Index published in June 2010, there are significant financial returns to be made from the development of appropriate renewable energy technologies on suitable sites. We are advising many clients and developers who are looking to develop wind energy projects, solar pv rooftop schemes and park arrays, hydro power projects and also anaerobic digestion plants.

The sector is now awaiting the details for a similar scheme to be introduced in 2011 which will incentivise low-carbon heating technologies, known as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Both schemes are designed to bring about a significant increase in the amount of locally produced green energy. Having witnessed the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), some of the announcements made do give rise to optimism in the energy sector, especially bearing in mind the early speculation that the Feed-in Tariff may have been reviewed in advance of the already published date of April 2013.

With regard to the RHI, the CSR indicated that the subsidy for green home heating will be reduced by 20% as compared to the original figures envisaged by the Government. It will receive £860 million of funding in anticipation of a tenfold growth rate in the sector. Additionally, the long awaited Green Investment Bank will receive £1 billion of government investment with the aim of leveraging private capital to invest in low-carbon projects.

Although, the Green Investment Bank was originally reported to receive £2 billion and many commentators have suggested that £6 billion is a more realistic sum required to move the low-carbon economy forward positively. There is still no clarity whether the Green Investment Bank will be a ‘real bank’ or alternatively a government fund. Turning to the offshore renewables sector, the Chancellor indicated that there will be a further £200 million to be invested including port upgrade developments which are required to facilitate the deployment of large offshore wind turbines.

It is important to be aware that the Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published its

Departmental Business Plan, which sets out a vision for the work of the Department as follows:
• to deliver secure energy on the way to a low-carbon energy future
• to drive deployment of renewable energy across the UK to ensure that at least 15% of UK energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. (This figure has been amended from previous targets of 15% by 2015)
• to develop regulations for a new Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to provide financial support for renewable heat, and lay before Parliament by June 2011 (this has been amended from April 2011)
• to work with the Department for Communities and Local Government to allow communities who host renewable energy projects to keep the additional business rates they generate at April 2011
• to undertake the first major review of Feed-in Tariffs for small-scale renewable energy, consult and implement changes (April 2012 – April 2013)
• to conduct a four-yearly review of Renewables Obligation (RO) Banding (levels of financial support for different technologies) to ensure that the RO provides the correct level of support to maintain investment in large-scale renewable energy generation by April 2013

The Government has also published a Revised Draft Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy which will revise PPS22. This is currently out to consultation until January 2011. In terms of the development of our business, I am pleased to announce that we have recruited further Energy Specialists over the course of the last few months including Claire Allsop based in Peterborough, Bill Lowther based in Newcastle and Rory Carmichael (Environmental Planning) based in Harrogate to further strengthen our team.

Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the team should you have any queries or wish to discuss a potential project.

Charles HardcastleMRICS, FAAV

Partner - Head of Energy and Marine

Charles is a Partner, based in Yorkshire but who operates on a National basis across the country. He heads the Carter Jonas Energy and Marine Team which deals with a wide range of energy projects incl...

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