Renewables obligation

We are increasing large scale renewable electricity generation in Scotland via the Renewables Obligation Scotland (ROS).

Working in tandem with similar legislation in other parts of the UK, the ROS obliges electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of the electricity they supply from renewable sources.  The scheme operates through the issuing of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs, or SROCs in Scotland) to operators of accredited renewable generating stations for the eligible renewable electricity they generate.  Operators can trade ROCs with other parties and can be acquired by suppliers to demonstrate that they have met their obligation.

Alternatively, instead of producing these certificates, suppliers may choose to make a payment to Ofgem, the body which administers the ROS on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.  The funds collected are then largely redistributed to suppliers in proportion to the number of ROCs they have presented, in the process stimulating demand for renewable electricity.

The Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2009 (as amended) requires the Scottish Ministers to announce the level of the Obligation six months before the start of an Obligation period.  The Obligation level refers to the number of SROCs that suppliers serving customers in Scotland are obliged to present per MWh (megawatt hour) of electricity they supply.

On 31 March 2017, the Renewables Obligation closed to all new generating capacity – including in Scotland.  The closure does not affect capacity accredited on or before this date. 

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is now the UK Government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation across Great Britain.

Renewables Obligation 2019 to 2020

In accordance with article 12(4), the Scottish Ministers confirm that the Obligation level for supplies to customers in Scotland for the obligation period 2019 to 2020 will be 0.484 ROCs per MWh (megawatt hour). This will be in effect from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

Find further information on the renewables obligation level calculations: 2019 to 2020 on gov.uk. 

Renewables Obligation 2018 to 2019

For 2018 to 2019 the obligation level for Scotland, England and Wales is 0.468 ROCs per MWh. This will apply for the full obligation year, from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Find further information on the renewables obligation level calculations: 2018 to 2019 on gov.uk.

Amendment Order 2018

The Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Amendment Order 2018 amends the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2009 to lift a restriction on the amount of electricity which can be produced by hydro generating stations without affecting eligibility for SROCs. Any additional electricity which will be generated as a result of this amendment is not eligible for SROCs.

Renewables Obligation in previous years

Information on the ROS in years previous to 2018 to 2019 can be found in the renewables obligation archive.