Renewable and low carbon energy

Renewables obligation

The Renewables Obligation Scotland (ROS) scheme was introduced in 2002 with the aim of incentivising and supporting the growth of renewable generation capacity in Scotland. The ROS has been successful in this aim and will continue to support accredited generators, despite closing to all new generating capacity on 31 March 2017. The scheme is set to end entirely in 2037.

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

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.

Renewables obligation 2024 to 2025

In accordance with article 12(4), Scottish Ministers confirm that the obligation level for supplies to customers in Scotland for the obligation period 2024/25 will be 0.487 ROCs per MWh.

However, should necessary legislation pass before 1 April 2023, the obligation level for 2024/25 will be revised and set at 0.491 ROCs per MWh.

This revised obligation level will account for the incoming increase to the Energy Intensive Industries (EII) exemption level. Legislation allowing the 2024/25 ROS obligation level to be revised is intended to be in force before 01 April 2024. This revised level will be confirmed by UK Government at a later date and before the obligation year begins.

Further information can be found on gov.uk at Calculating the level of the Renewables Obligation for 2024 to 2025.

Renewables obligation 2023 to 2024

In accordance with article 12(4), the Scottish Ministers confirm that the obligation level for supplies to customers in Scotland for the obligation period 2023 to 2024 will be 0.469 ROCs per MWh. This will be in effect from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

Further information can be found on gov.uk at Calculating the level of the Renewables Obligation for 2023 to 2024

Renewables obligation 2022 to 2023

In accordance with article 12(4), the Scottish Ministers confirm that the obligation level for supplies to customers in Scotland for the obligation period 2022 to 2023 will be 0.492 ROCs per MWh. This will be in effect from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Find further information on the renewables obligation level calculations: 2022 to 2023.

Amendment Order 2023

Between 11 November 2021 and 23 December 2021,we held a public consultation on proposals to change the mutualisation threshold set in the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2009. These proposals will be enacted from the beginning of the 2023/2024 obligation year on 1 April 2023, with the mutualisation threshold set at 0.1% of UK scheme costs rather than a fixed level. We published the notice of intent to proceed with this option on our consultation page on 29 September 2022.

These changes will mean that the threshold value will be proportionate to the overall costs of the scheme across the UK and will therefore vary from year to year. This amendment brings the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2009 in line with the legislation in England and Wales and helps to ensure that the scheme balances mutualisation risk between suppliers and generators more fairly.

Ofgem are required to calculate and publish the mutualisation threshold every year. You can see the threshold for the 2023/24 obligation page.

The Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) making this amendment was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 26 January 2023 and came into force on 31 March 2023. 

Renewables obligation archive

A record of the level from previous years can be found in the gov.scot renewables obligation archive

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

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