March 31 Britain's energy regulator Ofgem on
Friday closed one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale
renewable electricity projects to new developers.
Since it was set up in 2002, the Renewable Obligation scheme
helped boost the share of Britain's electricity generated from
low-carbon energy to 23.5 percent from 1.3 percent, Ofgem said.
The government has reined in subsidies on renewable energy
projects since 2015, including ending support for onshore wind
farms. When announcing the cuts, the government said it wanted
renewable energy projects to compete on a commercial basis.
However, Ofgem extended another scheme, the Energy Company
Obligation (ECO), requiring power and gas suppliers to provide
energy efficiency measures, such as loft insulation, to
vulnerable customers until September 2018.
Britain has some of the most energy inefficient homes in
Europe and the measures were aimed to help meet greenhouse gas
reduction targets. Several firms, including Centrica and
RWE's npower, say ECO is too expensive.
The government is also under pressure to curb rising energy
bills with some 2.3 million of Britain's 27 million households
deemed fuel poor, meaning the cost of heating their homes leaves
them with income below the poverty line.
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in Milan; Editing by Edmund