Ofgem has released its annual renewables obligation (RO) report for 2017/18.

In the report released yesterday (21 March), the regulator revealed 103.22 million renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) were presented by suppliers, or 87.6 per cent of the total obligation of 117.8 million ROCs.

This resulted in the largest buyout and late payment funds ever recorded on the scheme, totalling more than £608.1 million.

Each ROC was worth £51.43, leading to a scheme value of £5.3 billion.

Furthermore Ofgem said it issued 100.6 million ROCs in 2017-18, 16.7 per cent more than the 86.2 million ROCs issued in 2016-17.

ROCs were issued based on 75.2TWh of renewable generation, equivalent to 26.4 per cent of the UK electricity supply market.

When combined with the 8.4TWh generated by Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) installations, this figure rises to 29.3 per cent.

The RO scheme supports the deployment of large-scale renewable electricity generating stations by setting an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers to source a portion of their supply from renewable sources.

Those suppliers not meeting their obligation by presenting ROCs are required to make up the shortfall by making payments into the buyout fund.

Last year an “unprecedented” 34 energy suppliers missed the 1 September deadline for making their ROC payments in full.

This resulted in a combined shortfall of £102.9 million in the England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland buyout funds (up from £18.7 million in 2017). This worked out as an average of £3.02 million per supplier.

Ofgem later confirmed the remaining shortfall in RO late payments for 2017/18 was £58.6 million after 14 suppliers failed to make the late payment deadline.

As a relevant shortfall had been reached, mutualisation was triggered for the first time ever.

Last month Ofgem revealed the new buyout price for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) in 2019/20.

The regulator said it will rise from £47.22 currently to £48.78, reflecting a 3.3 per cent increase in the retail price index during 2018.

A number of suppliers named as owing RO payments beyond the 31 October late payment deadline have ceased trading.

These include: IresaSparkExtraFuture EnergyGen4UOne SelectSnowdrop,  Economy and Brilliant Energy.

Earlier this month Ofgem issued URE Energy with a final order, meaning the supplier must pay £209,013.78 in RO payments by 31 March.

Meanwhile Greater Manchester-based supplier Eversmart was ordered to deliver all outstanding payments by 31 March through monthly installments.

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