Engineers this week urged ministers to end confusion about incentives for renewable energy.
The new coalition government has appeared to back an obligation on power companies to use renewables, while also supporting the use of financial incentives for using them.
The Conservatives had initially vowed to ditch the renewables obligation in favour of feed-in tariffs, which Labour had introduced for smaller scale renewable schemes.
Under the renewables obligation, energy distributors must generate or buy a proportion of their electricity from renewable sources.
During the election campaign the Tories had said they would replace this with feed in-tariffs, under which renewable power generators would get a premium for their electricity.
Engineers and green groups warned that this change of policy could have resulted in a funding hiatus as developers came to terms with the new funding mechanism (NCE 6 May).
The coalition has now pledged to maintain the renewables obligation as well as fully implementing the feed-in tariff system, causing further confusion.
Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said the coalition agreement lacked detail and called for further clarification.
Ministers will give offshore energy a higher weighting under the renewables obligation. This will enable power companies to earn more from distibuting offshore renewables than from onshore renewables.
“We need to see a very clear renewables obligation at this critical time for investment”
But cost consultant EC Harris’ head of energy Paul Stapleton also said the coalition should do more to encourage offshore wind power.
“We need to see a very clear renewables obligation - and at this critical time for investment, this should be high priority,” he said.