As summarised in earlier posts, license light is pretty much the only tool in OFGEM’s toolbox to allow small scale generation schemes to get value for the electricity they generate. It’s nothing to do with subsidies or guaranteed prices or feed in tariffs. Instead license light is trying to redress the fact that our electricity market just isn’t a level playing field. The big companies can afford to play, while small time (usually low carbon) generators are squeezed out.
I noted in the earlier post that the GLA were working on a pilot to trial license light. They had hoped to get the license light toolkit and sample contracts published by end of March 2012. This hasn’t happened.
Last week I caught up with the programme delivery manager for the scheme and he told me it may be some time yet before the toolkit is released. While they are still working hard on the programme, things are taking longer than expected and he was unsure of the new release date.
I suspect that, confronted with commercial reality, the GLA may not rate their chances of bringing a license light contract to fruition quite as highly as they did a few months ago.
But will the GLA’s programme have failed if they don’t manage to get any suppliers to sign a contract? Absolutely not. In fact, they will have done the rest of us a massive service in demonstrating that license light is a non-starter as well as proving that OFGEM will have to find other tools in the box to allow DE to get fair value for its electricity.
If that’s case, OFGEM is going to need a Plan C (assuming the obvious Plan A was a fair short-haul tariff). Because in the meantime, DE schemes will continue to play at a disadvantage. If they play at all.