Ofgem issued guidance on how to comply with the annual sustainability audit report requirements under the renewable obligations in England, Wales and Scotland for operators and auditors on 1 April 2014.
The Renewables Obligation (RO), the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) (ROS) and the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) are designed to incentivise large-scale renewable electricity generation in the UK.
The Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2014 has not yet come into force. Until this happens, generating stations in Northern Ireland should continue to refer to the 2013 version of the Sustainability Audit guidance (bioliquids only).
From April 2014, generating stations with a TIC of 1MW and above, using solid biomass or biogas, will also have to submit an annual sustainability audit report. The guidance provides information on the key requirements for the submission of the annual sustainability audit reports.
The RO requires the annual sustainability audit report to be prepared to an adequate standard, being ISAE 3000 or equivalent. Background information to International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 is provided by the document. The RO also sets out some specific points which must also be addressed as part of the audit process which are also described in the document.
The audit will require the operator of a generating station and their auditor to go through a number of steps, working together throughout the verification process. An overview and examples of the actions that may be undertaken as part of the audit are described by the document. So are the data, processes and systems used by the operator to produce the sustainability information reported to Ofgem that will be subject to verification.
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