End of the Road for Solar FiTs Battle
The Supreme Court has denied the Government the opportunity to appeal against a High Court ruling regarding solar subsidies, bringing to an end an ongoing battle between the solar industry and the Department Of Energy and Climate Change that’s been raging for months.
Towards the end of last year, the High Court ruled that the way in much the Government went about its decision to slash solar subsidies by more than half was essentially unlawful and not motivated by a properly conducted consultation. The ruling was a victory for the solar industry, with two heavy-weights in the solar game joining forces with Friends of the Earth to challenge the Government’s proposals.
But the Government continued to argue that cuts to the feed-in tariff scheme for solar PV was necessary, a move they deemed would in fact save the industry in the long run. The feed-in tariff has been cut from its original 43.3p/kWh to 21p/kWh and ministers backed up their argument by saying that due to the cost of solar PV panels falling, less money should be spent on the tariffs. Arguing their case, the solar industry hit back by saying that the decision to suddenly slash solar FiTs had the potential to destroy one of the UK’s few areas of economic growth.
The new year kicked off with the Government pledging to continue the fight in the Supreme Court. However, given that they have just been denied permission to appeal the decision, the British Government has finally thrown down the towel and declared defeat, promising to draw a line under the whole solar FiTs fiasco.
“We will now focus all our efforts on ensuring the future stability and cost-effectiveness of solar and other microgeneration technologies for the many, not the few,” commented Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary.