Solar FiT Cuts Update

The Government has hit back at a High Court judge’s ruling that their proposals to rush through cuts to solar subsidies was illegal by lodging an appeal.

On 21 December a challenge from the solar industry – instigated by Solarcentury and Homesun, together with Friends of the Earth – was victorious, with a judge ruling in their favour.

It was ruled that the Government acted unlawfully in handling its proposals to slash solar subsidies from the current rate of 43.3p per kilowatt hour of electricity generated, to just 21p and imposing a 12 December deadline for the new rate to apply.

The consequences of the High Court ruling upholding the challenge means that anyone registering for the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme between now and the end of March 2012 is, by law, entitled to receive the current 43.3p rate for the full 25 years.

Despite the court ruling, the Government made very clear that it would stand by its proposals and subsequently the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that it would be lodging an appeal.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the Government launched an appeal with the Court of Appeal.

“We hope that permission will be granted for an appeal and that we can secure a hearing as soon as possible so that we can provide clarity for consumers and industry on the way forward following the consultation,” said a DECC spokesperson.

The Government’s main argument is that the 12 December deadline is essential and the tariff needs to be reduced to ensure the long term future for solar in the UK.

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