“The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has lost its appeal against a High Court ruling that branded its plans to rush through cuts to solar subsidies as illegal,” the UK’s Business Green reported yesterday. “Three Court of Appeal judges this morning upheld the original decision that the government had acted unlawfully in proposing cuts to feed-in tariffs for solar installations completed after December 12 last year, on the grounds the consultation on the proposed changes to the scheme did not close until December 23.”
However, it didn’t take the government long to appeal this ruling and take the issue to the Supreme Court. “The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court ruling on FITs albeit on different grounds,” Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said. “We disagree and are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.”
If the appeal is lost, the solar feed-in tariff cuts will start on March 3.
Huhne’s rational for appealing the rulings and for the initial cuts:
“We want to maximise the number of installations that are possible within the available budget rather than use available money to pay a higher tariff to half the number of installations. Solar PV can have strong and vibrant future in UK and we want a lasting FITs scheme to support that future and jobs in the industry.”
However, many in the UK solar industry don’t see these government efforts (cutting the FiTs scheme) as helpful at all.
“They are trying to throw more cold water over the enthusiasm the public has for microgeneration and getting out of the clutches of the Big Six,” Daniel Green, chief executive of HomeSun, said. “To see them come out last week and say they want to deliver certainty for the sector and then pursue another appeal that will create further uncertainty just demonstrates that they are not really serious about this sector.”
We’ll keep you updated, of course!
UK solar panels via telex4
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