Government in court for FITs appeal

A court victory allowing a judicial review into cuts to solar subsidies will be appealed by the Government today (January 4).

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is set to appeal last month’s ruling, which concluded the Government’s plans to rush through cuts to Feed-In Tariff (FIT) payments were ‘legally flawed’.

At the time climate change minister, Greg Barker, said: “We disagree with the Court’s decision, we will be seeking an appeal and hope to secure a hearing as soon as possible.

“Regardless of today’s outcome, the current high tariffs for solar PV are not sustainable and changes need to be made in order to protect the budget which is funded by consumers through their energy bills.”

The continuing legal fight also worries many in the solar industry with some now saying the legal fight, led by Friends of the Earth and two solar companies HomeSun and Solarcentury, should be halted and accepted.

Solar panel installers Freesource Energy’s managing director, Alex Lockton, claimed the industry should ‘reluctantly’ accept changes to the tariff rather than fighting a battle which only adds to the ‘uncertainty and instability’ which has dogged the sector in recent months.

He said: “After the recent uncertainty and chaos, what we really need now is a period of stability to rebuild public and investor confidence in the industry.

“We’ve been working frantically for the past two months to prepare for the 50% and the last thing we need is another gold rush to get installations completed before April, followed by potentially deeper cuts in the tariff which would be hugely damaging, or even terminal, for the industry.

“The main priority for the solar industry must be to get a commitment from the Government to support the sector until we can achieve ‘grid parity’ – when prices for solar electricity match those from conventional energy sources – even if it means reviewing the cap later on.”

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