government appeal rejected
The Government's decision to slash feed-in tariffs for small domestic solar installations late last year caused widespread dismay in the UK solar industry (see: Sun Setting on UK Solar)
The appeal court had been considering the Department of Energy and Climate Change's case against an earlier legal ruling on behalf of Solarcentury, Friends of the Earth and HomeSun, that the planned change to the timing of the "Feed-in-Tariff" (FIT) subsidy was legally flawed.
In an effort to save money, the government proposed last October to halve FITs for solar plants for projects below 4 kilowatts installed after Dec. 12,, making the cuts before the consultation period had finished.
The appeal was heard on the 13th of January. Today, the Court of Appeal rejected Energy Secretary Chris Huhne's claim that he had the power to go ahead with the controversial scheme.
It means homeowners with installations registered up to the new March 3 cut-off point will now receive the original 43p rate for 25 years. After this date the FIT drops to 21p.
Immediately following the ruling Energy Minister Greg Barker,tweeted: "Win, lose or draw today, important we move forward together, drive down costs + step up deployment."
The government have announced they intend to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn today's Appeal Court judgement.
Business Green, reporting on the new move say Energy Industry insiders see this is an attempt by the Government to generate a climate of uncertainty to curb public enthusiasm for microgeneration. The CBI has condemned the move saying that the whole saga had been a spectacular own goal while the Chairwoman of the Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley MP said
"The Government's clumsy handling of the consultation on feed-in tariffs has created much uncertainty in the solar industry and wider energy sector"