FIT's for solar to go to Supreme Court
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has confirmed it will be launching an appeal against High and Appeal Court rulings that it had acted illegally in cutting Feed-In Tariff (FIT) payments before it's own consultation period had ended. The speed of the proposed cuts were heavily criticised by the solar industry.
Despite the earlier favourable rulings for the Solar Industry the uncertainty, culminating in today's news, is believed have hit the home solar energy industry hard. Daniel Green, CEO of HomeSun, one of the successful litigants in the earlier proceedings, said “the government has already succeeded in slowing the number of installations” and claiming a 90 per cent reduction in solar PV installations and capacity from the time the cuts were announced compared to the nine weeks before 12 December 2011.
Opponents of the appeal, which could take up to 7 months to complete, are concerned that the uncertainty it creates are putting 29,000 jobs in the solar industry on the line and could see the sector reduced to a tenth of its current size.
Jeremy Leggett, Chairman of Solarcentury is spoke about the wider concerns of the renewable energy sector:
“We have been expecting this but we hoped that Ed Davey would see sense and not take the appeal. If we are lucky this is just a cynical exercise to limit the market to March 3 and they will withdraw in a few weeks. If not, and they really are serious about a Supreme Court appeal, then the implications for the renewables industry are deeply worrying. Two weeks ago, Ministers reassured the industry that they wanted to see 4 million solar homes in the UK by 2020. This appeal completely undermines that claim.
"If the appeal is successful it will allow Government to change feed-in tariffs whenever it chooses, even for projects that are already installed and supposedly guaranteed the feed-in tariff. At a stroke, this would undermine investment in all UK renewables, not just PV, and show investors that the UK government simply cannot be trusted."