No decision on UK government’s feed-in tariff case
The UK Court of Appeal failed to reach a decision on Friday as to whether the government could proceed with its appeal against the High Court ruling on feed-in tariffs (FITs).
Back in December, the High Court ruled that the government’s decision to cut FITs for small-scale and domestic solar photovoltaic installations was illegal before the end of the consultation period on the plans.
But the government appealed against the decision earlier this month.
“The Court will wrap up the decision on permission for an appeal and a possible judgement if an appeal is allowed in the next few weeks,” according to a statement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issued late on Friday.
Once that decision has been made, the government will make an announcement on “the way forward to provide clarity to consumers and industry”, continued the statement.
But Friends of the Earth, which brought the action with solar panel installers Solarcentury and HomeSun, is urging the government to come up with a ‘plan B’, rather than pursue the appeal.
“By pushing through with this appeal Ministers have prolonged the uncertainty hanging over the solar industry,” says campaigns director Craig Bennett.
He suggests that the government should either put a proposal before Parliament to cut solar tariff payments by the end of February, in line with falling installation costs, or increase the budget of the scheme using the tax revenues generated by solar firms.
“Win or lose, the government must breathe life back into UK solar to help more cash-strapped families free themselves from soaring fuel bills by plugging into clean British energy,” says Bennett.
For further information:
UK Court of Appeal to hear feed-in tariff arguments today (13-Jan)
UK Court of Appeal to hear government’s feed-in tariff case on Friday (9-Jan)
UK government to appeal against High Court feed-in tariff ruling (5-Jan)
High Court rules UK government’s solar feed-in tariff cuts are illegal (22-Dec 2011)
16 January 2012