A high court judge has ruled that the proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff for solar schemes is unlawful. In a landmark victory for environmental and solar groups, the judge said the Government’s proposals were already having a “significant impact” on the industry.
DECC has proposed the amount of FiTs cash on offer for small-scale solar projects up to 4kW in size should be set at 21p/kWh, down from 43.3p/kWh, because the higher level was attracting too much funding. Mr Justice Mitting said that implementing the proposals, by the December 12 deadline which had fallen in the middle of a consultation period, would be unlawful.
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth’s executive director said: “These plans have cast a huge shadow over the solar industry, jeopardising thousands of jobs. We hope this ruling will prevent ministers rushing through damaging changes to clean energy subsidies – giving solar firms a much-needed confidence boost.”
The judge has refused the Energy Secretary permission to appeal against the ruling meaning DECC will have to go to the Court of Appeal.
Climate Change Minister Greg Barker responded to the High Court ruling: “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.”