Solar Feed in Tariff Scheme Update
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) lost its High Court appeal last week, which means the Court of Appeal’s decision must stand. The Court of Appeal had earlier ruled that DECC’s attempt to cut the FiTs subsidy before the end of its consultation period was illegal.
But anyone hoping that this puts an end to the indecision surrounding the future of the UK Solar industry will be disappointed to read various articles in the press stating that DECC, rather than accepting the decision as final, is considering its options – including lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court, thus giving rise to many more months of irresolution and hesitancy from potential Solar purchasers.
On www.businessgreen.com last week, Energy and Climate Change secretary Chris Huhne warned solar PV installers not to promote the higher feed-in tariff, saying that there is no guarantee the higher rate (43p/kWh) will stand:
“……we cannot rule out the possibility that lower tariffs could be applied to installations which became eligible for FiTs on or after the proposed reference date. It is important consumers are aware of this.” Said Huhne.
A Government spokesperson was quoted as saying that the Government is very clear that from the 1st April 2012, all tariffs will be 21p/kWh.
Last November, DECC announced that as of the 12th December 2011, the Feed-in Tariff would be reduced to 21p/kWh on all installations, thus throwing the UK Solar industry into complete chaos and resulting in contracts being cancelled, redundancies and firms going out of business.
Friends of the Earth, Homesun and Solarcentaury then announced legal action against the Government over its decision. In December, the High Court made its ruling against the decision. DECC then mounted an appeal with the Court of Appeal, which was also unsuccessful. So far, legal costs have reached £66,400 and these could escalate if the Government is forced to pick up the legal costs of its opponents, which could happen if it loses an appeal with the Supreme Court.
We are continuing to keep an open mind and promote Solar energy as a viable and value for money option for the future of power generation. Riello UPS supplies AROS solar inverters from 1.5 to 500kW for residential and commercial applications. They are fully customisable and can be monitored via the equipment we supply. You can read more of our views on this here.