Thursday, 22 December 2011

FiTS cuts deemed illegal by High Court

The High Court has ruled that the DECC's FiTS (feed in tariff) cuts were "legally flawed" after a legal challenge by Solar Century, Homesun Holdings and Friends of the Earth.

The challenge centred around the fact that the DECC cut the FiTS rate across the board before the end of the second phase of their own consultation, which the High Court decided was not in keeping with existing statutes. The Government plans, however, to challenge the ruling and it the Court is expected to hear the appeal on 4th January; whether or not this means the DECC will back-track is still to be seen.

In the meantime, the 'Solar Power FITs' report was today published by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) and Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC). In short, the report highlights that "there is room for debate, therefore, about the role that solar PV should play in the future, to meet our carbon and renewables commitments in the most cost-effective way, particularly at a time of economic difficulty."

The report strongly suggests that the Government needs to more effectively engage with the renewable energy industry and that they should introduce any changes to the feed-in tariff scheme in "an orderly and timely manner". Hopefully, should legislators at the DECC pay attention to the report, we will see the solar industry back on track in the first part of 2012.

Whilst we at Cleversolar support any moves to support the proliferation of renewable energy technologies, and solar PV in particular, we do hope that things can be done better this time and that this latest episode is the FiTS debacle does not lead to a second mad rush, which can only ever be bad for the industry as a whole.