Solar firms win legal review of FIT cuts

15th December 2011


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IEMA

The legality of the government's proposals to halve subsidies for solar projects will be challenged in the high court next week, after a judge ordered an urgent review.

Following separate challenges from Friends of the Earth and two solar energy firms, Solarcentury and HomeSun, Justice Mitting ruled a judicial review of DECC’s proposed changes to the feed-in tariff scheme should be completed next week due to the economic risk posed to the sector.

The organisations’ cases focus on the scale of the cuts, which would see support cut by up to 55%, and the proposal to have them take affect for all projects installed as of 12 December – 12 days ahead of the end of the consultation into the potential changes.

John Faulks, company secretary of Solarcentury, reacting to today’s decision, said that, while the sector industry had been expecting a cut in the tariffs, DECC’s proposals go too far.

“A cut of over 50% that occurred in just six weeks and before the end of a consultation period is irrational,” he said.

Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins, agreed: “[The] government’s plans to abruptly slash solar subsidies are not only unfair, but illegal.

“These proposals have already had a disastrous impact on the solar industry - fledgling clean businesses have had the rug pulled from under their feet and a shadow hangs over thousands of jobs.”

The judicial review will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday (20 and 21 December) ahead of the closure of the consultation on 23 December.

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