The Supreme Court has today thrown out the government’s attempt to appeal against an earlier High Court ruling that premature cuts to Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs) for solar installations were unlawful.
This means that all systems installed between 12 December 2011 and 3 March 3 2012 will receive the higher FITs rates for 25 years.
There's a report on the ruling on the BBC.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, commented:
“We are disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court not to grant permission to hear this case. But the Court’s decision draws a line under the case. We will now focus all our efforts on ensuring the future stability and cost effectiveness of solar and other microgeneration technologies for the many, not the few.”
We had a different secretary of state when this latest attempt to appeal began.
Business Green comments:
“Serious questions will now be asked about the wisdom of ministers' willingness to impose rapid cuts that were always going to be vulnerable to a court challenge, the deeply flawed legal advice the department received, and the cynical tactic of using repeated appeals to create uncertainty in the market and slow down deployments.”
The court’s ruling is a rejection of rushed and retrospective changes to subsidy.
The solar subsidy trend will still be downwards in future, however, and that downward shift may well be quicker now the government has to absorb the cost of this ruling.
The challenge for the solar industry over time will be to show it can deliver cost effective energy without subsidy.
Photo by spanginator via Flickr