Saturday 24 December 2011

The court case is won but all still in the air!

As you will probably have heard, the court case brought against the Government for generally not planning the FiT reduction in a healthy manner. It seems they had their strings tugged by the power companies, and had run off a half cocked plan to drop the FiT payments for solar PV without getting the legal side checked out.

Three organisations with the fortitude to fight this plan by DECC to trash planned installations and put thousands out of work, which would have cost the Government far far more then the alleged 'budget' they have been working to, has been won over by the High Court and DECC, etc have been proved to have not carried out this process correctly.

For the current situation on 24th December, and probably all over Christmas period, see the release from the REA a couple of days ago.....

Judicial Review - Friends of Earth/HomeSun/Solarcentury win case against government on solar

The implications of the JR decision mean that the pre 12th December tariffs cannot be changed until after the full parliamentary process – i.e. an 8 week consultation, followed by a review of the responses and then a 40 day period before the legislation takes effect. This is unless the Government wins an appeal.

Government was not given leave to appeal, but if it wants to make a case it must put that forward by 4th January 2012.

Effectively the situation for systems going in now is one of two things.

· If Government is able to appeal, and then wins, we go back to the current situation. I.e. there is a consultation ongoing, and a domestic system can expect to earn 21p (or whatever government concludes after the consultation) from 1st April.

· If government is not able to appeal, or if it loses on appeal, then the 43p tariff remains in place until the Parliamentary process has concluded (expected to be 1st April 2012).

REA’s position

The REA’s position is that we are deeply concerned about the implications of this JR decision. Securing the future of the UK solar industry and the wider Feed In Tariff are our top priorities. It is essential to secure more budget and for there to be some stability in the policy.

The predominant feedback from members expressed so far is that they want look forward, and to carry on their businesses focused on the new proposed tariff levels, and are concerned about the budgetary implications of a return to 43p, albeit they may be pleased that DECC has been sent a message that there must be stability for investors and careful management of changes to support mechanisms.

Additional news is the publication of two select committee reports which criticise Government’s handling of the tariff changes. Listen again to Tim Yeo on Radio 4.

Other examples of coverage in the media can be found on Andy Atkins, Howard Johns quoted Gaynor Hartnell quoted Tim Yeo, Joan Walley, Andy Atkins.

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