Government loses FIT fight


The Government has lost its legal bid to cut the Feed in Tariff (FIT) for solar panels.

The Government announced last October that it planned to halve the FIT for projects below 4kw installed after December 12.

This was challenged by pressure groups who won a High Court ruling that the cut in subsidies was unlawful.

Energy Minister Chris Huhne had hoped to have this decision overturned today, but has failed, news that will be sure to cheer the solar power industry here in Cornwall.

The court ruling does not mean that tariffs won’t be reduced in the future, of course, with a further review due in March. It does, however, guarantee the 43.3p rate until this date at least. 

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  1. Cleanearth Energy’s Managing Director Dean Robson, responded to yesterdays news that the Court of Appeal ruled against the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), upholding the High Court judgement that Government’s December 12 feed-in tariff deadline was unlawful with this comment: –

    “ When the announcement of the FIT rate cut was made back in October, we re-worked our model and took advantage of equipment cost reductions to ensure that any customers investing in a Clean Earth installation could be assured of a return of around 8-10% – even at the lower tariff level.
    Clean Earth are currently also offering free systems, whereby we pay for the installation and the customer is free to use all generated electricity over a 25 year period. The new ruling will not affect these customers.

    “The main issue here is one of industry stability across the industry – and lack of certainty. It is difficult to commit to investing in solar whilst this legal debate continues (the Government intend to take this weeks ruling to the Supreme Court). With a stable market and investor confidence backed by lawful and predictable Government actions we will see the solar sector thrive and jobs created within it secured. Further, the fundamental aim of reducing CO2, often overlooked in this debate, should be achieved.”

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