The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has officially sought to appeal against last month’s High Court ruling that the Government’s plans to cut the solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) were unlawful. On the FITs appeal, a DECC spokesperson said:
“We have lodged grounds of appeal with the Court of Appeal. We hope that permission will be granted for an appeal and that we can secure a hearing as soon as possible so that we can provide clarity for consumers and industry on the way forward following the consultation.
“The High Court’s decision was based on the view that the proposed approach to implementing new tariffs for solar PV is inconsistent with the FIT scheme’s statutory purpose of encouraging small-scale low-carbon electricity generation.
“We disagree with this for a number of reasons. The overriding aim of the proposed reduction in tariffs for solar PV (as set out in the recent consultation) is to ensure that over the long term as many people as possible are encouraged to install small scale low-carbon generation (including other technologies as well as solar PV) and benefit from the funding available for the FIT scheme. Without an urgent reduction in the current tariffs, which give a very generous return, the budget for the scheme would be severely depleted and there would be very little available for future solar PV generators, or for other technologies. Our view is that the urgent steps we have proposed to protect the scheme for the future are fully consistent with the scheme’s statutory purpose.
We have also made the point that the judicial review was premature as no decision has yet been taken, and a decision will only be taken after a full analysis of the responses to the consultation.”