The Solar Digest for Solar Power, Solar Energy and Photovoltaic PV News - Associations

Government Plans Damaging Appeal Against High Court Ruling

The Government will appeal against a ruling that its cuts to solar power are illegal, Energy Minister Greg Barker confirmed yesterday. Friends of the Earth believes an appeal would be a waste of taxpayers' money.

We're urging Ministers instead to focus on putting the solar industry back on a stable footing.

An appeal also means solar businesses can't be sure what tariff payment solar projects installed now will receive. The uncertainty is crippling businesses and costing jobs.

Just before Christmas the High Court ruled that government plans to rush through cuts to solar payments were illegal. It said the Government had no realistic prospect of winning an appeal.

The High Court decision followed a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth and two solar firms - Solarcentury and HomeSun.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to:
-    Put solar back on its feet
-    Reducing tariff rates in a planned way from February 2012 to protect jobs.
-    Increase the budget for solar
-    Allowing more people - including householders and disadvantaged communities - to benefit from the technology.

Friends of the Earth's Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton said "Trying to appeal the High Court's ruling is an expensive waste of taxpayers' money. The Government must expand the scheme - with all the tax revenue the scheme generates, this can be done at no extra cost to bill payers.

    Ministers should end business uncertainty and protect jobs with a clear plan to reduce payments from February - in line with falling installation costs".

The feed-in tariff has led to more than 100,000 solar panel projects and around 27,000 new jobs since its introduction in April 2010.

The Government's proposed cuts have already seen planned schemes abandoned and thousands of jobs under threat.

Our legal challenge to cuts in solar incentives is part of our Final Demand campaign. We're calling for

-    Energy we can all afford
-    A public inquiry into the power and influence of the Big Six energy companies.

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