Solar war rages on as Government appeals against court ruling


The Government has confirmed it will be appealing against a High Court ruling that said cuts to solar power subsidies were “legally flawed”. Alex Blackburne reports.

We may be into a new year, but it’s a case of same old, same old for the solar industry, as disagreement over the Government’s controversial decision to cut subsidies continues to engulf the sector.

Earlier this week, the Government placed an appeal against a High Court ruling that labelled the slashes to solar subsidies as legally flawed.

Greg Barker, minister of state for energy and climate change, confirmed on Twitter on Wednesday that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had indeed lodged an appeal.

He said that he hoped a resolution would come “well before the end of the month”.

Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, claimed the Government’s decision to appeal is pointless.

Trying to appeal the High Court’s ruling is an expensive waste of taxpayers’ money”, he said.

The court says the Government has no realistic chance of winning, and it will prolong uncertainty among solar companies just when they need reassurance.

Ministers should accept the High Court’s decision and end business uncertainty and protect jobs with a clear plan to reduce payments from February, in line with falling installation costs.

The Government must expand the scheme overall – with all the tax revenue the scheme generates, this can be done at no extra cost to bill payers.”

The “legally flawed” ruling came after the DECC had planned to slash subsidies by as much as 50% – a decision that got as far as a final consultation stage before being pegged back.

Hugo House, head of business development at 100% renewable electricity firm, Good Energy, wrote about the effects such cuts would have on the industry for Blue & Green Tomorrow back in November.

Individuals wishing to invest in solar panels will continue receiving the higher subsidy until a final decision by the High Court over the Government’s appeal is made.

If you would like to invest in solar power, Good Energy is the place to start.