Legislation: Feed-in Tariff Government Seeks Supreme Court Appeal on Feed-in Tarrifs
As the House will be aware, the Government‟s proposed changes to the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme are the subject of a judicial review. Specifically, the Government has been challenged regarding its proposal to apply new tariffs for solar photovoltaics (PV) from 1 April 2012 to all new installations with an eligibility date on or after an earlier “reference date”, which we proposed should be 12 December 2011.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal handed down a negative judgment on the Government‟s appeal against an earlier decision by the High Court. We respectfully disagree with the judgment and are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. In the light of that, we cannot rule out the possibility that lower tariffs could be applied to installations which became eligible for FITs on or after the proposed reference date. It is important that consumers are aware of this.
The reason for appealing is that we want to maximise the number of installations that are possible within the available budget for FITs, rather than use available money to pay a higher tariff to half the number of installations. Solar PV can have strong and vibrant future in UK and we want a lasting FITs scheme to support that future and jobs in the industry.
We have already put before Parliament draft licence modifications that (subject to the Parliamentary process) would bring a 21p rate into effect from April for solar PV installations which become eligible for FITs on or after 3 March, to help reduce the pressure on the budget and provide as much certainty as we can for consumers and industry.
In the meantime, we want as far as possible to minimise the uncertainty for PV and other technologies eligible for support under FITs. We are therefore still intending to publish the phase 2 consultation by 9 February. This will include proposed tariffs for other FITs technologies and a set of reform proposals for the scheme. We are also intending to publish the Government‟s response to the other aspects of the phase 1 consultation that are not affected by the Judicial Review (namely the proposals on energy efficiency and for multi-installation tariff rates).
REA Welcomes DECC’s Solar ‘Plan B’
DECC has laid before Parliament its „Plan B‟: an order to lower solar PV Feed-in Tariffs with effect from 3rd March. REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell comments. “The laying of the order is helpful. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, we now know that installations made after 3rd March will definitely qualify for the new tariff rates.”
We should know the outcome of DECC‟s appeal of last month‟s Judicial Review by 9th February. If DECC loses, then the higher rates will apply until 3rd March. If DECC wins, it can follow through with its consultation, and implement the decisions it arrives at, having regard to the 2,000+ responses it received. Gaynor Hartnell concludes:
“This removes some of the short-term uncertainty and it is a welcome move. There will have to be a second order covering tariffs for other technologies, clearing up: the rates applicable between 12th December and 3rd March; any energy efficiency requirements it may implement; and a means of adjusting tariffs in line with prices in an orderly manner in future.”
Download Government Response to Q1 of Feed-in Tariff Scheme
DECC Weekly PV Installations WE 22nd January 2012
The total number of installations on the MCS is now 234,497 up from 233,314 (week end- ing 15th January 2012).
The total capacity installed is now 773.3MW up from 769.8MW (week ending 15th January 2012) Download Spreadsheet
For all the most up to date news and products visit www.solardigest.co.uk
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