Government moves to reassure solar sector

Published on Monday, 23 January 2012 16:28
Posted by Scott Buckler

The NFU has welcomed a written ministerial statement from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, which removes some of the short-term uncertainty about solar PV tariffs

Following the High Court decision on December 21 which ruled that the government’s consultation timetable was ‘legally flawed’, there has been no clear position on the level of solar PV tariffs available – either currently or after April 1, when proposed changes would have taken effect.

A technical but Pyrrhic victory was won by Friends of the Earth and two solar installers, but there was consternation among solar installers who found themselves unable to tell their customers what tariffs to expect and faced dramatic reductions in sales

The DECC lodged grounds of appeal, but the Appeal Court failed to reach a decision on 13th January, merely "reserving judgement" and raising the possibility of a legal stalemate extending into February.

However, the government has now offered a compromise in the form of a Ministerial Statement, laying before Parliament certain draft licence modifications.

These mean that the reduced tariffs will only apply from an ‘eligibility date’ of March 3 2012, unless the government wins its appeal, in which case the eligibility date will be 12th December as originally proposed.

The next phase of the comprehensive review of the FITs scheme (affecting tariffs for AD, hydro and wind power) will be the subject of a further consultation, presently expected around February 9.


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