Last year, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) appealed against the High Court’s decision that the Government’s plans to cut Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) were unlawful. On Friday (13 January), Judges at the Court of Appeal indicated that a decision by the end of this week was “rather optimistic”, but they would do everything they could to get a judgement released by February 9.
This delay will be unwelcome to the solar PV industry which is suffering a major set-back due to DECC’s plans to greatly reduce tariff levels.
“This is a frustrating result for many companies in the solar PV industry who were hoping for some clarity [on Friday],” said Clare King, a renewable energy lawyer at Osborne Clarke. “The judges clearly understand the need to get this issue resolved and have said that they will try to get the decision out by February 9. In the meantime, all companies and investors can do is sit tight and wait.”
High Court ruling
DECC lodged grounds to appeal following defeat at a two-day hearing last month at London’s High Court over its plans to cut the FiT subsidy by half. The court ruled Government proposals to cut the FiT for solar PV installations from December 12 as unlawful due to the fact the date fell in the middle of a consultation period.
Commenting on the appeal case, a DECC spokesperson said on Friday: “The Court of Appeal has not yet decided whether to give permission for an appeal or made a judgement on the FITs case. The Court will wrap up the decision on permission for an appeal and a possible judgement if an appeal is allowed in the next few weeks. Once the outcome is known we will consider our options and make an announcement on the way forward to provide clarity to consumers and industry.”