Government submits final FiT appeal

Energy Ministers have submitted their final appeal in an attempt to overturn a High Court ruling that cuts to the Feed-in Tariff were unlawful.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Department for Energy and Climate Change submitted the paperwork yesterday two days ahead of a deadline set from their last Court of Appeal defeat.

Because the appeal court judges refused leave to challenge their verdict, the Government must apply directly to a panel of three Supreme Justices, who will decide whether to allow the final appeal to be heard.

The outcome will decide if the reduced 21p/kWH rate for solar PV under the Feed-in Tariff applies from December 12 last year or March 3 this year.

It is impossible for the initial Supreme Court hearing to be arranged ahead of the March 3 contingency date and if the appeal is permitted, the full hearing will not be heard until late this year.

One of the successful solar litigants, HomeSun, said the appeal was a “scandalous waste” of taxpayers’ money.

HomeSun CEO Daniel Green, said today: “We are hugely disappointed that Ed Davey is choosing to pursue an expensive lost cause rather than working with the industry to build a successful future for solar.

“Four Judges, one at Judicial Review and three in The Court of Appeal, ruled that the Government had acted unlawfully in setting a retrospective ‘reference’ date for the FITs cut. We wonder why Ed Davey wants to be a loser. He wasn’t the orchestrator of the Feed-in Tariff fiasco so why does he want it on his CV?

“There is no need to appeal to the Supreme Court. DECC has already achieved its objective of a solar-slowdown. Figures just out on the DECC website show that there has been a 90 per cent reduction in solar PV installations and capacity over the last nine weeks compared to the nine weeks prior to 12th December 2011. Greg Barker’s claim that this “extra time” could cost £1.5bn has now been proved to be completely unfounded.

“This has now become just a face-saving exercise for DECC paid for by the taxpayer.”