High Court Hearing Granted For Solar Subsidy Cuts

In a move which is certain to cause the Government further embarrassment, a judge has ordered an urgent hearing of the proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff (Fit).

Homesun, Solarcentury and Friends of the Earth (FoE) have been very vocal in their determination to challenge the cuts by any legal means, and their persistence seems to have paid off.

Despite the high court having earlier ruled that an immediate review was not necessary, citing “economic risk” to the industry, Mr Justice Mitting has granted a Judicial Review. Having won the right to take the Government to court, the Review will be heard next week.

With the courts agreeing that the solar industry does indeed have a case to answer, being able to formerly challenge the Government’s decision should give the solar industry a much needed boost.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle the challengers face is trying to prove that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) acted unlawfully. The group intends to do this by arguing that imposing a 12 December deadline before the end of the consultation period is in fact illegal.

“The legal challenge is only part of the wider campaign by Solarcentury and the solar PV industry to get the Government to recognise the strategic value of solar PV in the energy mix and maintain viable support to build a successful industry,” said John Faulks from Solarcentury.

Andy Atkins, executive director of FoE added that they were thrilled the high court had given their legal challenge the go-ahead, and that aside from being unfair, the Government’s proposals are in fact illegal.

After hearing the news, DECC responded by saying it would be “defending” its position accordingly.

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