The plans of the Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, to halve the subsidy for home generated solar power have been thrown into disarray by a court ruling.
When the Labour government started the Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme for renewable energy in the UK a whole new industry was started. Many companies and jobs were established with the promise of 20 years of subsidies (25 years for solar power) to give the UK green project the kick-start it required. A windmill in every field and a solar power panel on every roof. So less need for nuclear and fossil fuel power stations.
People were to be paid for generating and using their own electricity and paid more for exporting the excess back into the grid via solar, wind, hydro and anaerobic micro-systems.
But it seems that as the economic climate grew worse the green agenda was one of the first to be sacrificed at the altar of supporting the banks. The government wants to cut the payments of 43.3p per kilowatt back to 21p for solar power.
The government lost their case in the High Court and have now been told by three Lord Justices in the Appeal Court that the government ‘plainly has no power’ to do so.
But Mr Huhne intends to soldier on to the Supreme Court.
Commenting on the green victory, Caroline Lucas the leader of the Green Party, said that the government should just ‘admit you got it wrong’.
The High Court ruling is a victory for the solar industry and for renewable energy campaigners in holding the Government to account over its illegal attempt to make retrospective changes to the solar tariff. “
Having lost twice in the Court of Appeal and been roundly humiliated over the shambolic handling of solar policy, it absolutely beggars belief that the Department for Energy and Climate Change is apparently planning to appeal to the Supreme Court. “
The very least that the DECC Secretary of State can now do is to show some integrity, accept that his ministers got it wrong on solar, and pull the plug on this legal merry-go-round which is putting UK jobs and future investment at risk.
Caroline Lucas MP