UK High Court ruling not necessarily good news


Speaking out, as the decision was handed down, Gaynor Hartnell, the chief executive of the U.K.’s Renewable Energy Association, said that if the FIT is reinstated, another rush to install photovoltaic systems would occur. Any rush would put, "the longer-term future of the small-scale FIT in jeopardy," said Hartnell.

The Renewable Energy Association head also added that the public campaign to fight the FIT cuts is unnecessarily focused on photovoltaics and not other forms of renewable energy generation, covered by the micro-generation FIT. She said that the ruling has hampered talks with the government about getting photovoltaics on a "stable trajectory" towards grid parity.

Hartnell added that photovoltaic grid parity is set to occur at around the same time this government is set to head to the polls for an election. The additional funding required to provide photovoltaics with a clear support structure towards that date would be, "relatively modest" she concluded.

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change told pv magazine that the government will be appealing the High Court ruling and a decision as to whether the court will hear the case is expected on January 4, 2012. She continued that the government’s consultation period on the FIT changes remains open and that it is unclear what will happen with the FIT before a decision on the legal appeal is made.

In terms of the arrival of grid parity for photovoltaics raised by Hartnell, industry consultants A.T. Kearney has provided pv magazine with exclusive "dynamic grid parity" modeling for the U.K. It indicates that for commercial consumers and homeowners, photovoltaic electricity will be cost-competitive with other sources in 2015, with larger utility-scale installation becoming so in 2016.