UK: Government appeals High Court ruling

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has stated that the legal battle was not over yet. Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker announced on his official Twitter site yesterday evening that "DECC formally applied to Court of Appeal today. Timing up to Courts but hope to resolve well before the end of the month." The Appeal Court will reconvene next week and will decide when the case will be heard.

A DECC spokesman said, "We have lodged grounds of appeal with the court. We hope that permission will be granted for an appeal and that we can secure a hearing as soon as possible, so that we can provide clarity for consumers and industry on the way forward."

Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton says that trying to appeal the High Court ruling is "an expensive waste of taxpayers’ money" and that "Ministers should end business uncertainty and protect jobs with a clear plan to reduce payments from February – in line with falling installation costs."

The High Court ruled just before Christmas last year that the government’s plans to slash the FITs were illegal. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wants reductions of FITs on any installation completed after December 12 last year. The judge ruled that this was ‘proposing to make an unlawful decision’. The case went to court following a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth and solar companies Solarcentury and HomeSun.

The proposed cuts by the government have already seen planned projects being abandoned and placed thousands of jobs under threat. Friends of the Earth is calling on the government to ‘put solar back on its feet’ by reducing tariffs in a planned way from February this year and to increase the budget for solar which can allow for more people to benefit from PV technology.