Supreme Court throws out Government’s FITs appeal

The long-standing feed-in tariff (FIT) saga has at last reached its conclusion – with the Supreme Court throwing out the Government’s appeal against a ruling that its actions on the subsidies were “unlawful”.

As a result, the solar industry has heralded the Supreme Court ruling, which concluded that the Government should not have cut solar FITs before the end of the consultation period, a victory.

The appeal, lodged by government earlier this year to the Court of Appeal, follows High Court action which argued government plans to cut FIT incentives by as much as 50% from December 12 2011 – and ahead of a formal review were illegal.

The High Court agreed, and a ruling was given on December 21 which stated the controversial cuts to solar incentives were “unlawful”. However, DECC, acting under former energy secretary Chris Huhne, then made the decision in January to lodge an appeal against the ruling.

As a result of this final ruling, companies and households that installed the panels before the March 4 will now receive the full payback from the tariffs. It is also hoped it will finally end months of uncertainty for the industry.

Despite welcoming the final decision, campaigners have warned that as a result of the Government’s “illegal” action that the UK’s renewable market growth has been affected and jobs already lost.