Supreme Court Rejects DECC’s Appeal

Posted on: March 23rd, 2012 by admin No Comments

After the Supreme Court today rejected the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) appeal over premature cuts to the feed-in tariff scheme for solar photovoltaics the UK solar industry has breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Today a panel of Supreme Justices refused Government leave to appeal an earlier High Court ruling that the cuts were unlawful. This means that all systems installed between December 12th 2011 and March 3rd 2012 will receive the higher feed-in tariff rates for 25 years.

The decision made this morning is final, and the Department will not be taking the appeal any further. In fact just last week at the Solar Power UK Roadshow in Suffolk, Alasdair Grainger from DECC’s feed-in tariff team confirmed that they would not take the case to the European court if the case was lost.

“The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has refused permission to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to appeal the Court of Appeal decision in this matter,” read an official statement.

“The Court of Appeal upheld the Administrative Court’s judgment that it is not within the power conferred on the Secretary of State by the Energy Act 2008 to reduce the tariff paid for electricity generated by small-scale solar photovoltaic generators, in respect of installations becoming eligible for payment prior to the coming into force of the modification.”

“Permission to appeal was refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time, bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal and because paragraph 16 of the Court of Appeal’s judgment disposes of the proposed argument based on the subject of the challenge being only a proposal,” read the ruling.

Reacting to the news, a spokesperson for DECC, commented: “We are disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court not to grant permission to hear this case.”

The decision marks the end of months of court wrangling between the Department, Friends of the Earth and two solar companies. As a result of the ruling, the Supreme Court ordered DECC to pay the costs of the other parties.

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