Government loses solar appeal
Today the Court of Appeal rejected Government attempts to overturn last month’s High Court ruling that its botched solar plans were illegal.
Winning this case is a big moment for everyone who has supported our campaign to put solar back on track - after the Government hastily cut support last year.
The Government has been told twice now that rushing through cuts to feed-in tariff payments is unlawful.
But it's considering going to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal refused it permission to appeal.
This would extend the uncertainty for the industry.
It's vital that the Government acts to bring certainty to the UK's clean energy industry.
Safeguard the future of solar
Friends of the Earth is now urging the Government to drop any plans to appeal and come up with measures to safeguard the future of solar – and protect thousands of jobs currently under threat.
Recent research says that tough measures currently proposed by the Government would mean up to 29,000 jobs lost in the solar industry.
Friends of the Earth is calling for planned and legal measures that include:
- Top up the budget for solar - using taxes already generated by solar jobs.
- Increase support for community and social housing projects.
- Scrap plans to make only the most energy-efficient houses eligible for solar panels - meaning 9 out of 10 could miss out.
Hundreds of organisations joined Friends of the Earth calling on Government to put solar back on track.
Last week the Government responded to this pressure by setting up a plan b in the event it lost its appeal - as it has done today.
This means from 3 March, people putting panels on their roofs will receive 21p – the feed-in tariff – for every unit of electricity they produce. The current rate is 43p, subject to any appeal to the Supreme Court.
Solar panels getting cheaper
Solar panels are getting cheaper to produce and install. Friends of the Earth believes the feed-in tariff should reduce in line with these falling costs.
But Government must reduce the tariff in a planned and measured way and give more support to allow household, community and social housing projects to go ahead.
By contrast the botched, illegal approach Government proposed last year threw solar projects into chaos and put thousands of jobs at risk.
By October 2011 about 30,000 people were employed in the solar industry. This is up from about 3,000 in 2010.
Please add your name to our Director's letter calling on the Prime Minister to do more to protect solar jobs and ensure a thriving green industry.