Feed-in Tariffs for Solar/PV Schemes

The Department of Energy and Climate Change opened its consultation on Feed-in Tariffs for Solar PV as part of the comprehensive review on renewable energy subsidy on 31 October 2011.

The intent expressed at the time was that the consultation period would last until 23 December 2011 and DECC proposed changes to the Feed-in Tariff for PV Scheme to 250 kilowatts generation.

The proposed reductions were proportionally greater for schemes of 10 kilowatts or less with the proposed tariffs being reduced from 37.8p per kilowatt hour for schemes between 4 and 10 kilowatts down to 16.8p per kilowatt hour, from 43.3p per kilowatt hour for retro-fit PV panels less than or equal to 4 kilowatts generation down to 21p per kilowatt hour and from 37.8p per kilowatt hour for new build PVs of less than or equal to 4 kilowatts down to 21p per kilowatt hour.

The DECC, prior to the end of the consultation period imposed a deadline of 12 December for registration of PV installations to benefit from the current higher rate.

The Friends of the Earth and a number of solar companies challenged the decision by DECC in the High Court as unlawful and judgement was given in their favour on 21 December with the High Court ruling that the proposed modification to the Feed-in Tariff Scheme which would operate retrospectively was unlawful.

The DECC indicated that it would be applying to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the decision and the hearing was held on Friday 13 January. Sadly, notwithstanding the collective holding of breath by the renewables sector the Court of Appeal has not yet made a decision.

They have indicated that they are aware of the need for a swift conclusion and hope to have a decision by 9 February but until then the status of feed-in tariffs for smaller PV schemes and, indeed, to a lesser extent for larger schemes, remains uncertain.

Posted on: 20/01/2012

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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