Solar PV: High Court Update

December 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Climate Change, Village News

Thursday 15 December 2011, 15:30 GMT

Mr Justice Mitting today granted permission for a judicial review in the case of “The Queen v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change” to go forward as a matter of urgency. Next Tuesday and Wednesday the Court will hear arguments which could negate the governments decision to cut the feed in tariff before the planned deadline of 31 March 2012.

Those who attended the packed courtroom were encouraged by Mr Justice Mitting’s insistence that this review be conducted as soon as possible to avoid further financial damage to PV installation companies that have considerable amounts of money invested in supplies and materials.

The Court will concentrate on the retrospective issue of the government’s ‘proposal’. As the feed in tariff was set up by primary law with the stipulation that the tariff would remain in effect until 31 March 2012 with a review prior to that date for the purposes of adjusting the tariff rate, it is argued that the Department for Energy and Climate Change cannot retrospectively change the tariff prior to that date and can certainly not arbitrarily set a cutoff date 12 December 2011. Mr Justice Mitting zeroed in on this aspect of the arguments citing the economic damages that have resulted already and that will continue to be suffered by many small businesses. He seemed to surprise everyone with his desire for swift action. A decision is due on Wednesday afternoon.

Should the decision uphold the government cuts, Mr Justice Mitting has left open the possibility of additional challenges with judicial reviews based on at least three other issues. So there are many additional opportunities to overturn the FiT cuts if this one fails.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO US?

There is a high probability that the feed in tariff will continue at 43p until 31 March as originally enshrined in law. If the government’s cuts are overturned next Wednesday a great surge of new solar PV orders is likely to follow in the following days. We strongly suggest that you contact one of the Village Energy Suppliers IMMEDIATELY to arrange for installation. Do this BEFORE Wednesday if you can. Your order will be processed but you will not be obligated to go ahead with the installation unless the old feed in tariff is reinstated. BE SURE to tell them that you are part of the VILLAGE ENERGY PROJECT and make sure they note that on your order. You can reach Beechdale Energy at 01223 264520 and Aran Services at 01284 812520.

Those wanting our FREE PV programme will have to wait until January. If you have not already contacted us please do so by email at solar@hicourier.co.uk

Please note that we have been heavily involved in actions to overturn the government’s decisions over the past 7 weeks. We are very behind on answering your emails so please be patient.

More detailed info will follow at www.hicourier.co.uk and, of course, we will be back at the High Court in London next week to report on the arguments and the decisions.

- Ken, Village Energy Project
07402 674585

A big 'thank you' goes to Hollyoak Veterinary Surgery in Impington for their financial and technical support. Without it this website would not be possible.

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