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Third strike and out for government FiT appeal

The government’s long-running legal battle over the Feed-in Tariff finally came to an end today when the Supreme Court rejected its third appeal.

The decision will be welcomed by the solar PV sector, which has continued to protest against the government’s initial attempt to slash the tariff for domestic-size installations and the ongoing refusal of the Department of Environment and Climate Change to accept the original High Court ruling.

The case against the government was brought by a triumvirate of Solarcentury, Friends of the Earth and HomeSun last year.

They were challenging the government’s decision to implement a reduction of more than 50 per cent for domestic installations two weeks before the close of the consultation.

FoE was the first to react to the Supreme Court decision: “This is the third court that’s ruled that botched Government solar plans are illegal – a landmark decision which will prevent Ministers causing industry chaos with similar subsidy cuts in future,” said executive director Andy Atkins.

“The coalition must now get on with the urgent task of restoring confidence in UK solar power.

“The government recently pledged a huge increase in solar by the end of the decade, it must now spell out how it is going to achieve this.”

The decision means that the original 43p/kWh rate will now be applied for installations up to 4 March.

This will, however, raise further questions about funding and future reductions in tariffs.