Monday, 15 July 2024

Injunction hope for solar

Government plans to drastically reduce the Feed in Tariff (FiT) for solar energy generation may be averted, according to the boss of South Lincolnshire-based Horizon Power, a renewables energy planning consultancy.

Keith Brooks is leading a campaign to invoke a ‘Quia Timet’ injunction against the government at the High Court of Chancery.

Also known as ‘freezing’ or ‘prohibitory’ injunctions, it would force the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to provide the applicant with all relevant data.

“This injunction would prevent all planned reductions in the current level of support for all renewable energy types,” claims Brooks. “It would allow a team representing industry to work with the DECC on quantifiable data.”

He is urging renewable companies, individuals and climate campaign groups to form a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) to put the application together.

“The last government consultation regarding pre-accreditation received 2,372 responses but was pushed through in four weeks and, with this in mind, what weight will the responses to the cuts in the FiT hold?”

Brooks believes he is not alone in thinking that the current consultation paper was just a “procedural inconvenience” and says a tangible and realistic solution is needed to support the renewables industry.

“The principle is not to form an anti-government CiC but to create a situation which encourages the government to work with companies within the renewables industry to develop a secure, workable programme that the government will be bound to uphold until 2050,” he says.

“What is needed is something to encourage the government to sit down with us and work out a solution. I believe an injunction that freezes the current rates would create such encouragement.”

This summer the government announced cuts to financial support to developers of new onshore wind turbines, the cheapest form of renewable power available, and in September said it intended to slash FiT payments on solar panels from January.

Its controversial consultation on proposed heavy cuts to FiT incentives closed on 23 October. Under the proposals it plans to cut incentives for solar installations by up to 87 per cent from 2016, as well as reducing support for small wind turbines and anaerobic digestion projects.

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