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Friends of the Earth threatens legal action over solar FiT

Green policy news - by GreenWise staff
7th November 2011
Green group Friends of the Earth has issued the Government with a five-day ultimatum to alter its plans to slash Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) for solar installations or face legal action.
Friends of the Earth said it has written to Climate Change Minister Greg Barker saying that unless the Government agrees to alter its solar FiT proposals by this Friday (November 11), the campaigning group would challenge the plans in court.

Barker announced last Monday that, subject to consultation, solar projects would face FiT rate cuts if registered on or after December 12. Friends of the Earth believes this cut-off point, two weeks before the consultation ends, is unlawful and will lead to unfinished or planned projects being abandoned.

Breaking the law
"The Government is breaking the law with its plans to fast-track a solar industry kill-off – as well as jeopardising thousands of jobs and countless clean energy projects across the country," Friends of the Earth's Policy and Campaigns director Craig Bennett said.

"Significant time and money has been invested planning solar schemes for homes, schools and libraries – giving them just six weeks to install is completely unacceptable, and schemes have already been scrapped.

"Ministers must amend their proposals and extend the deadline for solar tariff payments, or face a judicial review."

Friends of the Earth is among a number of organisations that believe the Government’s plans are unlawful. 

Solarcentury, one of the UK’s leading solar installation companies, confirmed last week that it was considering legal action against the Government because of the proposed timeline for cutting tariffs. The Solar Trade Association is also understood to be considering legal action.

The solar industry is warning of massive job cuts and businesses going to the wall if the Government introduces cuts to the FiT too soon.

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Friends of the Earth threatens legal action over solar FiT
Friends of the Earth is threatening the Government with legal action over its plans to slash the FiT for solar
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