We have been campaigning for the government to support the solar (and other parts of the renewables) industry and today they have introduced new “improvements” to the Feed-in-Tariffs for renewable energy generation.

Commenting on today’s review of Government plans to reform solar subsidy payments, Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“These new proposals are a significant improvement on the Government’s original plans, with Ministers securing increased cash and a commitment to much more solar power by the end of the decade.

“But the Government’s distinctly unclear solar road map leaves a dark cloud hanging over thousands of jobs.

“Unless these plans are revised schools, estates and communities won’t be able to save money by plugging into clean British power.

“This mess was created by the Treasury – it’s time it woke up to the fact that a strong economy and thriving green industries are two sides of the same coin.”

The Government refused to drop its Supreme Court challenge to a High Court ruling – following a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth and two solar firms – which said plans to introduce lower subsidy payments in December, before the official consultation into the move had closed, was illegal.

Friend of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“The Government’s refusal to drop its legal challenge only adds to the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the industry.”


Notes to editors

1.    Friends of the Earth’s legal challenge to cuts in solar incentives is part of its Final Demand campaign, which calls for energy we can all afford and a public inquiry into the power and influence of the Big Six energy companies.

2.      Earlier this month the Court of Appeal confirmed that Government proposals to cut solar tariff payments for any scheme completed after 12 December 2011, 11 days before the official consultation ended, was unlawful. It followed a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth and two solar firms, Solarcentury and HomeSun. They were supported by a number of interested parties including SecondNature Partnership, Encraft Ltd, Ardenham Energy Ltd, Morecambe Bay Community Renewable Limited and Ouse Valley Energy Services Company Limited.

3. If you’re a journalist looking for a Birmingham angle on the story, please contact Joe Peacock campaigns@birminghamfoe.org.uk 0121 6326909, or for the national press office ring 020 7566 1649.