Government and business in the ring for a FITS Fight
The Government's attempts to cut small-scale solar panel subsidies have failed this week, as the Court of Appeal ruled the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is acting unlawfully by cutting Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) before the end of its consultation.
As a result, the High Court's ruling must stand and DECC must stand by its current FIT of 43p per kWh for solar panel installations completed by 3rd March 2012.
Today's news only seems to emphasise the widening gulf between Government policy and the interests of businesses and consumers. Reports state that energy secretary Chris Huhne is looking to take his fight to the Supreme Court, despite solar panel firms and Friends of the Earth welcoming the Court of Appeal's ruling.
Seemingly in contrast to Huhne's approach, articles have highlighted that energy and climate change minister Greg Barker is calling for industry and government to "move forward together, drive down costs and step up deployment".
For me, the key to resolving this debate lies in Barker's call to action. It's imperative that we look forward in the longer-term and that industry and Government work together. But he's missing a vital link in the chain, and that is securing the support from energy consumers.
Renewables form a critical part of the Government's Green Deal and carbon reduction measures, but quite simply, without the support of businesses or households, the Government will only continue to be questioned about its approach and motives.
It's time for industry and Government to work with energy consumers, delivering a transparency and consistency that secures buy-in and educates the benefits of energy efficiency measures to not only the nation, but energy consumers themselves.Nick Wellington