Opposing the proposals

There has been unparalleled opposition to the government’s proposals since the consultation was launched on 31st October

For the reasons we have outlined on this site, the government’s proposals are highly contentious and have raised substantial opposition.

Legal challenge

On 21st December 2011, the judge upheld the legal challenge against the proposals by Friends of the Earth and others, saying it was potentially illegal.

On 4th January 2012, DECC said it was seeking to appeal against this decision. Following a hearing on 13th January 2012 the court ruled on 25th January against the government, confirming that their proposed 12th December 2011 effective tariff reduction date amounted to a retrospective adjustment (why?).

Meanwhile on 19th January the government revised the effective date to 3rd March as further described here.

However they published a statement on 26th January indicating they were seeking leave to appeal again – to the supreme court.

On 23rd March 2012 the Supreme Court refused to allow the government to appeal (why?) so the date of 3rd March 2012 applies.

Parliamentary debate

An opposition-sponsored debate in the House of Commons took place on Wednesday 23rd November. Although the motion was lost by 297 votes to 226, there were a number of government dissenters.

Mass lobby of Parliament

An estimated 500 people attended events on 22nd November to raise awareness of the problems. It was organised by an industry-led pressure group.

Press coverage

See articles in the Financial Times and the Guardian.

The root cause of the problem

The government miscalculated how well the Feed-In Tariffs would be received, and set an unrealistically low assessment of the cost of the scheme. At the time no specific cap on expenditure was set.

In the Spending Review, despite the announcements made at the time, they committed to saving a further 10% on this amount and apparently commuted this value to a firm cap for the four years to April 2015.

Most of this money is already committed, as shown here. So if they are to stick to the ‘spending envelope’ – which we think is wrong – the level of take up needs to slump to 15% of the present trend.