Solar industry split over legal challenge to Feed-in Tariff

Published:  20 January, 2012

The solar industry is divided on whether the current legal battle over government plans to cut solar tariffs is worth the uncertainty it is causing.

Some companies have said that the uncertainty being caused by the ongoing legal challenge (brought by Friends of the Earth and solar companies) against the government's move to slash the feed-in tariff (FiT) is making it hard for solar firms to sell their products.

Reza Shaybani, chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), which represents solar electricity panel manufacturers and installers, said: "In a way they [the firms that brought legal action against the government] are shooting themselves and the industry in the foot. If the budget runs out then we have no industry."

He said the case should be dropped to allow the industry to continue in the certainty that installations completed between now and April would get the lower rate.

Seb Berry, head of public affairs at Solar Century, one of the firms which brought the legal action, said: "We refute the suggestion that this is a trivial case and could be dropped. The stakes are extremely high. It's about the future stability of all government renewable schemes."

Berry said Solar Century would be resigning its membership of the BPVA because it viewed its position as not in the industry's interest.