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Solar PV Feed in Tariff appeal refused.

Solar PV Feed in Tariff appeal refused.

The Government has been refused permission to appeal against the January 2012 Court of Appeal decision in relation to the Feed in Tariff for solar photovoltaic  [PV] installations. The decision means that any  4 kW installation in working order and licenced before the Government's cut of eligibility date of  3rd March 2012 will qualify for the FIT ( 39.6 p per KWh if new build and 45.5 p per KWh if retrofit) for the current period of 25 years.   

The decision in The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and Friends of the Earth and Others (HomeSun Holding Ltd, Solar Century Holdings Ltd and others) was announced yesterday ( 27th March 2012) was upheld by the Supreme Court who held that the appeal did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance, bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal.For the full transcript of the Court of Appeal decision that was heard on Friday 13th January 2012, click here. 

In April 2010 a scheme, known as the FIT Scheme, was introduced to enable electricity supply companies to make payments to small- scale producers of low – carbon electricity. The purpose of the scheme was to encourage members of the public and the community to become involved in the low – carbon generation of electricity by specified types of technology. The system of Feed – in Tariffs (FITs) is designed to provide support and to encourage small – scale low-carbon generators. The sources of such generation were fore example biomass, wind and solar photovoltaic (solar PV).

The Feed-in Tariff comprises two elements, a ‘generation tariff’, that is payment for the amount of electricity produced by the small – scale low-carbon generator, even if that electricity is used by the person who generated it, and the ‘export tariff’ when payment is made for the amount of electricity exported into the grid. The appeal concerns the generatetion tariff. Jeremy Barnett has now been instructed in relation to a potential appeal that concerns the 'generation tariff' that may have widespread importance.

The electricty supply companies pay the FIT to generators of small - scale low -carbon electricity accredited by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority. THe cost of the FIT is passed on to all electricity consumers. It triggers raised prices and is effectively a subsidy paid by consumers. Such subsidy is controlled by HM Treasury and for that reason there is a budge for the FIT scheme.

By February 2011, the Secretary of State had become concerned that the larger small - salce solar PV projects would take a disproportionate amount of the funding available, so he announced a consultation in respect of solar projects with a generating capacity of more than 50 kW. 

The consultation was fast tracked and published on 18th March 2011 with a period for responsed which closed on 6th May 2011. The costs of PV systsems had fallen substantially, from about £13,000 to £9,0000 for 4 kW, therefore the tariffs available were providing higher rates of return than the 5- 7% anticipated in the 2009 consultation document. It was proposed that the rate should be reduced in relation to installations that became eligible in the three and a half months before the modifications to the scheme are brought into effect.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Mitting J that a retrospective alteration of a fixed rate was unlawful. 

Invertors

Other issues that have arisen in relation to the FIT scheme relate to the use of an 'invertor' which is an electrical device that converts direct current (DC to alternating current (AC); the converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits. The invertors monitor the output of the panels constantly and continually adjust to ensurethat the power generated is converted to AC in the most efficient way.


For any advice and assistance for issues like these please do call Jeremy on 0844 2722322 or submit a comment below. Jeremy will come back to you at the earliest convenience.

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