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High Court to hear solar challenge

The High Court has agreed to hear three applications for a judicial review of the government’s plans to slash solar feed-in-tariffs.

Campaign group Friends of the Earth and installers Solarcentury and Homesun will ask the Court on 15 December to reverse its earlier decision by allowing a judicial review into the tariff cuts.

Several contractors have revealed problems caused by plans to slash the tariff householders receive for energy produced from solar panels. The current tariff ends on 12 December, and a consultation on proposals to introduce a lower rate conclude 11 days later.

Friends of the Earth claims the government is acting unlawfully by ending the higher rates before the consultation has concluded.

Executive director Andy Atkins said: “We strongly believe government plans to abruptly slash solar subsidies are illegal; we hope the High Court agrees to allow our case to be heard as soon as possible.”

He added: “In a time of economic gloom, the solar industry has been one of the UK’s brightest success stories, enabling homes and communities across the country to free themselves from expensive fossil fuels.

“It’s short sighted for ministers to move the goalposts and prematurely pull the subsidy – this will cost tens of thousands of jobs, bankrupt businesses and reduce Treasury income by up to £230m a year.”

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