Solarcentury & others begin legal proceedings against Department for Energy and Climate Change

Solarcentury & others begin legal proceedings against Department for Energy and Climate Change

Thursday 10th November 2011: Solarcentury has today confirmed that it is taking legal action as part of a group of solar companies, against the Department of Environment & Climate Change (DECC) because of the damage to business caused by the review of Feed in Tariffs for solar PV announced on 31st October. The group is seeking an interim injunction to stop DECC using the 12th December as the cut-off date for the current Feed-in tariffs. They claim such an early date is illegal, irrational and unreasonable.

The group wants to stop any cuts to tariff levels being made until DECC has actually completed a proper, legal review and followed the correct processes. Solarcentury and others have denounced the 31st October announcement in the strongest possible terms. Many large contracts have been cancelled following the announcement. These included major projects for Housing Associations and Local Authorities which were planned to complete by 31 March 2012, the original tariff change date, but which have no hope of completion by 12th December. The Housing Associations have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds themselves preparing for these schemes.

The group said: “We expected a proper and fair consultation on the review of FITs. We expected to have the time to plan for the next stage of the development of the market. We were all expecting a new tariff from April 2012 or at worst at the very end of a proper “fast-track” process. Instead we get a ready-made decision which seriously harms the solar industry and everyone in it and gives us less than six weeks to save the businesses we have built up over multiple years.”

The group regards the 12th December cut-off date as a cynical move made without due regard to the inevitable and negative commercial consequences for thousands of new businesses, their staff and customers.

Jeremy Leggett Chairman of Solarcentury added: “It is profoundly depressing that the greenest Government ever has after just 18 months launched such an assault against a growing industry employing 25,000 people. I would much rather be helping to create many more “Big Society” jobs than taking the Government to court but sadly they leave us no choice. The banks get eight years to change, we get less than eight weeks. We are urging other companies to get involved in the consultation process. If they were to get away with this the consequences will go way beyond the wider PV sector. What low carbon industry investor or company will be able to trust the Prime Minister, Mr Huhne and Mr Barker ever again?”


Contact: Charlotte Webster, Solarcentury,

About Solarcentury

Solarcentury is one of Europe’s fastest growing and most innovative solar photovoltaics (PV) companies. The most experienced solar energy company in the UK, Solarcentury was founded by Chairman Jeremy Leggett in 1998 to design and supply solar energy solutions for the built environment. The organisation has managed the installation of well over 1,000 solar PV turnkey projects. It has helped over 9,000 homes go solar through its supply of systems to housebuilders and through its network of regional associate installers. Solarcentury, nowover 120 staff, is led by CEO Derry Newman and based in London, with staff in the UK, France and Italy. It is the founding company of the schools initiative Solar4Schools and charity for the developing world, SolarAid. In 2008, 2010& 2011, Solarcentury was named the UK’s Fastest Growing Renewable EnergyCompany by UK’s Sunday Times Tech Track 100. In April 2011 it was awarded a Queens Award for Enterprise in innovation. localhost/solarcentury

NOTES to editors

1. Feed in tariffs are designed to support the development and deployment of renewable energy technology. They are widely used and work best when they decrease over time and the industry can clearly see how the decreases work and they can plan for the changes with confidence.

2. See for the UK’s biggest solar campaign

3. Cameron on the Importance of FITs 2007