Solar chaos reigns as Labour attacks DECC cuts appeal

Chaos continues to reign over the government’s handling of necessary reductions to solar subsidies with Labour weighing in against a decision to fight “legally flawed” cuts.

Following decisions to prematurely chop Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) aimed at increasing solar installations in the UK, the Coalition has come under fire for damaging businesses involved in the industry.

This has lead to various organisations launching legal action against the government, followed by an appeal by the Department for Energy and Climate Change against a High Court ruling.

According to AP Labuor has seized the opportunity to attack the appeal, with shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint claiming that it “creates even more uncertainty” in a market already turned on its head.

She demanded that instead of “wasting more money on legal fees” time should be spent drawing up new plans for FiTs to benefit both business and families, contending that the “reckless” cuts to subsidies have thrown the market “into disarray”.

The decision by Secretary Chris Huhne and DECC has also drawn the ire of the EU Energy Commissioner who has threatened legal action if cuts derail efforts to meet 2020 efficiency targets.

While it is also the opinion of industry experts that the cuts were indeed “kneejerk”- due to cutting before the end of a consultation period –  it is clear that action was needed to be taken in order to create fairer subsidy plans.  Indeed, other European countries having been putting cuts in place in order to deal with the swift growth that occurred.

The cross-party arguments have helped to further stir up an increasibly chaotic atmosphere, and climate minister Greg Barker has not helped by labelling campaigners who oppose government climate plans “environmental Taliban”.

Barker made the remarks with regards to activist groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace who both condemned government actions, though he told BusinessGreen today that his comments were taken “out of context”.