The Court of Appeal will hear the Government’s challenge to last month’s High Court ruling on January 13. The move follows Mr Justice Mitting's ruling that deemed the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s plans to implement cuts to solar payments before the end of the consultation period as “legally flawed”.

If the Government’s request for permission to appeal is granted, then the appeal itself will be held on the same day.

Friends of the Earth’s Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett said: “Ministers’ insistence on continuing with the appeal process will simply add to the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the solar industry – and the thousands of jobs at stake.

“Instead of wasting taxpayers’ money fighting this in the courts, Ministers should take steps to safeguard thousands of solar jobs and enable more homes, businesses and communities to plug in to clean energy.”

A DECC spokesperson justified the Government’s appeal by explaining that: “Without an urgent reduction in the current tariffs, which give a very generous return, the budget for the scheme would be severely depleted and there would be very little available for future solar PV generators, or for other technologies. Our view is that the urgent steps we have proposed to protect the scheme for the future are fully consistent with the scheme’s statutory purpose.”

The outcome of the appeal process will provide the industry with welcome certainty over which feed-in tariff rate will be honoured for customers that install solar PV. However, whichever side loses at that hearing could still take a further appeal to the Supreme Court.