Supreme Court appeal could take up to a year

The Supreme Court has today warned that if Government decides to launch a feed-in tariff appeal, it could take up to a year to be heard. The announcement comes after the Court of Appeal this morning ruled against the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), consequently putting a stop to Government’s intended feed-in tariff cuts.

Speaking with the Supreme Court this afternoon the Solar Power Portal learnt that if DECC’s case is taken on, it will most likely take several months to reach the courtrooms.

“We will first have to decide whether the case fits the Supreme Court’s criteria – a process which can take several weeks,” a spokesperson explained.

“If the case is deemed appropriate to be heard, it can then take several months to reach the courtrooms due to the availability of the barristers coupled with the availability of the court.”

Industry is currently urging Government against appealing to the Supreme Court, suggesting that this will only add to the uncertainty surrounding future feed-in tariff rates.

Commenting on the decision, Ben Warren, Partner for environmental finance at Ernst and Young, said: "The future of the feed-in tariff beyond April 2012 is now hugely uncertain, and should Government chose to appeal through the Supreme Court there may even be an unknown outcome for panels installed from December 2011. Government and industry need to urgently work together to create a sustainable solar industry in the UK."

A decision on whether Government will launch a full appeal is expected in the coming days.