Nov 10, 2014 - The High Court in London on Friday turned down local companies’ request for a judicial review of the government’s plan to cut the Renewables Obligation (RO) incentive for large solar projects two years earlier than planned.
Solarcentury, TGC Renewables, Lark Energy and Orta Solar Farms claim that the government’s proposal to restrict the RO scheme for projects larger than 5 MW from April 2015 is unlawful. The companies submitted an application for review of the proposal in August on concerns that the cut will lead to huge job cuts in the solar sector.
According to the High Court’s decision, however, there were no assurances in the original scheme stating that the incentive programme would continue until 2017.
A spokesman for the claimants said, as quoted by Reuters, that the court ruling will have serious consequences for the entire energy industry in the UK. The four companies will now consider whether to seek leave to appeal and will make a further announcement in due course, he added.
Under the RO scheme, which was launched in 2002, green energy generators receive tradeable Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for each MWh generated. As part of the original plan, RO subsidies were to be available for all ground-mounted solar plants, no matter the size, until March 2017 -- when the whole renewable energy support system in the UK will move to the Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism. In October 2014, however, the government confirmed that 5-MW-plus projects will be excluded from the RO as of April 1, 2015.
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