What we want for Christmas from Santa (aka Greg Barker)
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 December 2011 at 11:07 am
This week has got progressively worse and worse for DECC (the department for energy and climate change) as all its green policies came under fire.
First, Adair Turner, the chair of the Committee on Climate Change published an open letter to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne criticising the low ambition of the Green Deal and calling for it to be strengthened.
Yesterday, the High Court found that setting the cut off date for the reduction of feed-in tariffs before the end of the consultation was legally flawed, and agreed that Friends of the Earth, Solar Century and HomeSun could take it to judicial review.
Today, the Energy and Climate Change and Environmental Audit Committees have published a damning report on the process and proposals in the solar feed-in tariff review and consultation.
They describe it as unfair, damaging investor confidence and lacking social justice. They also point to inadequate impact assessments, with important decisions, such as capping the budget, not based on sufficient analysis.
On the one hand we are delighted that the criticisms that we and many others have made have been so thoroughly endorsed by both the High Court and two House of Commons committees. However, we believe that it's very important that the inevitable period of uncertainty that is going to follow it is as short as possible.
DECC says it's going to appeal. That's a pity. It will subject the industry to an extended period of limbo, and leave consumers unable to make good decisions. In the face of overwhelming evidence that the process is flawed, why don't ministers hold up their hands, apologise, read the responses to the consultation, and design something much better?
For a start we think they should:
- uncap the feed-in tariff budget
- set a generous community tariff
- drop the requirement for buildings to reach EPC level C
- and extend the reference date to, at the very minimum, let everyone who had made a contractual financial commitment to install solar panels before the announcement of the review (on 31 October) do so at the existing tariff rate.
Photo by Kevin Dooley
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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