A Shot in the Foot

I have often bemoaned multi-headed government and its total inability to communicate between the left-hand and the right-hand, but this takes the biscuit.

In a valiant attempt to increase the uptake of small-scale renewable energy Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, signed into legislation on 30th August an order to extend permitted development rights for the installation of solar panels on properties in Conservation Areas and World Heritage sites. This meant that, for the first time, millions of homeowners could consider the option of installing PV from 1st December 2011.

Then, on 31st October, Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, without warning, announced a dramatic cut in the feed in tariff support for domestic PV effective from 12th December 2011.

At a time when solar installers’ order books are full until spring next year, government has given a large proportion of the population just 12 days to install PV and benefit from the feed in tariffs that many others have enjoyed for the last couple of years. I wonder how many cases will end up in the European Court of human rights over this issue?


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