Move comes after Court of Appeal ruled against the government today

The government is to take its legal battle over its plans to slash the feed-in-tariff rate to the Supreme Court after losing its appeal this week.

The move came after the Court of Appeal declared that government plans to cut the feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar electricity from 12 December illegal, upholding the High Court’s ruling made before Christmas.

The Court of Appeal’s decision means the government will not be able to go ahead with plans to slash by half solar subsidies for installations completed after 12 December from 1 April.

The Court of Appeal was unanimous in its decision to refuse the government permission to appeal, meaning the government will have no automatic right to escalate its appeal to the Supreme Court.

However, the government later confirmed it would seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal the ruling.

Energy secretary Chris Huhne said: “The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court ruling on FITs albeit on different grounds. We disagree and are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

“We want to maximise the number of installations that are possible within the available budget rather than use available money to pay a higher tariff to half the number of installations. Solar PV can have strong and vibrant future in UK and we want a lasting FITs scheme to support that future and jobs in the industry.”

In the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Moses agreed with the High Court’s ruling that the government’s plans to slash the FIT rate had been applied retrospectively.

“The question, I respectfully suggest, is […] whether Parliament conferred a power to make a modification with such a retrospective effect,” he said. “It did not.”