The government will have to defend its cuts to the feed-in tariff regime in court next week

The government is to face a judicial review of its plan to cut the feed-in tariff for solar electricity in half after a judge granted permission for the review to go ahead today.

The hearing, which follows applications for review by Friends of the Earth and a number of solar firms, will take place next Tuesday and is expected to conclude on Wednesday.

Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said: “We’re delighted the High Court has given the go-ahead to our legal challenge - we believe the government’s plans to abruptly slash solar subsidies are not only unfair, but illegal.”

“Ministers must change direction and put the solar industry at the forefront of building a clean safe future,” he added.

Friends of the Earth has protested that the government’s consultation on the plans, which remains open until 23 December, is not truly open minded because the deadline of Monday this week for installations to attract the higher tariff was before the consultation closed.

Installations registered after 12 December are subject to the revised tariff, which the government has proposed will be 21p per kWh for domestic sized installations, down from 43p per kWh.

Another consultation on further reductions in the tariff for solar schemes registered after 1 April 2012 will be issued in January.