Category: News

Latest updates from BNRG Renewables

Most EU Countries Against Duties

18 out of 27 EU Member States are against the imposition of import duties on solar products

It has been reported that 18 EU Member States have voted against the imposition of import tariffs on solar products from China. It is believed that only four countries voted in favor of the Commission recommendation and the balance abstained. This is a strong message to the Commission that most member states see the value in cheaper solar modules from China. In May the Commission recommended a weighted average of 47% import duty on all solar products imported from China to the EU. This has been reduced to 11.8% until 5th August 2013 to give time for a negotiated solution between China and the EU.

During a hearing organised at the European Commission in April, David Maguire of BNRG with a delegation of over 60 company directors from the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy ‘AFASE’ made it very clear to the Commission that import duties are not in the Union interest. AFASE represents over 650 companies with a turnover in excess of 23 billion Euro and 64,000 employees from across Europe. In Ireland, the newly formed Irish Solar Energy Association ‘ISEA’ have written to both the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton raising their concerns on the matter.

The European Commission should understand that the value added lies upstream and downstream from solar panel production. Imposing duties on imports of Chinese solar panels would be against the Union Interest and a clear contradiction with Europe’s ambition to build a green and high value-added economy. 

AFASE requests the European Commission to take into account the interests of an EU PV Value Chain that stands to lose a great many jobs and value added to the detriment of the EU economy overall. Equally, the ISEA urges Minister Bruton to oppose the imposition of import and countervailing duties on Chinese produces to Europe. Already, our largest trading partner, the UK has come out strongly against the imposition of import duties. In a rare show of consensus, German political parties across the political spectrum and various trade associations are very concerned about the possibility of a trade war with China and are urging the Commission to consider this recommendation very carefully.

In light of the overwhelming resistance from EU member States to import duties, it widely believed that a negotiated solution on this trade dispute will be found and that little or no import duties would be imposed.

Planning Permission Granted

Planning Permission Granted for one of the Largest Solar PV Parks in the UK

BNRG Renewables has obtained a 25-year planning permission from Shepway District Council’s Development Control Committee for its proposed 18MW solar array in Old Romney in Kent. The Committee voted 15 votes to one to support the scheme and a testament to BNRG’s professional and best practice approach to the application. The Planning Committee Chairman commended BNRG on a well thought out and environmentally sensitive proposal.

The utility-scale project will be constructed on approximately 120 acres of land at Sycamore Farm and will be equipped with around 73,000 solar panels, which each have a capacity of 245 watts.

During the application process a small number of letters of objections were sent, including one from Protect Kent, a local branch of national countryside body the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Tom Brinicombe, Programme Manager at BNRG said to BBC “We have worked proactively to incorporate feedback from stakeholders and local residents into our plans and have had positive feedback on the application as a result, with fewer than 10 letters of objection. We remain committed to ensuring that as well as generating a significant amount of renewable energy, this project will also be well-screened and will increase local biodiversity.” Tom, when on to say “We hope to commence construction in the near future and will remain available to local residents throughout the construction period.”

David Maguire, Director at BNRG confirmed that the solar park at Sycamore is one of the largest in the UK and is deemed a near perfect site by the BNRG team due to its above average solar resource and minimum landscape visual impact.

Full story here on BBC

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