The sector rejects the restriction to 30 hectares for photovoltaic plants

The sector rejects the restriction to 30 hectares for photovoltaic plants

The UNEF association, which represents the photovoltaic sector, has expressed its rejection of the criteria established by the Urbanisme area of ​​the Territory Department to organize the installation of solar plants on the ground. These criteria indicate with general criteria that the plants may not have a dimension of more than 30 hectares, except in areas of priority implantation (transformed areas, old extraction areas or abandoned agricultural spaces).

The guidelines have been interpreted as an “unjustified restriction” to this energy source by Unef. “It seems good to us that there are common urban planning criteria. But we make a very negative assessment; We believe that they have no legal basis, since setting a limit would require a law or a decree”, Manuel Romero, UNEF delegate in Catalonia, told this newspaper after speaking in a debate forum on the future of this solar energy.

The representatives of these companies feel very disappointed, understanding that the decree for the implementation of renewables approved by the Government (agreed with the sector) and in which this restriction is not contained is distorted. For this reason, they doubt its legality as they do not have the support of the Government or Parliament.

Xavier Rehues, deputy director general of the Government’s Urban Development Coordination, said that the 30 hectares set as the general limit for photovoltaic parks “fits in most of the landscapes of Catalonia” and that this figure “comes out of the experience and the projects that we have evaluated”. However, he specified that the facilities “could have more than 30 hectares, leaving corridors” of 500 meters between them.

As he added, such restrictions “are not normative” but respond to the Government’s decree, which indicates that “a cumulative effect” must be avoided and prevent “the loss of identity of the territory”, although he admitted that it is difficult to objectively assess this latest concept.

The deputy director added that this is also a guideline for municipalities when introducing changes to their urban planning plans. “I don’t know if 30 hectares is a lot or a little, but most of the urban modifications processed by the town halls provide for smaller surfaces, of 5, 7 or 10 hectares,” he said.

Rehues implied that the new criteria would not apply to photovoltaic projects that have already been submitted to public information, but a representative of the public, a spokesperson for the BluePROM company, complained that Urbanisme had rejected his project (of 60 hectares). and he asked for a modification when it was already finalized, which is why it is extraordinarily complicated after three years of preparation.

On the same day, José Donoso, general director of UNEF, indicated that Catalonia hosts 1% of the photovoltaic power in Spain, although he had detected a favorable change of direction.

On this same day, the general director of Environmental Policy, Marc Vilahur, announced the new criteria of his department on this same matter, which should serve “not to minimize the environmental impact of photovoltaic parks, but to maximize the protection of the biodiversity” with them.

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