Freetricity presses ahead with 68MW of solar farms despite China duty threat

Freetricity is on track to install around 68MW of energy through solar farms across the UK, despite a potential looming crisis caused by the EU’s threat of imposing substantial trade duties on Chinese products.

In addition to its established residential solar business, Freetricity is pressing ahead with 68MW of solar farms through joint ventures with companies including Anesco and Sona UK, with another 50MW in the pipeline.

The firm has over 20 solar farm schemes that have been through or are going through planning and a further 10-15 schemes which are in the development stages.  So far four have been approved and are ready to build or being built.

This investment is being made on the back of their green energy business that still specialises in free solar for homes and a free biomass scheme. 

However, Freetricity CEO Paul Williams said he was concerned that EU proposals to impose trade duties on Chinese manufactured solar products of between 40% and 70% could do more harm to European developers than Chinese manufacturers, resulting in major job losses.

“We do not want the industry to be thrown again into chaos by the potential imposition of trade duties on Chinese-manufactured solar products in the EU,” said Williams.

“Estimates that this could cut the UK solar market by up to 80% are very alarming.  We hope the government will oppose this proposal and help to ensure that the solar industry continues to flourish.”

Freetricity’s decision to press ahead with its developments despite the trade duties threat comes in stark contrast to others such as Orta Solar, which said it would freeze investments until the trade duties issue was resolved.