Dark cloud hangs over solar platform’s future

Government red-tape blocking much needed EU investment for world-leading Tabernas research centre, claim investigators

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The solar platform research centre in Tabernas - the biggest of its kind in Europe – is in crisis

By Richard Torné

The future of Europe’s biggest solar energy research centre could be in jeopardy amid claims Government red-tape is blocking crucial EU investment.

Located on a 400,000-square metre site in the Tabernas desert, Almería’s Solar Platform has become one of the world’s leading research centres in thermal energy.

But restrictive rules introduced in 2016 on the financing of public research bodies have meant that scientists have not been allowed to buy vital new equipment for almost a year.

Investigators are also warning that EU funds may have to be returned with interest to the European Commission if some 20 projects do not get off the ground soon.

The crisis stems from Government austerity rules, aimed at reducing the public deficit by keeping a tight rein on research spending.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper

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