An important decision for European solar manufacturing
Trade defence measures against dumping and illegal subsidies on Chinese solar modules and cells from the People’s Republic of China will continue after the final decision was taken by the EU Commission during the first week of March. The measures imposed by the EU on crystalline solar imports from China will remain in place for a further 18 months.
“The Chinese companies have clearly been distorting the market and creating unfair competition,” said Milan Nitzschke, President of EU ProSun, adding, “We applaud the final decision by the EU to continue trade defence measures for as long as dumping takes place in our market”.
EU ProSun put the spotlight on the need for competition and a level playing field with China as a prerequisite for the solar industry in Europe, and for other countries to be able to develop their own industries.
“Handled accurately, zhe partial interim review by the European Commission, which was initiated in parallel, can lead to more transparency and predictability in the market,” pointed out Mr Nitzschke. “It is very important that minimum import prices can be set and enforced in a more efficient way than today. This must be in the interest of all parties. Further adjustments of the minimum prices must be in line with technological progress,” Mr Nitzschke stressed.
“Advances in the sector have been based on continuous investment in R&D technology; this is something that European manufacturers have prided themselves on,” said Mr Nitzschke. “This investment has led to enormous cost reductions over the last ten years. As a consequence, today, photovoltaic energy is one of the most affordable energy sources in Europe,” he pointed out.
Despite the innovations of recent years, European demand has nearly stagnated, and in some cases decreased in some markets, as a direct result of unstable political frameworks and miscommunication.
Prices for solar installations and solar electricity in Europe today are lower than in most parts of the world, especially compared to ‘boom’ markets such as the United States and Japan. According to reports in Bloomberg, solar installations in China are more expensive than those in Germany.
“Critics of Europe’s anti-dumping measures have tried to create the impression that prices in Europe are extremely high because of anti-dumping- and anti-subsidy measures. However, as every active player in the market knows, this is not true,” clarified Mr Nitzschke. “These untruths must be stopped,” Nitzschke stressed.
EU ProSun represents more than 30 solar manufactures in Europe and about 80 percent of the European cell production, as well as more than 200 installers.