Fatal mistake: EU Commission wants to stick to competitive disadvantages for European solar industry. It is the member states’ turn to act!
The European Commission has published the results of its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on Chinese solar modules and cells. According to the Commission, import duties and minimum import price will remain in place after March 2017. This would lead to a protective wall around a few companies and lead to grave disadvantages for most companies in the European solar sector. SAFE calls upon the member states and the German government to revise this fatal decision.
Berlin, Dec 21, 2016. On December 20, the European Commission has published the findings of the expiry review initiated in December 2015. The Commission reexamined the import duties and minimum import price applicable to Chinese solar modules and cells since 2013. The conclusion is a recommendation to leave these measures in place for another two years. The final decision will be made by EU member states.
The Solar Alliance for Europe (SAFE) comments on the decision:
„We are very disappointed and consider this result as harmful“, says Dr. Holger Krawinkel, spokesman of SAFE. „We cannot see why the Commission ignores massive disadvantages of most companies along the solar value chain. Instead, it is building a protective wall for a handful of noteworthy European module producers. This is absurd and is a contradiction tot o the majority opinion in the sector and political sphere!“
More than 400 European solar companies, almost 40 European associations, NGOs such as WWF and Greenpease as well as two dozen Members of the European Parliament have appealed to end the measures.
Krawinkel adds: „This decision would thwart the European market for years and would lead to a complete disconnection of the European sector and the world market. This is even more paradoxical looking at the winter package the EU has recently adopted. The winter package emphasises Europe’s goal to achieve leadership in renewable energy technologies. Political patronage as is the case here, will not help achieving that goal. It is poison for so many innovative system solutions developed by the solar and general energy sector in the recent years. We now have to rely on an intervention on behalf of the member states. The German government certainly has a most relevant role in the upcoming decision-making process and we expect them to lobby for an end of the measures.“
The investigation was launched in 2015 and more than 120 companies and associations from Europe and China have registered as interested parties to play an active role in the process. Interested parties can submit comments on the findings until Jan 6, 2017. Subsequently, member states will discuss the document. The European Council has to make a decision until early March; note that member states do not have follow the Commission’s recommendation.