Today, the European Commission has published its regulation on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for Chinese solar modules and cells. Import duties and minimum import price will apply for another 18 months. A new investigation has been launched simultaneously to come up with a solution to simplify those measures. Results are expected by September 2017.
Berlin, March 3, 2017. “The European Commission has missed the opportunity to instantly help the European solar market to draw even with global competition and stimulate demand”, comments Dr. Holger Krawinkel, spokesman of the Solar Alliance for Europe (SAFE) on the published regulation. “Yet, this annoying trade conflict will end in the foreseeable future. Duties and MIP for Chinese solar modules and cells will definitely phase out by September 2018 and starting this September, the price level will be lowered step by step. The worst case would have been an extension of the measures by another five years.
Today, the Commission has also launched an interim review which will likely result in more flexibility for the MIP level. “As we understand this review, the Commission wants a phase-out for the measures and reach global market price level.”, Krawinkel adds.
Yet, fundamental doubts regarding the effectiveness of the protective measures remain. Although the measures have protected the European solar module and cell producers, the companies did not manage to overcome structural deficits and reach competitiveness, is Krawinkel’s verdict. “We have our doubts that European producers are able to make the turnaround until phase-out in September 2018 – despite a total duration of five years of protective measures.”
The phase-out of the duties will be to the advantage of European electricity consumers as a report published by the Becquerel Institute, commissioned by SAFE, SolarPower Europe and BayWa r.e. The researchers looked at full cost for electricity generated by PV power plants (5 MW and more) in diverse regions of eleven European countries. Based on the precondition that modules could be bought at global market prices and on the precondition that electricity generated by solar power reaches average electricity exchange price. The result: already today, solar electricity could be produced at full costs of 3.3 to 6.4 Eurocent/kWh. In Spain, Italy and France solar electricity already reached electricity exchange price level in 2016. In Austria, this level would be reached in 2018, in Germany in 2019. Other European countries, apart from Poland and Finland, will reach the target by 2020. Electricity production cost would reach 2.7 to 5.3 Eurocent/kWh and could reach 2.0 – 4.9 Eurocent/kWh by 2030. Solar electricity could soon be the cheapest kind of electricity in Europe, the authors of the report conclude.
“It is now up to the Commission and the new regulation they draft, to make most of this potential of sinking cost in the European electricity market as soon as possible. SAFE will contribute to reach this goal.”, Krawinkel concludes.
The official documents are published in the EU’s official journal:
Note of Initiation of an Interim Review