EU Commission approves solar compromise

The solar industry is fighting about module prices. (Photo: dpa)
The solar industry is fighting about module prices. (Photo: dpa)

A week ago, a compromise in the dispute over imports of Chinese solar modules emerged: If Chinese manufacturers adhere to minimum prices as well as a cap on the overall import volume into EU markets, then no punitive tariffs will be imposed. The compromise immediately caused relief as well as criticism.

The European Commission has now approved the compromise negotiated by EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and, as the EU has stated, it will take effect on 6 August. According to media reports, the agreement was also approved by a large majority of the Member States. In many countries, there was fear that the trade dispute would spread to other industries and that the demand for PV systems would go into decline if high punitive tariffs were permanently levied on Chinese modules. The EU Commission's original plan provided for a significant increase in duties, beginning in August. The compromise ensures that only manufacturers who do not adhere to the agreement need to fear this.

The industry initiative EU ProSun announced that it would resist the compromise. In the view of EU ProSun, the agreed minimum prices are still dumping prices and European manufacturers will be damaged. The initiative has announced that it will appeal the decision before the Court of the European Union in Luxembourg.

Ralf Ossenbrink

Similar Entries

Bloomberg has once again rated LONGi Solar, one of the leading manufacturers of monocrystalline high-performance modules, as a Tier 1 company. With an annual production capacity of 6,500 megawatts (MW), LONGi Solar ranks sixth among the largest Tier 1 manufacturers and is also listed as "Top Performer" in the PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report 2018 of DNV GL, the world's largest independent certification body in the energy sector.

With 472 GWth installed at the end of 2017, solar heating and cooling was again the largest solar sector worldwide followed by Photovoltaics (402 GWp) and Concentrating Solar Power (5 GWel). The new report, Solar Heat Worldwide, highlights as well the increasing use of megawatt solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and private buildings as well as factories. The annual report was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. With data from 66 countries, it is the most comprehensive annual evaluation of solar heating and cooling markets worldwide. In 2016 (most recent available data), the global solar thermal sector employed 708,000 people and reached a global turnover of EUR 16 billion (USD 19.2 billion).

The European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) elected during the meeting today in Brussels the Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen for the term 2018 - 2020. Marko Topic, Professor at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Elec. Eng. and Affiliate Professor at the Colorado State University, was reelected as ETIP PV Chairman. Wim C Sinke, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands and Gaëtan Masson, Managing Director of Becquerel Institute, Brussels, had been reelected as vice-chairmen of the ETIP PV.

 With Array Technologies and sPower two renewable energy giants announced a new partnership deal. (Photo: Array Technologies)

A new three-year partnership between two of the United States’ largest players in solar energy, Array Technologies and sPower, was announced at the GTM Solar Summit in southern California.