EU Commission finds 11 per cent subsidies in Chinese PV modules

Photo: Picture Alliance
Photo: Picture Alliance

Thanks to reduced electricity prices, discounted raw materials, marketing subsidies, tax breaks and subsidised loans from the State Bank, Chinese manufacturers of photovoltaic modules can sell their products 11 per cent cheaper on the European market. This is a violation of WTO rules on free world trade. This is the conclusion that the EU Commission reached in its nine-month investigation, which was part of the anti-subsidy proceedings against China. The results of the investigations were handed over today to the government in Beijing and to the Chinese companies involved.

The Commission will, however, take no further steps against Chinese solar imports as a consequence of these results, after having previously reached an agreement on minimum prices for imported modules and an upper limit for total module imports from China. By December, however, the governments of the EU Member States will need to decide whether they want to support the agreement, which is intended to be valid until 2015.

The European industrial initiative EU ProSun sees their accusations confirmed by the findings that were published today. In a press release, EU ProSun President Milan Nitzschke made the following statement about the Commission's results:

"The cheap prices that Chinese suppliers are able to achieve, which threaten German and European jobs, are not the result of technological strength, but are solely the product of Chinese government financing." It is remarkable that Chinese manufacturers are still making a loss, despite the billions in subsidies. But even the losses are cushioned by government loans.

EU ProSun criticises that the findings of the Commission have not been followed by actions. Earlier this month, the Commission stated that it had reached an agreement with China to suspend customs measures and instead to accept voluntary minimum prices for China's solar exports. Nitzschke: "China breaks WTO rules wherever it can, and Mrs Merkel and Mr Barroso just nod."

Volker Buddensiek

Related articles:

EU Commission approves solar compromise

Brussels: Decision for punitive tariffs announced

American Solar Association urges negotiations with China

Similar Entries

DNV GL published its fourth annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard report. This year’s report finds that the reliability and durability of modules submitted to DNV GL for testing for the 2018 PV Module Reliability Scorecard generally improved in several of the test categories. However, in one of the test categories, damp heat, performance decreased. With 22% of manufacturers experiencing at least one failure in overall testing, buyers being conscious of the specific Bill of Materials (BOM) that identify specific models as Top Performers is crucial.

LG Electronics has announced the extension of product warranties from 15 to 25 years. Modules included are the LG MonoX Plus, LG NeON 2, LG NeON 2 Black and LG Neon 2 BiFacial, as well as the LG Neon R. The guarantee provides further incentives for prospective customers and highlights LG’s commitment to quality solar modules.

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.

Pict: Welink

Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz insurance companies has closed today the acquisition of the 46 MW Ourika project (“Ourika”) in Portugal. The solar farm is fully operational and has been developed by the WElink Group (“WElink”).