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

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