European Commission To Remove The Trade Measures
The European Union is preparing to end import controls on solar panels and cells from China after a majority of the EU's Member States backed the move, despite strong opposition from EU ProSun, a joint initiative representing EU solar producers which launched the original complaint back in 2012. The regulations dictated that Chinese solar manufacturers could sell their products in Europe free of any duties if they do so at or above a minimum price that has progressively declined over the length of the policy.
The International Trade Department of the EU said that, "After considering the needs of both producers and those using or importing solar panels the Commission decided it was in the best interests of the EU as a whole to let the measures lapse."
As such, the measures lapsed at Midnight of September 3, a move welcomed by China's Ministry of Commerce, which released the following statement:
"China welcomes the EU's termination of PV dual-reaction measures against China. The Sino-European PV trade dispute has been gradually resolved. It is the result of the joint efforts of the government and the industry under the high-level concerns of both sides. It is a model for successfully solving trade friction through consultation. The EU's termination of China's PV dual-reaction measures will restore the Sino-European PV trade to a normal market, provide a more stable and predictable business environment for the cooperation between the two sides, and truly realize mutual benefit and win-win between the two industries. Photovoltaic products are important clean energy products, and their increasingly widespread application is beneficial to countries to effectively deal with climate change."
Dr Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe, the trade body representing the solar industry across Europe, applauded the European Commission's decision, saying "This is a watershed moment for the European solar industry," he said. "By removing the trade duties, the European Commission has today lifted the single biggest barrier to solar growth in Europe. The Commission's move to end the trade measures is unquestionably the right one for Europe, we expect to see a significant increase in solar jobs and deployment - which will only propel the energy transition in Europe."
"Today the European Commission has unleashed a new solar age in Europe," added James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe. "The trade measures have made solar much more expensive than necessary in Europe , by removing them, solar will now be cheapest form of electricity in many EU countries - this means that many more consumers and national governments will be able to invest in solar. The removal of the measures will also help EU manufacturers along the solar value chain through increased demand for their products. This decision coupled with a strong industrial strategy as proposed through the European Commission's Clean Energy Industrial Forum will also undoubtedly increase the amount of solar products made in Europe."