EU group cites unfair solar trade from China
A group of more than 20 manufacturers in Europe have formed an association to counter alleged unfair trade of solar technology from China.
EU ProSun said Europe’s solar industry is “being decimated by unfair competition from China leading to layoffs, and one major European solar bankruptcy every month. Unless the EU takes action, there will be no longer any manufacturing or R&D solar jobs left in Europe.”
“Not only is China clearly dumping cheap solar products in the EU but the government readily admits to subsidizing its solar manufacturers for exports,” said Milan Nitzschke, EU ProSun’s president. “China has no natural cost advantage over the EU given labor accounts for around 10 percent of production costs, and it must import raw materials and equipment to produce their solar cells and modules.”
EU ProSun members have asked the European Commission to investigate unfair trade practices by these Chinese manufacturers.
The U.S. government recently determined that 12 categories of Chinese subsidies for its solar manufacturers were illegal, and Chinese exporters have dumped solar cells in the United States at margins between 30 percent and 250 percent. The U.S. Energy Department estimates the Chinese government has provided its solar manufacturers with more than $30.7 billion of subsidies, including low interest loans, free land and subsidized energy.
Four of China’s largest solar companies – Yingli, Suntech, Trina and Canadian Solar – countered EU ProSun’s claims with a statement on behalf of the Solar Energy Promotion Alliance: “We re-emphasize that the Chinese solar industry does not receive alleged illegal subsidies or engage in dumping.
“Chinese solar products have been welcomed by global consumers, because of their high cost-effectiveness, superior product quality, and comprehensive after-sales service. The maturity of Chinese solar brands is marked by their complete abidance by fair competition principles,” the companies said.
The Chinese companies said they have provided the U.S. government information demonstrating that they have not received illegal subsidies or engaged in dumping. They also called U.S.-based SolarWorld’s litigation against Chinese solar companies “motivated by its own commercial interests and therefore totally groundless.”
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