EU lobby seeks European Commission to thwart 'unfair' China solar trade
A GROUP of more than 20 European solar manufacturers in Europe have formed an association, EU ProSun, to combat alleged unfair trade of solar technology from China which has "decimated" the industry in Europe. Tuesday, 07.Aug.2012, 23:40 (GMT+3)
A GROUP of more than 20 European solar manufacturers in Europe have formed an association, EU ProSun, to combat alleged unfair trade of solar technology from China which has "decimated" the industry in Europe.
Milan Nitzschke, EU ProSun's president said: "Not only is China clearly dumping cheap solar products in the EU but the government readily admits to subsidising its solar manufacturers for exports.
"China has no natural cost advantage over the EU given labour accounts for around 10 per cent of production costs, and it must import raw materials and equipment to produce their solar cells and modules."
EU ProSun members have called on the European Commission to investigate unfair trade practices by these Chinese manufacturers. They say 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."
The US 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 per cent and 250 per cent, the American Shipper reported.
The US Energy Department estimates the Chinese government has provided its solar manufacturers with more than US$30.7 billion in subsidies, including low interest loans, free land and subsidized energy.
Four of China's largest solar companies - Yingli, Suntech, Trina and Canadian Solar - have hit back at EU ProSun's claims with a statement issued 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."