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  |  09.05.2013

AFASE - Provisional measures will severely hurt European solar markets

Duties over 15% will destroy 85% of EU PV demand

Recent reports that the European Commission plans to propose provisional anti dumping duties with rates ranging between 37% and 68% on imports of Chinese solar panels are extremely worrying.

 

Punitive tariffs – no matter at what level – would cause irreversible damage to the entire European Photovoltaic (PV) value chain. Those levels now reported would cost the EU PV industry and the whole of the EU economy dearly.

 

A study by the independent research institute Prognos concludes that duties of 60% would cost the European economy up to 242,000 jobs and 27 billion euros over the next three years.

 

During a hearing organised at the European Commission on Friday 5 April, AFASE supporters made it very clear that the current market development leaves no room for price increases and that duties as low as 15% will destroy 85% of EU PV demand.

 

“The solar business is very price sensitive. Solar companies already had to cope with continuously decreasing feed-in tariffs in the past. If prices are artificially increased by punitive tariffs, the European solar market would simply come to a standstill with disastrous effects on green jobs”, says Wouter Vermeersch, CEO of the Belgian company Cleantec Trade.

 

The European Commission should understand that the value added lies upstream and downstream from solar panel production. Imposing provisional duties on imports of Chinese solar panels would be against the Union Interest and a clear contradiction with Europe’s ambition to build a green and high value-added economy.

 

Over 450 companies supporting AFASE therefore welcome a solution that avoids price increases, taking into account the interests of the EU upstream and downstream solar industry. Moreover, if a negotiated solution is to be found, no provisional anti-dumping duties should be imposed as these duties will immediately put a halt to most of the PV projects in the EU and cause severe damage that no negotiation concluded after the imposition of provisional duties can ever repair.

 

AFASE requests the European Commission  to take into account the interests of an EU PV Value Chain that stands to lose a great many jobs and value added to the detriment of the EU economy overall.

 

In the anti-dumping investigation, the deadline for duties to enter into force is June 6, 2013. The Member States will take the final decision whether to impose definitive duties in December this year.

 

About AFASE:
The Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE) is a coalition of over 400 companies in the European PV industry representing more than 35,000 EU jobs that uses collective advocacy and communications to address the risks of protectionism, and promote the benefits of free trade for solar energy products. 
 
AFASE seeks to inform policy makers, industry and citizens about:
  • The interconnected global PV supply chain
  • EU jobs and economic benefits from PV
  • The importance of cost reductions in solar for EU Climate and RE targets
  • The negative employment consequences of protectionism

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