Organisations from all 28 EU Member States have called on the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to honour his promise of February 2017 and phase out the trade measures (minimum import price, anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties) on PV modules and cells imported to the EU from China and other Asian countries. With the deadline for a request for the extension of the measures looming, concern is mounting once again in the EU solar sector that the European Commission will not honour its promise to phase out the deeply unpopular trade barriers on PV modules and cells this year.
Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe said ‘Last year, the Commission made a promise to phase-out the trade measures, and they must stick to this deal. Irrespective of any request to extend the measures, the Commission must take the responsibility to stand firm and deliver on their promise. The measures are costing European manufacturing jobs, installation jobs and stifling consumer demand for solar in Europe. This trade policy is counter intuitive to what the European Commission are trying to achieve in the Clean Energy Package they brought forward just 18 months ago.‘
James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe added ‘This year solar companies and associations from every Member State have been joined by over 1 million electrical installers and 1 million energy citizens from cooperatives in opposition to the trade measures on solar panels. 18 Member States opposed the measures extension in 2017, and so it is very hard to understand why the measures are still in place. The Commission must heed the findings of the study its own DG Justice and Consumers produced, which urges the removal of the measures as they stifle demand for household solar by up to 30% in EU Member States.‘
The EU-China solar trade case represents the largest ever trade dispute between the EU and China and has added over 10 billion to the cost of solar in Europe since the inception of the measures in 2012. On 8 February 2017, the College of Commissioners stated that the measures would be phased out by September 3rd 2018.
Source: SolarPower Europe