BELGIUM: Last week, 1,024 company representatives of the European photovoltaic (PV) industry sent an open letter to European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, expressing their strong concerns about the potential outcome of the European Commission’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation against Chinese solar manufacturers.
The signatories fully support the vision put forward by the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE): open and free markets are key drivers for a healthy solar industry.
The European PV market has experienced booms and busts in the past 30 years. Today, the PV industry is in a state of consolidation with different players striving to obtain maximum cost savings and economies of scale. This is essential to fulfil the ambitious EU-wide renewable energy targets for 2020.
The letter highlights the negative effects of possible duties on the growth of solar energy in the EU as well as on job creation in Europe. “There would be no winners, only losers at the detriment of the entire EU solar industry” says Wouter Vermeersch CEO of the Belgian company Cleantec Trade. The harm to the upstream and downstream suppliers (which account for 70 percent of the PV supply chain’s value in the EU) would outweigh benefits to EU PV producers.
“Tariffs on solar products and their components are bad for the entire European solar industry since they would lead to price increases and significantly dampen demand” added Wouter Vermeersch.
Signatories call on the European Commission to refrain from imposing anti-dumping and/or countervailing duties and allow the EU PV chain to develop and grow.