Chinese dumping ‘poison’ to European solar market

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

EU ProSun President and VP of SolarWorld Milan Nitzschke has described alleged Chinese dumping as “poison” to the European solar market.

Reza Shaybani, Chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), hosted a debate at the House of Commons this week between the two parties central to the European trade case investigation in London on Wednesday. In September, industry action group EU ProSun, led by SolarWorld, lodged a complaint with the European Commission that subsidised Chinese imports were harming the European solar industry.

Nitzschke likened manufacturers competing in the European solar market to the Tour de France. He said that the Chinese government’s subsidies were akin to illegal performance enhancing substances consumed by participants of the Tour de France, giving them an unfair advantage over their peers.

Although, no Chinese delegates were present at the meeting, the opposing argument was represented by Gregory Spanoudakis, President of Canadian Solar European Operations and Chairman of the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE), which maintains the Chinese are not illegally dumping.

Spanoudakis told the BPVA board members: “There is no industry in this world that is not subsidised in some way, shape or form. Subsidies do not equate to free money!”

He said Nitzschke misunderstood the facts. Spanoudakis said the high subsidy figures quoted by Nitzschke also included loan facilities from banks rather than solely from the government. Spanoudakis asserted that these should not be included when talking about Chinese subsidies otherwise all countries are subsidised in the same way.

“Tariffs endanger the aim of grid parity and the hopes of achieving it any time soon”, said Spanoudakis.

Nitzschke agreed that in the beginning the European industry needed Chinese manufacturers in order to make solar competitive. However, he claimed the Chinese are now selling at 30-50% below the cost price of production.

“It is not possible for Europeans to be able to compete. Nobody can afford to make losses with every kilowatt produced,” he said.

Spanoudakis remained optimistic. “Certainly there is a willingness by all parties to talk” he told PV-Tech. “It’s a question of bringing all personalities and egos to the table. If we leave our egos and personalities at the door and talk, certainly I think there is constructive discussion that can take place.

“Can our discussions if they take place in the very, very, very near future influence the various Chinese agencies that might take, let’s not call it retaliatory, but take measures of their own against European industries? You never know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Spanoudakis concluded: “Can we influence [the Chinese] government? Yes, I know for a fact we can but we must first begin by having constructive dialogue between the parties so that the various government agencies can see the willingness of the parties to work together to find a solution.”

Shaybani said: “This is an important issue which will have an impact in the European PV market, which currently is the biggest market in the world. As for the rest of Europe, we in the UK will also be affected by the outcome of the investigation. We are keeping a close eye on the progress and will keep our members informed.”

The BPVA board meeting was attended by 20 board members and six guests. The meeting also featured an update on the recently released Energy Bill from Alasdair Grainger, Head of Feed-in Tariffs at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.
20 October 2021
Utility-scale solar is evolving, shaped by higher power modules and demand for increasingly lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). Those trends are also changing project requirements elsewhere, with inverters capable of delivering high power density and power capacity in strong demand. In this webinar, FIMER will detail how its innovative high-power, multi-MPPT string inverter and modular conversion solution can both meet those demands and transform the utility-scale solar sector for the better.
20 October 2021
The race is on but we need to sprint… With global climate talks fast approaching and time running out to prevent the most disastrous impacts of climate change, now is the time to act. The Summit will explore the opportunities that emerge from taking action on climate change and provide a clear pathway forward for governments, citizens and companies. Taking place just 10 days before the G20 meeting in Rome, on 30-31 of October, and in the lead up to the critical COP26 meeting in Glasgow from 31 October–12 November, this event will be instrumental in influencing ambitious global action.
10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 

Read Next

October 18, 2021
Heterojunction cell and module manufacturer Meyer Burger has appointed a new CFO just one year after incumbent Jürgen Schiffer took on the role.
October 18, 2021
Italian grid operator Terna has acquired Italian solar O&M provider LT in a €24 million (US$27.8 million) transaction.
October 18, 2021
Recent solar wafer and cell price increases from both LONGi Solar and Tongwei, which have seen prices rise by between 5.6 – 7.7%, have underscored heightened volatility in the solar supply chain.
October 18, 2021
Canadian pension investor OMERS Infrastructure has acquired a 49% interest in the Australian renewable energy platform of utility-scale solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV).
October 18, 2021
US independent power producer Silicon Ranch has acquired Clearloop, a start-up that helps companies offset their carbon emissions by funding new solar projects.
PV Tech Premium
October 18, 2021
PV Tech Premium speaks with a global shipping analyst to discuss the industry's sky high prices, delays to delivers and when the situation may improve

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021