The European Commission’s (EC) investigation into alleged dumping and illegal subsidisation of Chinese solar products could be set for a peaceful resolution according to the UK Solar Trade Association’s PV specialist, Ray Noble.
Speaking today at the Large Scale Solar Conference in Cornwall, organised by Solar Media, PV-Tech's publisher, Noble said that the latest industry rumours suggest that the EU will come to an agreement with China by June – allaying solar developers’ fears of retroactive duty action.
Addressing the conference delegates, Noble said: “The latest rumour is that it will be solved by June; there will be a deal done between China and Europe and we can all then move on again.” He added: “Nobody wants trade wars and solar is such a small thing in relation to the amount of business that is already done between China and Europe.”
Recently, Chong Quan, the deputy representative of China's Ministry of Commerce, called on the EU to “seriously consider China’s suggestions to settle the dispute through dialogue” in order to “find a solution acceptable to both sides”.
The EC is set to announce what provisional measures will be taken in early June before the proposals are voted on by the European Council. However, a potential agreement between the two parties would mean an end to the investigations.
The uncertainty caused by the EC investigations has already had a significant impact on the UK solar industry – forcing a number of projects to be abandoned due to the threat of retroactive duties.
Module prices in the EU have risen since March when imported Chinese modules were registered for possible retroactive duties and shortages of supply were expected thereafter.
The Chinese have also delayed a decision on possible import duties on polysilicon from the EU, US and Korea till after the EU Commission investigation into anti-dumping has been concluded. The recent move was seen as a consolatory step by China as talks about a deal continued.