Update: European Commission receives official complaint from EU ProSun

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EU ProSun has announced it has filed an official complaint with the European Commission over alleged illegal subsidies to Chinese solar manufacturers. EU ProSun claims to represent the majority of EU solar industrial production.

This request for an investigation of Chinese government support is distinct from the recently initiated investigation of dumped pricing the Chinese have already been accused of. EU ProSun states that, both actions, government support for exports and producer dumping, are illegal under WTO rules and need to be addressed urgently by the EU authorities.

Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun, said, “Chinese government subsidies are only available to Chinese companies. Massive subsidies and state intervention have stimulated overcapacity more than 20 times total Chinese consumption and close to double total global demand. Hence, more than 90% of Chinese production had to be exported. Irrational overproduction on this scale cannot generate profits. Chinese subsidies shield manufacturers from insolvency, and are pumped into solar companies even if they are unprofitable. Most Chinese solar companies would have gone bankrupt a long time ago if not for endless government subsidies. Meanwhile over 20 major European solar manufacturers have become insolvent in 2012 alone.

“EU ProSun has identified many forms of significant government subsidies to Chinese solar manufacturers. For instance, Chinese banks implement government policy by giving very low interest rates to solar manufacturers, and if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, it may be written-off, extended indefinitely or paid off by other government-controlled entities. This makes it easier, cheaper, and a lot less risky for Chinese solar companies to obtain financing,” continued Nitzschke.

“EU ProSun recently alerted the European Commission to the fact that Chinese companies are selling solar products in Europe at 60% to 80% below their full cost. Now we call on the EU to launch an investigation into China’s illegal subsidies designed to take over European and global markets,” concluded Nitzschke.

Interestingly, conference speakers at EU PVSEC in Frankfurt this week all concurred that the trade cases launched by the US and European manufacturers will put off investors, continuing the deterioration of an industry already under a lot of pressure to stay afloat.


The Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE) has released a statement warning against putting up protectionist walls around the European solar market.

As with EU ProSun, who registered its official complaint with the EU Commission this week, AFASE also credits itself as being a “prominent voice” for the solar industry arguing against imposing duties on Chinese manufacturers.

“We have seen great support for our cause over the last months. There is widespread opposition against punitive duties among the many European solar companies, industry experts and politicians. Also, the German chancellor Angela Merkel has prominently called upon the European Commission and other parties involved solving the conflict through political dialogue”, says Greg Spanoudakis, AFASE spokesperson.

Anti-protectionist measures has been a running theme this week at EU PVSEC in Frankfurt, with many stating that this would taint the renewable energy sector’s reputation, furthering PV’s current financial crisis.

“A typical solar project today would take equipment and raw materials from Germany, transform them into solar energy systems in China, use a Dutch logistics provider to deliver them to project developers in Italy and Germany. There Italian and German engineers would install the solar systems on the spot. Free markets are the prerequisite to maintain the leading position of the European solar market”, explains Thorsten Preugschas, CEO of the German operating project development company and AFASE affiliate Soventix.

18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
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
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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.
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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!

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