European PV trade association EPIA said that it would support free trade and the end of current trade barriers on imported Chinese solar modules, the first time the trade association has set a strategy position on the ongoing trade conflict that has impacted the PV industry. 

EPIA head, Oliver Schaefer announced the new stance in his speech at the opening of the plenary session of SNEC 2015, being held in Shanghai, China this week. 

Schaefer acknowledged that the former stance of EPIA had been to sit on the fence over the trade conflict, which had marginalised its ability to be a major stakeholder in the conflict that led to a minimum import price (MIP) agreement for Chinese modules. 

"EPIA is a strong supporter of free and fair trade and we would like to see trade relations between Europe and China, on solar modules and cells, return to normal undistorted, fair trade as soon as possible, when the duties and respective price undertaking expire in 2015," Scahefer said.

"The board has agreed this position, as we believe that a return to a level playing field will help solar power in Europe to grow, and support the European electricity market in achieving its challenging emission reduction goals. Consumers will also be able to buy quality products manufactured at scale, at the best possible prices," added Schaefer. 

The clear policy stance to get rid of the current agreement is designed to attract strong support from interested parties across the supply chain on a global basis to back EPIA plans to potentially end the MIP by the end of 2015. 

EPIA said it would be holding a press conference at SNEC and release further details of the strategy later today.