Cheap Chinese Solar Panels To Be Tariffed

THE EUROPEAN Commission has decided unanimously to impose provisional tariffs on solar panels imported from China in order to counter the dumping of these products on the European market.

According to www.solarpowerportal.co.uk, the European Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, faced a tough struggle to persuade member states to support the European Commission’s (EC’s) proposed average duty rate of 47%.

However, now it looks as though as of June 6 a tariff of 11.8% will be imposed on all Chinese solar panels. This tariff will eventually rise to 47.6% with harsher premiums for unco-operative companies.

There has been much argument over the so called dumping of solar panels. The EC argues China unfairly subsidises its solar panel firms, putting Europe's manufacturers at a disadvantage.

Their importation is worth 21bn euros (£18bn) a year and EU-China trade is worth more than 500 billion euros annually. So it is a decision that has not been made lightly.

However, while European manufacturers may be hit by the Chinese imports, the solar industry as a whole could benefit from cheaper modules as consumer demand and ROI increases.

A Solar Trade Association spokesperson said the levy was ‘absurd’ and a key to ‘lingering market uncertainty’. He added it was important the punitive tariffs weren’t imposed so the ‘industry can get on with installing low cost, clean and affordable solar energy’.

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