Import duties on solar panels from China are about to be proposed officially by the EU’s chief trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, next week in Brussels.
As we already reported last month, solar panel manufacturers were against such actions to be taken by the European Commission, as these might not only harm the industry but also worsen the already established relationships with their Chinese rivals.
Nevertheless, EU is convinced that by imposing import duties, European leading solar panel manufacturers will be protected.
Chinese companies currently hold about 80% of the European solar panel market. This is also the reason why EU took up an investigation last year to establish whether Chinese companies were subsidized with easy credits by their government. This has made the price of Chinese panels 45% lower than these made in Europe.
De Gucht is convinced that now there is a clear evidence, and imports of Chinese solar energy products should be limited. If the proposal is accepted, EU should impose the provisional measures by June, 2013.
Such import duties are already functioning in the US, the reasoning being that China has caused an oversupply.
Governmental officials in Germany and France, the giants in the industry, have already started to negotiate imports and exports to and from China. The main problem, however, is that many European companies benefit from the cheap solar panel imports from China.