EU probes Chinese solar panel 'dumping' claim

Sep 06, 2012 by Bryan Mcmanus
A flower is seen between two solar cell panels of a photovoltaic plant in Puchheim near Munich. The European Commission launched an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panel imports Thursday, upping the ante in a major trade dispute Beijing insists should be solved by discussion.

The European Commission launched an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panel imports Thursday, upping the ante in a major trade dispute Beijing insists should be solved by discussion.

The Commission said its action followed the "most significant anti-dumping complaint" it has dealt with so far, putting solar panel imports from China at 21 billion euros ($26.5 billion) last year.

Industry association EU ProSun claimed Chinese and components were being dumped on the European market at below cost, a charge Beijing rejected while calling for negotiations.

The Chinese commerce ministry said it regretted that the commission went ahead with a probe "despite repeated calls by China to solve the trade dispute on photovoltaic products via consultations and cooperation.

"China expresses deep regret about this."

China is the world's biggest solar panel maker and the bulk of its overall $35.8 billion worth of solar product exports went to the EU last year, according to Chinese industry figures.

The Commission said it decided on the investigation after evidence provided by EU ProSun showed Chinese products have had "substantial on the of the Union industry."

Workers checking on a solar panel at a field in Hami, China's farwest Xinjiang region. Industry association EU ProSun claims Chinese solar panels and components are being dumped on the European market at below cost, a charge Beijing rejects while calling for negotiations.

If Chinese companies are found to have caused harm to the bloc's solar industry, penalties could be imposed, it added.

Beijing said restricting Chinese products would harm both sides and "damage the healthy development" of the global photovoltaic industry and .

Chinese companies also voiced concerns over any potential tariffs on their business and the wider trade relationship where China's role as the workshop of the world and biggest exporter has often strained ties with its partners.

"The solar industry is based on a global and complex value chain, and will be therefore substantially and negatively affected by trade protectionism," said Darren Thompson, managing director of the European arm of Yingli Green Energy.

"There would be no winners but rather immeasurable damage and regression from our fundamental goal of making solar a cost-effective energy source available to everyone," Thompson said in a company statement.

Yingli said it would cooperate with the Commission to prove that there was no basis for punitive tariffs.

"A misguided trade war could undermine years of progress, investment and innovation," it added.

The solar import dispute has been rumbling along for some time.

In May, Washington imposed heavy hefty anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar cell makers, a move Beijing blasted as "protectionist," and the latest dispute is but one of many to surface in recent years as China has increased its market share.

Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue on a visit to Beijing late last month, saying "protectionism cannot be the answer for certain difficulties, we have to try to solve existing problems by the way of talks, problems we have in the field of solar energy for instance.

"We should endeavour to do so because there is still time and we will discuss with our colleagues in the European Union that we should give it a try," she added.

Explore further: Exploring the value of 'Energy Star' homes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China rejects US ruling in solar dumping case

May 18, 2012

(AP) -- China's government on Friday rejected a U.S. antidumping ruling against its makers of solar power equipment and Chinese manufacturers warned proposed punitive tariffs might hurt efforts to promote clean energy.

China solar industry rejects US anti-dumping probe

Nov 29, 2011

Chinese solar panel makers on Tuesday rejected an anti-dumping complaint filed in the US by competitor SolarWorld, saying it risked "seriously hindering the development of green energy."

China says US energy projects violate free trade

Aug 21, 2012

(AP) — China's government has ruled that U.S. government support to six American solar and wind power projects violates free trade rules, adding to strains between Beijing and its trading partners over renewable energy.

China takes over as US solar power firms fail

Sep 18, 2011

China's solar power firms are emerging as the industry's dominant force after the collapse of foreign competitors, but the new market leaders are already struggling with low prices and overcapacity.

Recommended for you

Exploring the value of 'Energy Star' homes

11 minutes ago

The numbers in neat columns tell—column by column, page by page—a story spread out across Carmen Carrión-Flores' desk at Binghamton University. It's a great story, she says; she just doesn't know how ...

Toward a networked energy future

22 hours ago

February 1, 2050, is a good day for German electricity consumers. The breeze off the north coast is blowing so strongly that offshore wind farms and the wind turbines on land are running non-stop. Since it's ...

Meeting power needs with wireless recharging

Oct 29, 2014

If you buy a 2016 Toyota Prius, you won't need to worry about keeping your hybrid car charged—just get the option for wireless power transfer that lets you drive into your garage and have your battery automatically ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

holoman
not rated yet Sep 06, 2012
Chinese are great at denying dumping. This is their policy
in which they will dessimate all competition, then raise
prices. First hand experience.

We complained to WTO and got nowhere. Goodluck EU !
Graeme
not rated yet Sep 10, 2012
If the dumping of perfectly working new product is the case, they (EU USA) should just buy it all up and stockpile it to sell at the higher price in the future. --- Though I don't really believe it is dumping, just undercutting.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.