Eco-Living Magazine

Cheap Chinese Solar Panels Set to Stay

Posted on the 04 June 2013 by Ecoexperts @TheEcoExperts

Cheap Chinese Solar Panels Set to StayEU MEMBER states have overwhelmingly voted against introducing harsh tariffs on cheap Chinese solar panels which have flooded Europe’s market.

18 member states, including Germany and the UK, voted against the punitive levy, four in favour and five abstained.

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

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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