EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today announced the endorsement of the "amicable solution in the EU-China solar panels case" by the Council and the EC.
"The PV industry urgently needed a mutually acceptable solution to this trade conflict that allows investors and the European market to move beyond this period of uncertainty", stated Dr. Winfried Hoffmann, President of EPIA, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. "Whatever the follow-up to this "amicable solution" will be, so far the trade conflict has demonstrated that the development of a sustainable global PV market depends both on fair and free market conditions, as well as on a dedicated EU Industrial Policy to support innovation and further technological progress."
This trade conflict takes place against the backdrop of fast price decreases observed over the last two years, resulting in negative margins over almost the entire value chain of the solar PV industry and in severe financial difficulties for many of its players. It has a detrimental impact on the image of PV and on its development worldwide. However, EPIA remains confident that the mid- to long-term prospects for solar PV in Europe and around the world remain solid.
As the voice of the global solar photovoltaic industry in Europe, EPIA has maintained a neutral position in this case (and in other trade cases affecting the sector), and will continue to do so. Though, our organisation is ready to work with policymakers and all relevant stakeholders in order to ensure a strong industrial base in Europe. This will require a comprehensive strategy based on, among other things, a continued effort in R&D, a stable regulatory framework without any retroactive measures, easy access to capital both for project and industry financing and a mid-term certainty for investors based on binding targets for renewable energies in Europe for 2030.