The European Commission received a request from 21 solar associations representing 19 European Union member states to abolish its minimum import price for solar modules and cells from China. The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measure has been in place from the end of 2013, and installations have since halved, according to SolarPower Europe. The result for 2014 in Europe was just 7 GW of new capacity, according to the organization, formerly known as European Photovoltaic Industry Association.
The signatories of this letter represent more than 80% of the solar sector in Europe, sending a clear message that the MIP and duties must be brought to an end as planned this year, said James Watson, head of SolarPower Europe. “We need to move beyond duties and ensure that the highest quality solar products are promoted in the EU,” he underscored. The call included national associations from Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia.
SolarPower Europe had also addressed responsible European Commission’s officials in a joint letter with other renewable energy industry associations, about the issue of drastic retroactive changes in support mechanisms in several EU member states. Regulatory changes undermine economic viability of existing projects and weren’t verified for compliance with European State Aid rules, according to the plea by solar thermal, geothermal, bioenergy, wind, solar and equipment supranational organizations. Renewable energy investments in Europe have halved in just four years – dropping from USD 120 billion (EUR 107.05 billion) to EUR 57.98 billion from 2011 to 2014, the letter said, adding in China there was consistent growth to last year’s more than USD 71.36 billion.