The International Photovoltaic Equipment Association (IPVEA) favours an international “Free Market PV Economy.” A joint initiative of members of the EU solar cell and panel manufacturing industry is requesting the European Commission to investigate whether Chinese competitors dumped PV products at below-market rates on regional markets. As such, IPVEA has reviewed the statements from like-minded trade associations and has concluded that they generally are also against the imposition of any punitive tariffs.
“It is essential for the PV industry to foster a globally independent and competitive PV industry than to support measures that complicate the access to any of its core markets,” states Bryan Ekus, Managing Director of IPVEA.
Representing manufacturers and suppliers of PV fabrication equipment and related raw materials, IPVEA is interested in collaborating with other associations to make a joint industry statement rather than having separate declarations. The IPVEA will discuss this position and further measures during the 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition taking place from 24 to 28 September 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany, and invites like-minded trade associations to come together to lay out a common industry statement.
In the past year, Chinese manufacturers provided about 68 percent of solar panels compared with 40 percent in 2009, the London-based researcher Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated. Companies in EU countries produced about 11.5 percent of panels in 2011 versus 19 percent in 2009 while the U.S.’s share has dropped to 9 percent from 23 percent in the same period. Germany’s Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said July 19 that the country would support the commission should it start an anti-dumping probe. Since July 26 when the EU ProSun initiative filed the complaint, the European Commission has 45 days to decide whether it will start an investigation.
A similar complaint in the U.S. led President Barack Obama’s administration in March to impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar manufacturers. The Commerce Department in May ruled that they sold products below cost and introduced levies ranging from 31-250 percent.