Solar firms “desperate” over EU’s Chinese import tariff

An ‘emergency’ tariff on all solar panels imported from China was brought in by the EU last week, prompting concern from solar firms. EU Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht introduced […]

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By Vicky Ellis

An ‘emergency’ tariff on all solar panels imported from China was brought in by the EU last week, prompting concern from solar firms.

EU Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht introduced the 11% tariff despite a majority voting against such a move in the European Commission recently. There are reports the tariff will be increased to 47% later this year in August.

The so-called anti-dumping tariff is designed to stop Chinese firms undercutting EU manufacturers by selling solar products below cost-price. However there was outcry from solar installers and trade groups across Europe when the tariff was mooted earlier this year.

Jonathan Selwyn, managing director of UK solar firm Lark Energy said the “desperate” hope is that a compromise can be reached before the higher tariff kicks in over the summer.

He said: “Most of the European solar industry is dependent on the low prices that Chinese panels provide… The consequences of there not being a deal are dire: far from saving the European solar industry, it will stop it dead in the water threatening tens of thousands of jobs”.