Solar energy trade dispute between EU and China comes to a closeJuly 30, 2013
Trade dispute concerning solar energy has been put to rest
Solar energy has become a controversial issue between several European countries and China recently. Europe had established a strong foothold in the solar energy sector in the past, with many European manufacturing companies accounting for the majority of the supply of photovoltaic panels and other solar modules. These companies saw their foothold in the market begin to slip when China began showing interest in solar energy. China quickly flooded the global market with inexpensive solar systems, pushing several European manufacturers into bankruptcy. China’s entry into the market sparked trade disputes that threatened the future of the solar sector in this part of the world.
European companies gad expressed ire over flood of Chinese goods
European companies have accused the Chinese government of showing favoritism to companies that are native to that country and intentionally flooding the market with inexpensive modules in order to put any competition out of business. China decries such accusations, suggesting that its domestic manufacturing companies are responding to the demand for inexpensive technologies. Despite claims that the accusations coming from European companies are unfounded, China has been working to resolve the trade disputes that have erupted recently by introducing new regulations to its own solar sector.
EU and China agree to resolve trade dispute
This week, the European Union has announced that the recent trade disputes have come to an end. Both the EU and China have come together to resolve the issue without introducing any troubling pressure on Chinese or European manufacturers. The EU had been prepared to introduce tariffs on solar panels and other modules manufactured in China, effectively making them significantly more expensive in Europe than domestic modules. China had planned to follow suit with its own tariffs, but both China and the EU have settled on a universal tariff that is expected to foster more competition in the global market.
Resolution may help spur further growth in solar energy market
China’s interest in manufacturing photovoltaic modules stems from the rising demand for solar energy. Much of the world has become interested in solar energy, either for its economic prospects or for various environmental issues. Rising demand for solar power also caused a spike in the need for solar energy systems, thereby creating a promising opportunity for China. The country’s industrial might helped lower the cost of photovoltaic modules significantly between 2009 and 2011, but this caused a rift in the trade relations with several European countries. Now that this rift has been mended, China and Europe may be able to add further momentum to the growth that solar energy has seen recently.