Solar panel market may be on the brink of war

Solar panel market may be on the brink of war

July 30, 2012 0 By Stephen Vagus

China’s efforts in the solar energy industry have caused tension

China has taken a keen interest in solar energy, namely in the manufacturing of solar panels. The country has thrown its industrial might behind the development and deployment of solar panels, aiming to inundate the global market with the resources it needs to make solar energy more accessible to consumers and businesses. Thus far, the country’s aim has been successful. As the abundance of solar panels grows, their cost diminishes. While this may be a welcome trend to those looking to adopt solar energy systems, many countries in the European Union believe that China’s efforts are meant to damage European solar energy companies.

EU ProSun established to fight for balance in the market

These European solar energy companies, as well as alternative energy advocacy organizations, have come together to form a new trade group called EU ProSun. The group’s mission statement makes no reference to China, but does highlight the potential consequences of China’s flooding of the solar panel market. Since China has begun producing solar panels en masse, several solar energy companies have been forced out of the market because of their inability to compete. This is not isolated to the European market, however, as several solar panel manufacturers in the Americas have also shut down due to China’s presence in the global market.

China’s presence in solar panel market pushing smaller companies into financial calamity

SolarWorld, the solar energy company that sparked the establishment of the new trade group, has seen first-hand what China’s presence has done to the global market. The company’s manufacturing branch in the U.S. was forced to shut down due to its inability to produce solar panels fast enough to keep up with the pace Chinese companies have been producing. SolarWorld notes that several companies in the EU have experiences similar events, which the company believes highlights the need for a trade group that strives to create balance in the global market.

EU ProSun files trade complain with European Commission

This week, EU ProSun confirmed that it had filed an official trade complaint with the European Commission against China. The complaint suggests that China is intentionally flooding the European market with low cost, low quality solar panels in an attempt to establish ownership of the solar panel market. Chinese manufacturing companies have denounced the complaint.


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