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European Commission Launches Another Investigation Involving Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturers

The European Commission, following an approach from a number of producers in Europe, has decided to launch a further enquiry into complaints that products from Chinese solar power companies are being dumped within European Union countries.

Solar panels
(image credit: Abi Skipp)

This latest investigation comes on the back of an earlier enquiry going back to November of last year about the possibility that manufacturers of solar panels in China had been selling products at below market price within the European Community. Although this latest investigation is not on the same scale of the earlier one it has still given cause for concern.

This latest enquiry specifically relates to the price that is being charged for solar glass that is just one element used in solar panelling. It is estimated that the market size in Europe is in the region of 150 to 200 million euros whereas the other investigation relates to solar panels estimated to be worth in the region of 21 billion euros.

This sort of enquiry is a very slow process with the European Commission having 18 months from when the complaint was raised to reach a conclusion. However, in nine months time, the Commission could impose temporary duties but once the enquiry is concluded, if the Commission finds against the Chinese producers they could impose duties for as long as 5 years.

ProSun Glass is the name of the group of manufacturers in Europe that have complained and they believe that some of the solar glass is being sold for half the market value in Europe. Apparently, there are two separate teams investigating both complaints.

There is a mixed reaction to the above within the solar panel industry in Europe with some companies feeling that the industry could be damaged as the solar market could reduce resulting in the loss of a considerable number of jobs in the industry.

As always, we will continue to monitor developments and provide regular updates.

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