Anti dumping case against import of Chinese Glass for Solar Modules
Global Solar Trade Wars are throwing up new battles left and right from the least expected areas. We witnessed the US filing a case against India for its domestic content rules. That was a huge surprise given that American First Solar has captured a majority market share on the Indian market, using a loophole in which thin film solar technology is exempted. The US has conveniently overlooked the fact that First Solar has used the extremely low cost loans from US EXIM bank to unfairly gain an advantage over small local Indian solar product makers.
Now Europe is seeing a new case by solar glass makers, who have filed an anti dumping case against import of Chinese glass for solar modules. The group has named itself similar to the one which filed a case with the EU against imports of Chinese made solar panels. The group alleges that 90% of the glass imported for solar panels by Europe is made in China and wants anti dumping duties imposed for a level playing field.
The global solar panels wars are part of the larger trade fight between major powers who want to export their way to growth. Japan has already depreciated its currency by 20% in the last couple of months, to save its electronics conglomerates which are losing billions of dollars every year. The Swiss have already pegged their currency at 1.2 per Euro and have bought billions of euro to keep this peg. With every country looking to fight for the shrinking global demand pie, expect these trade wars to worsen before they get better.
EU- China Solar Panels War
The worst fears of the Chinese solar panel producers have come true with Europe starting the history’s biggest anti dumping case against their products. A trade group called ProSun led by German solar panel maker Solarworld, complained against super cheap imports of solar modules from China to the EU. The EU has found there is a case to be heard and has started the anti-dumping measures against 21 billion euros of Chinese solar panel imports and the case will be completed in 15 months time. If found to be true, Chinese solar panels could be levied with heavy duties for a period of 5 years. This will be in addition to the current AD and CVD duties imposed by US on Chinese solar cell imports. Unlike the US – China solar panel spat, EU is a much bigger fight as China imports most of its production to Europe particularly countries like Germany and Italy. In fact, the Chinese solar growth has been largely driven by the solar subsidy policies in the European countries. Until last year, almost 95% of the Chinese solar panel production was exported to Europe.
Read on GWI List of Major Solar Inverter Manufacturers.
An allienace of solar glass manufacturers, led by Germany-based GMB Glasmanufaktur Brandenburg, has filed an anti-dumping complaint with the European Commission against Chinese competitors.
Dubbed EU ProSun Glass, the group claims that nearly 90% of imported solar glass comes from China, with European jobs and factories being heavily affected by destructive dumping.
This association is not affiliated with EU ProSun, which filed an anti-dumping and countervailing duty complaint against Chinese module manufacturers last year.
Milan Nitzschke, President of EU ProSun said: “The new case shows that China’s strategy to dominate the solar sector is not limited to just solar modules but also affects materials like glass. It’s a question of time when equipment and raw material manufacturers will follow.”
He told PV-Tech: “With the complaint coming from the solar glass manufacturers it should now become clear that China’s aggressive policy affects the solar industry as a whole.