Europe’s Minimum Panel Import Price redundant now
The European Commission had struck a deal with the Chinese government in 2012-13, to set a fixed minimum import price for solar panels to protect its domestic solar manufacturing industry from the cheap solar panel producers in China. The minimum price was set at 56 eurocents/watt, which was a decent price considering the costs of producing a solar panel those days. However, that minimum price has not been revised since that time in a period where solar panel prices have gone down by almost 20-30%. The international solar panel prices are nowadays ranging at USD 45 cents/watt, which is almost 25% lower than the minimum export price. This makes no sense, since Chinese producers could pay the anti-dumping duty and still sell at a lower price in the European markets.
The European commission is a uselessly large slow moving bureaucratic body, which is not competent enough to react to the fast moving technology and clean energy industries. Given that the regulation make no sense the EC should have made immediate changes to the rule, but they are not doing so. This is leading to the regulation becoming totally redundant, as most of the Chinese solar panel makers have dropped out of the panel market, because they are no longer able to compete in the European market at that price. European prices are higher than the international prices at around 50-52 cents/watt, but still far lower than the absurd minimum price set at 56 cents/watt.
“The MIP is clearly failing to function anymore, many Chinese companies are now voluntarily leaving it, as the price no longer bears the slightest resemblance to market prices for solar in the world or in Europe today,” said James Watson, CEO, SolarPower Europe. “European module manufacturers, like everyone else in the world, have also been successful in reducing costs and we are seeing quotes of less than €0.48/W from some players in Europe. Therefore, the maintenance of the price at €0.56/W means that it is becoming obsolete.”
Also read how the flourishing European solar industry has been stabbed by the Chinese.
EU Pro Sun the industry body led by Solarworld which was the chief mover behind this decision to get this rule imposed, still backs the stupid rule which is hurting the overall solar industry in Europe as well as the customers since they have to pay much higher prices for solar power. The whole world needs to move towards greener energy to combat climate change and global warming. Here a stupid bureaucratic body is coming in the way by imposing an outdated rule, which is curbing the growth of renewable energy.Google+