Commission’s punitive duties on Chinese solar panels deliver a blow to European renewables growth

Posted on 05 June 2013    
Solar power plant, Spain
© Claire Doole/WWF
Brussels, Belgium: The European Commission announced last night that it is would impose punitive import tariffs of 11,8% until the 6th of August on Chinese solar panels, after which tariffs will increase to 47.6%. Over two thirds of Members States and the wider renewable energy sector strongly opposed the move as it would undermine the growth of this renewable form of energy in the EU.

The Commission’s decision risks undermining the rapid adoption of solar power in Europe as it prices their use out of the reach of most consumers but it will also destroy jobs. This move brings into question the continued path to a clean and renewable energy economy in Europe.

Stephan Singer, Director of Global Energy Policy at WWF said:

“If the proposal doesn’t change any further, there would not be much difference between what was threatened by the Commission and the decision finally made. While the WWF is glad that some breathing space has been granted to the solar market with this temporary regime of lower tariffs, Europe’s ability to produce cheap, reliable clean solar energy has been compromised.

WWF therefore calls on the European Commission, Member States and Chinese authorities to reach an amicable solution as soon as possible in order to get all import restrictions on clean solar power removed. Without that, a quarter of a million European jobs in the renewables energy sector would be put at risk.

In these times of record fossil fuel subsidies, carbon pollution, and Europe’s inability to support its 2020 climate target with effective measures, the European Commission would be best advised to focus on solving the real problems affecting clean energy development and job retention in Europe.”

Further information:

Dr Stephan Singer
Director of Global Energy Policy
Phone:+32 2 743 88 17
Mobile:+32 4 96 550 709

Audrey Gueudet
Communication and Media Officer
WWF European Policy Office
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 4 94 03 20 27
Solar power plant, Spain
© Claire Doole/WWF Enlarge

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