EU ProSun files second solar complaint

25. September 2012 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Top News, Trade cases | By:  Becky Beetz

EU ProSun, headed by SolarWorld AG, has filed a second official complaint to the European Commission, this time accusing Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers of receiving illegal subsidies.

European Union flags

A second photovoltaic complaint has been filed with the European Commission.

The European initiative has today, September 25, filed a complaint asking for an investigation into "illegal" subsides provided to Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers from the country's government.

In a statement released on the first day of the 27th EU PVSEC tradeshow, EU ProSun said its has identified "many forms of significant" subsidies issued by the Chinese government to its domestic manufacturers.

"For instance," stated EU ProSun president, Milan Nitzschke, "Chinese banks implement government policy by giving very low interest rates to solar manufacturers, and, if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, it may be written-off, extended indefinitely or paid off by other government-controlled entities. This makes it easier, cheaper, and a lot less risky for Chinese solar companies to obtain financing."

The initiative goes on to quote Bloomberg New Finance, which has said that since 2010, the China Development Bank Corp. has extended €33 billion in credit lines to 12 Chinese solar companies.

Nitzschke added, "Chinese government subsidies are only available to Chinese companies. Massive subsidies and state intervention have stimulated overcapacity more than 20 times total Chinese consumption and close to double total global demand. Hence, more than 90% of Chinese production had to be exported.

"Irrational overproduction on this scale cannot generate profits. Chinese subsidies shield manufacturers from insolvency, and are pumped into solar companies even if they are unprofitable. Most Chinese solar companies would have gone bankrupt a long time ago if not for endless government subsidies. Meanwhile over 20 major European solar manufacturers have become insolvent in 2012 alone."

On September 6, the European Commission launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of photovoltaic cells, wafers and modules from China, after EU ProSun, led by SolarWorld and said to be backed by over 20 unidentified European solar manufacturers, filed an anti-dumping complaint.

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