Global solar council established

CEOs from leading solar organizations, including Applied Materials Inc., Dow Corning Corporation, DuPont Company, First Solar Inc., Lanco Solar Pvt Ltd, Phoenix Solar AG and Suntech Power Co. Ltd, have joined forces to encourage governments and policy makers to make provision for the industry to "compete freely and fairly on the basis of quality, technology, service, and price".

In addition to strengthening the ongoing deployment of photovoltaics, the coalition also aims to drive job creation and economic growth. Furthermore, it is looking to reduce trade barriers through "favorable policy regimes, energy market access, reducing import duties on manufacturing inputs, providing pre-competitive research and development support and other measures that will allow firms to lower their costs and compete at lower prices."

On its newly created website, and with a nod to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, the council further explained, "In a growing number of countries and regions around the world … the growth of solar PV is facing threats from calls for restrictive trade measures that hinder access to markets rather than provide it. For solar to reach its potential as quickly and cost-effectively as possible – thereby providing the maximum economic and environmental benefit – global markets must remain open to fairly traded products. Closing markets will only serve to raise prices, slow the adoption of solar, and fragment the industry, leaving it unable to compete on a global level."

In a statement released, the council added that it will work alongside other regional trade associations and relevant stakeholders, like the European Photovoltaics Industry Association (EPIA) and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).

Roland-Jan Meijer, who has previously worked for the Coca-Cola Company, British American Tobacco and Thorvik International Consulting, has been appointed executive director of the coalition. Commenting on the announcement, he said, "The Global Solar Council is an important and timely industry initiative. It demonstrates a strong commitment by key players in the sector to work together to continue to make solar energy a global success."

The council’s founding members are: Charles Gay, president of Applied Materials., Robert Hansen, CEO of Dow Corning, David Miller, president of DuPont, Michael Ahearn, chairman and interim CEO of First Solar, Vutukuri Saibaba, CEO of Lanco Solar, Andreas Hänel, CEO of Phoenix Solar, and Zhengrong Shi, CEO of Suntech.

No one could be immediately contacted for further information.