A study from independent consultants Prognos, presented today at the headquarters of the European Commission, is "cynical" and its assumptions contradicted by evidence from the U.S. photovoltaic market. These were the claims made by EU ProSun in response to the report, in a press release released shortly after the Brussels event.
President of EU ProSun Milan Nitzschke said that Chinese dumping on modules harms the whole industry. "It is quite cynical to use the labor market argument on a day when two major European solar manufacturers had to declare insolvency," said Nitzschke. The ProSun spokesman has told pv magazine that he was referring to Spanish manufacturers Iatsu und Isofoton, as the insolvent firms, in his comments. Isofoton has, however, previously denied that it is insolvent.
"The developments in the U.S. negate already today the claims made by AFASE and Prognos," said Nitzschke. "None of the predicted negative effects took place there." The ProSun spokesman and SolarWorld employee continued, "It is a win-win situation: today in the U.S. there are no more unfair market practices, the domestic industry can survive, consumers do not have to pay more, the solar market is growing!"
In its criticism, ProSun also sought to undermine the Prognos assertion that exports to China from the EU will be damaged by tariffs. In its response, the group chose to highlight the most recent Chinese Government Five Year Plan, in which ProSun claims the goal is for China to dominate the entire photovoltaic value chain. It cited solar glass and silicon production as an examples of this.
Suntech’s Communications Manager Europe, Björn Emde, told pv magazine that he is surprised by Nitzschke’s strong criticism of the Prognos study, as he had previously worked closely with the firm.
"SolarWorld should know better than to attack the sound research done by the Prognos institute," said Emde. "After all, Prognos has been entrusted with studies and reports for the German PV association BSW for many years, while SolarWorld’s CEO Frank Asbeck and their Head of Marketing Milan Nitschke were board directors."