Global Solar Alliance announces expansion

The Global Solar Alliance – established last May by Solar Power International (SPI), Solar Expo Verona and SNEC PV Power Expo (Shanghai) – has strengthened its network with two new members, Renewable Energy India and Green Energy Expo & Conference (Korea). The announcement was made on Wednesday at the first Global Solar Summit in Milan, Italy.

With the expansion, the alliance is creating more competition for the organizers of Intersolar, which is suffering from falling exhibitor numbers. Indeed, from 2011, numbers have declined from 2,286 to 1,909 in 2012, and, to date this year, 1,267.

"We see ourselves as the voice of the industry for the further development of the solar market, and want to expand our platform as an experience exchange for the solar industry," stated Massiimiliano Cecchin, board member of the Global Solar Alliance.

"In addition to the commercial aspects, there are many topics on which we need to pull together, in order to be globally competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear energy," added Rhone Resch, president and CEO of U.S.-based Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

EU trade dispute

There were, however, few common interests between the supporters and opponents of the EU trade dispute. AFASE, the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy, spokesperson Paulette Vander Schueren and EU ProSun’s Milan Nitzschke exchanged already well-known arguments for and against the imposition of duties on photovoltaic products coming into the EU from China.

Nitzschke also met the appeal by Guangbin Sun of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for increased cooperation between the EU and Chinese solar industries with little enthusiasm. A basis for cooperation does not exist until China ceases subsidizing its solar industry, he stated.

No official comment was released on the back of the news that the European Commission has approved provisional anti-dumping duties of between 37 and 68% this June for imports of Chinese photovoltaic products.

Unofficially, however, it has been said that the commission has deliberately spread such rumors, in order to place pressure on the critics of the planned tariffs in the EU Member States, before they are officially announced on June 6.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz.