German PV developer derides EU-China deal


As the dust settles on the EU-China solar trade agreement, insolvent German PV developer Gehrlicher Solar has damned the deal with faint praise.

Chief Operating Officer Richard von Hehn told pv magazine the minimum price undertaking offered by Chinese wafer, cell and module manufacturers, together with an unspecified annual cap on the volume of Chinese exports to Europe was ‘of no use to anyone.’

Von Hehn did, though, welcome the end of the period of uncertainty while negotiations were held in Brussels and Beijing.

"We regard the compromise in the EU trade dispute with China as positive insofar as it will at least result in some planning security in the market," said the COO of the Neustadt-based developer.

"Fundamentally, however, the deal is of no use to anyone, as it continues to endanger jobs at all levels of the PV value chain," added von Hehn, who oversees global purchasing and the group’s European business operations.

Gehrlicher filed for insolvency last month after its banks canceled an €85 million credit (US$109.5 million) line. The company said at the time that the European Commission’s decision to impose EU-wide punitive anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese modules had led to "a deterioration of market conditions in Europe" and as a result it was no longer able to fulfill its business plan upon which the two-year loan agreement extension had been signed earlier this year.