The European Commission has come across evidence that Chinese manufacturers of crystalline solar photovoltaic products did indeed receive illegal state aid, citing circles close to the issue. This has been reported by the Reuters news agency. Brussels however is not taking any action for now.
The European Commission has now revealed that solar modules from China entail 11% state subvention. "The subsidies in China have been used to force European competitors out of the market. Without these subsidies no Chinese supplier would survive," EU ProSun President Milan Nitzschke stated in light of this matter.
The list of investigated subsidies is said to be pages long and include details like subsidised raw materials and electricity, excess capacity development, marketing grants and state funding for otherwise uncompetitive companies. EU ProSun is now criticizing the fact that these findings are not being followed by concrete action. The Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE) has declined to comment on this matter.
The European Commission has also refused to comment since the source of the report remains unnamed. However the Commission did acknowledge that the various parties in the PV trade case have been forwarded the findings made by Brussels. Now the participating organizations and companies have to submit their comments on the results. The content is however confidential and not open to the public. "Let me make it clear once again that the results disclosed in the anti-subsidy proceedings do not affect the friendly settlement reached with China in early August as part of the antidumping proceedings," John Clancy, spokesperson for the EU trade commissioner said.
The EU Commission has agreed with the Chinese side on minimum import prices for crystalline solar photovoltaic products from China as well as import volumes. The majority of the Chinese manufacturers have also accepted this so-called "undertaking" and it is being monitored by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The remaining Chinese crystalline PV manufacturers have to account for the provisional 47.6% import duties when they sell their goods in the European Union. The European Commission has waived preliminary countervailing duties against Chinese companies for now in the anti-subsidy proceedings that are running in parallel. A final decision is to be expected in both cases in early December.
Translated and edited by Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger