AFASE dissolves, merges with SETI

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The Brussels-based Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE) has ceased to exist as a registered association and integrated itself into the Alliance of the Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative (SETI) in Geneva, Switzerland.

AFASE launched in March 2012 as a coalition of companies to promote open markets and free trade and in opposition to the European Commission’s anti-dumping case against Chinese PV manufacturers.

AFASE has now ended its stand-alone existence as a legal entity and its board and supporters will be integrated into the SETI Alliance.??

"AFASE and the SETI Alliance both share a vision of open markets to support growth in green technology," said Thorsten Preugschas, AFASE chairman and CEO of Germany’s Soventix GmbH. "The move will provide our supporters with a wider platform to communicate our vision."

With the end of the European Commission’s trade investigations in sight, AFASE said it was redirecting its activities. As part of SETI, the group is looking to "build on the momentum created by the solar panel case and extend its mission to support free trade actions in favor of sustainable energy development," it said.??

Peter C. Brun, SETI Alliance managing director, said the merger would allow "us to grow our coalition for free and open green trade. Improved markets are crucial for facilitating a more cost effective scaling up and deployment of renewable energy, supporting a shift away from fossil fuels and enhancing climate change mitigation."

Brud added that members of the AFASE campaign represented many different actors in the solar industry value chain – from installation companies to manufactures, investors to end-users – "and we are very pleased that they support our broader outreach for market openings and new international green trade rules."

AFASE said it would continue to inform its supporters as part of the SETI Alliance about developments related to the EU’s imposition of definitive duties on solar products from China.

AFASE board member Peter Desmet, CEO of the Netherlands’ Solarclarity, will join the SETI Alliance steering committee and the organization said many of its supporters were choosing independently to join SETI in supporting free trade policy development around the world.

EU ProSun, the SolarWorld-backed lobby group that pushed the EC to take action against Chinese companies that were dumping their products in Europe, and AFASE’s main adversary, remains active and has not announced similar intentions despite the trade row resolution.