EU ProSun backs French-German solar plans

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EU ProSun – the sustainable solar energy initiative for Europe comprised of EU solar businesses – has backed a recent proposal for a French-German PV alliance, mooted in the wake of continued competition from China.

Remarking on last week’s announcement that France and Germany have been discussing plans to build a joint, large-scale PV modules plant (known as X-GW), EU ProSun have released a press statement lending their backing to the proposals.

"EU ProSun would like to point out that today Europe already possesses sufficient module and cell production capacity," read the statement. "However, in the last few years unfair trade practices and dumping prices have greatly affected the market and weakened the competitive position of the domestic industry, despite its technological advantage."

According to early reports, the X-GW project will be created via a consortium with The French National Institute of Solar Energy (INES), the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE). French President Francois Hollande has pledged his support for the projects, as has German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy spokesman, Tobias Dünow, who revealed that more details of the project will be released in the coming weeks.

Until that date, EU ProSun president Milan Nitzschke has urged Europe to back its solar industry, saying: "The signal from Germany and France is clear: Europe has to bet on a strong solar industry. But more important new production capacity is planning security for the solar companies that still exist in Europe.

"Solar markets like Germany were already greatly affected in 2013. If governments cannot guarantee planning security now, the best factory buildings in the world will not help."

Nitzschke also outlined EU ProSun’s fears that a new proposal from the German Federal Cabinet approving the final EEG (German Renewable Energy act) could hinder the future of a sustainable, decentralized and secure energy supply. "The policy goal should be the support of industry standards and the promotion of innovation," Nitzschke said. "The last thing that Europe needs now is technology hurdles like an EEG apportionment for the self-consumption of clean solar energy."