Solar Power Europe expects EU ‘expiry review’ to be launched

The European Commission has until Monday December 7 to announce its determination as to whether it will launch an expiry review of its PV trade measures affecting Chinese and Taiwanese solar exports to the EU. Solar Power Europe says that it expects the review to the launched, meaning that the measures are likely to remain in place throughout 2016.

On November 26, a meeting was held between EU member states trade officials and European Commission officials. At this meeting, Solar Power Europe understands, it was communicated that the expiry review will be launched.

The SolarWorld sponsored EU Prosun petitioned the European Commission for the expiry review in September.

If enacted, the expiry review would then have 15 months to deliver its findings, during which time the solar minimum price undertaking and antidumping-subsidy duties will remain in place.

Solar Power Europe CEO James Watson told pv magazine that as a result there will remain, “challenges in accessing PV cells and modules in Europe.

“Companies and consumers in the EU will continue to pay more for solar, making solar more expensive than it needs to be,” said Watson.

Pointing to modeling performed by EY, Solar Power Europe argues that lower PV prices would stimulate demand for solar in Europe, which would result in more jobs in solar in the EU.

Solar Power Europe believes that once the expiry review is launched, that the European Commission will consider broader arguments when considering the antidumping-subsidy measures, rather than focusing “structural trade issues” such as whether the dumping took place and is likely to continue. This could including the creation of jobs in the EU solar industry in the downstream and polysilicon sectors.

“Now the bigger picture is back in play,” concluded Solar Power Europe’s Watson.

In April, the Solar Power Europe – the renamed EPIA – came out against the antidumpting-subsidy measures, instead arguing the development of the solar industry in the EU was being held back by the measures.

While the UK solar market has performed strongly and is set to install some 3.2 GW in 2015, there have been few highlights from the European solar markets this year. Germany set to see around 1.4 GW followed by France with 1 GW and Italy with 550 MW – according to forecasts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.