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Chinese experts call for government intervention in support of Solar PV industry

According to reports, industrial experts said Sunday the government should intervene following reports that Indian companies have called for an anti-dumping probe into China’s solar panelexports, similar to the ones already launched by the US and the EU.

“Compared with solar panel companies, the government is more powerful and hascountermeasures to respond with,” Bai Ming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times Sunday. “Besides, the recent probes against Chinese firms were launched by foreign officialbodies and we need our official response too.”

Shanghai Securities News reported Saturday that Indian businesses had filed acomplaint against Chinese solar panel products to India’s anti-dumping authority onSeptember 12.

The news triggered fears that other markets might join the US and the EU in takingmeasures against China’s solar photovoltaic (PV) industry.

The US announced a preliminary decision in May to levy anti-dumping duties of up to250 percent on solar panel exports from China. The European Commission also saidon September 6 that it will open an anti-dumping probe into Chinese PV exports.

The Chinese government failed to act when the US opened its anti-dumping probe,which encouraged the EU to follow suit, Han Xiaoping, chief information officer atChinese energy portal, was quoted as saying Saturday by China RadioInternational.

“We should take timely and effective countermeasures to avoid history repeating itself,”Bai told the Global Times, noting that markets like Argentina followed suit after the USimposed a tariff on tires imported from China in 2009.

Over 70 percent of Chinese solar exports go to the EU market, which is the largestsolar market worldwide and had 51,000 megawatts of installed solar generatingcapacity in 2011. Exports to the EU are worth over $20 billion per year, and account forover 400,000 jobs in the Chinese PV industry, according to the Ministry of Commerce(MOFCOM). So any obstacles to the EU market would be a serious blow for domesticsolar companies.

Though the Indian market is a lot smaller and much less important than that of the EU, “it doesn’t mean we can afford to lose the potential market for the future,” Liang Tian,public relations director of Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co, one of the leading solarpanel producers in China, told the Global Times.

Foreign companies complain because China’s PV exports are cheap, but the reasonthey are cheap is that domestic companies have mastered advanced technologies andcut costs, Liang said.

Chong Quan, China’s deputy representative for international trade talks with theMOFCOM, pointed out Friday during a trip to the EU that both sides would be hurt by aSino-EU trade conflict.

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