Clean Power

Published on May 2nd, 2013 | by Tim Tyler


EU Launches Anti-Subsidy Investigation On Solar Glass From China

May 2nd, 2013 by  

Another anti-subsidy investigation in the solar energy sector has been officially opened by the European Commission (EC). The investigation will look into imports of solar glass from China to the EU.


Image Credit: Solar Glass via made-in-china

The complaint was filed by EU ProSun Glass, which claims solar glass from China is being subsidized in China and then sold in the EU at prices below market value, and thus causing material injury to the EU solar glass industry.

The EC has officially launched an anti-subsidy investigation, just after 2 months of the petition being filed by EU ProSun Glass.

Solar glass is a special glass used mainly for the production of solar panels. It is an essential component not just of solar panels, but for many solar energy products.

The anti-subsidy investigation could take up to 13 months. Although, under trade defense rules, the EU could impose provisional anti-subsidy duties within nine months if it considers these necessary.

In order to trigger an investigation, EU ProSun Glass has claimed to represent at least 25% of the European glass manufacturing industry (as required by EU law). The commission said the complainant had brought sufficient evidence of possible subsidies provided by the government of China, and injury suffered by the industry as a result, to warrant the opening of an investigation.

On February 28, the EC initiated anti-dumping proceedings against Chinese solar glass manufacturers.

The European Commission will send out questionnaires to various interested parties, such as exporting producers, Union producers, importers, and associations for information relating to the exports, production, sales, and imports of solar glass, in order to establish if subsidization has taken place and whether the injury claimed is a result of the subsidized imports.

Throughout the investigation, all parties will have the right to make their views and arguments heard by replying to the Commission or by taking part in hearings.

The Council is legally obliged to take a final decision on the imposition of any definitive measures within 13 months of the investigation being started.

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About the Author

Holds an electronic's engineering degree and is working toward a second degree in IT/web development. Enjoy's renewable energy topic's and has a passion for the environment. Part time writer and web developer, full time husband and father.

  • tibi stibi

    if china subsidizes the industry we should be thankful that china is paying the resolution of our energy needs.

    thanks for making energy cheap so our homes and industries can use energy cheap!! which make our products cheap and we have money left to buy more stuff. all good news!

    • Hear, hear! The real opportunity is to turn sunlight into electricity. If China wants to subsidize my electric bill, the smartest response is to run with it.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s great that China has helped bring the cost of solar down to the point where we are now starting to see huge increases in installation.

      But at the same time we need to make sure that one country doesn’t artificially lower prices to the point at which other producers are forced out of business, creating a monopoly. That would allow them to crank up prices high once their competition is gone.

      China sort of did that with rare earth minerals. Mines and refiners in the US and other countries went out of business. And then when China found it needed all it was producing for its own products the rest of the world had to scramble to bring production back on line.

      A truly predatory country (which I don’t think China is) could drop prices until they owned one sector, raise prices, and then if someone tried to start up in another country drop prices once more to cause the start-up to flounder.

      • Andrew

        But I thought that was the whole idea to undercut any European competitor in order to bring down the cost of solar power, it’s working well to destroy the US economy undercutting manufacturing right across the board we have seen that in recent years. It doesn’t mean that the glass the Chinese are exporting is all going for solar panels it could be used for other purposes like Windows installation because you can avoid taxes that way.

        It won’t be long before 128 foreign Asian cars are on the market for sale while undercutting local manufacturing cars and shutting down local production made cars in the US. Australia is one of the world leading countries that allows people to choose from 128 foreign nation cars under free trade may be the US can borrow an example of this.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Might be news to you Andrew, but auto manufacturers are now largely global. GM and Ford build cars in Europe and China, BMW and Toyota build cars in the US.

          Manufacturing tends to move where overall prices are lowest and the cost of shipping is part of that price. That’s why Nissan is building LEAFs and batteries in Tennessee and LEAFs (and batteries?) in England.

          Competition is fine. It works to increase quality and lower price. Unfair competition via unreasonable government subsidies is not a good thing in the long run.

          • Ross

            Yes, they’re building the LEAF batteries in England too.

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