Clean Power

Published on June 10th, 2014 | by Roy L Hales


Suntech’s VDE Accreditation Demonstrates Importance Of Chinese Solar

June 10th, 2014 by  

SEIA warns US tariffs may damage solar industry.

Originally published in the ECOreport.

Headquarters of Wuxi Suntech Power Co Ltd. - PRNewsFoto/Wuxi Suntech

Headquarters of Wuxi Suntech Power Co Ltd. – PRNewsFoto/Wuxi Suntech

Wuxi Suntech recently announced that its modules are now the “third brand globally” to receive VDE Quality-Tested certification, which is believed to be the strictest testing criteria in the industry. While most standards will allow a power loss of 8% over the test sequence, VDE will not allow more than 5%. Suntech’s VDE Accreditation demonstrates the importance of Chinese solar and what the US is risking by imposing tariffs.

Approximately 69% of China’s energy comes from coal. It is the principal cause of airpocalypse, which is suffocating many Chinese cities in perma-smog. China’s dependence on coal is one of the largest causes of rising greenhouse gases.

Yet, with coal prices rising and solar getting less expensive, there are signs that the Chinese may be adopting more renewable energy.

Suntech’s CEO, Eric Luo, predicts that China’s solar industry will reach grid parity by 2016 or 2017 and soon be installing 25 gigawatts of solar capacity a year.

Wilfried Jaeger (right), Managing Director of the VDE Institute hands over the VDE Quality Tested seal to Baixing Wang, Chairman and founder of Talesun. - photo courtesy Talesun

Wilfried Jaeger (right), Managing Director of the VDE Institute hands over the VDE Quality Tested seal to Baixing Wang, Chairman and founder of Talesun. – photo courtesy Talesun

The first Chinese manufacturer to achieve VDE Quality Tested certification was Talesun in 2012. It supplied 150 megawatts of capacity in Europe last year.

At that time Wilfried Jaeger, Managing Director of the VDE Institute, said, “VDE has developed the new testing program for this highly valuable seal of quality in close cooperation with the solar industry, solar project investors, and our international network of partner laboratories. With this finely tuned and optimized product, we are able to precisely meet the needs for product testing and quality control, while avoiding unnecessary excess testing parameters and costs.”

The day before the US slapped Suntech with a 35.21% tariff, the company was given “best in class” by VDE’s Energy and Smart Technologies Division.

“This recognition further validates our commitment to provide customers with solar panels of the highest quality and reliability in design and mass production,” said Suntech CEO Eric Luo.

Then United States slapped duties of between 18.56% and 35.21% on imported Chinese solar modules.

Luo claims the tariff on Suntech, which received the largest amount, is “completely unfair” because his company is not receiving subsidies from the Chinese government.

Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA, warns these tariffs “will increase costs for U.S. solar consumers and, in turn, slow the adoption of solar within the United States.”

“We are disappointed to see the DOC’s preliminary Decision and believe that this will have a negative impact on the solar industry and will ultimately end up hurting US customers and US solar jobs the most,” commented Mr. Xiande Li, Chairman of JinkoSolar. “Ill-conceived trade barriers such as these only aid in reducing the competitiveness of solar energy against other forms of power generation. JinkoSolar has fully cooperated with the relevant authorities throughout the investigation and will continue to do so in the hope that international trade and fair competition will eventually prevail.”

“It’s time to get serious about resolving this ongoing dispute, before irreparable damage is done to the U.S. solar industry,” Resch said.  “We’re strongly urging all parties to set aside their grievances; redouble efforts to find a solution that benefits all segments of the industry; and end this potentially costly and divisive conflict.”

(Image at top of page: Headquarters of Wuxi Suntech Power Co Ltd. – PRNewsFoto/Wuxi Suntech)

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

  • tibi stibi

    so every company who is in the red should be fined because they are selling their stuff to cheaply?

    and how about companies giving their services or stuff away free and getting their money via other means? (like google)

  • Zzzz

    Bad decision for US solar industry indeed. Less competition on the marketplace equals to higher prices.

    • Just Wendy

      Not true if the companies went out of business because the cost was higher than the market will support.

  • Just Wendy

    Too bad the author failed to do basic research. The tariffs were imposed due to “dumping”. Suntech, et all were fined for dumping solar panels in the US and EU markets below cost for several years. They are directly responsible for several U.S.companies declaring bankruptcy. This has been proven in Senate hearings and several government investigations.

    • JamesWimberley

      The whole idea of “dumping” is fishy. By Econ 101. a firm should keep producing and selling even if it’s losing money, as long as marginal revenue is greater than marginal costs, and there’s a good prospect of recovery. What right have domestic producers to be protected from competition on these terms? The slump in solar in 2012 was clearly cyclical, and the bailout by the Chinese government fully justified, like the US bailout of its auto industry. The main Chinese producers are now trading in the black. We should all be grateful to them.

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