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The European Comission (EC) Decision to Impose Duties on the Import of Solar Modules, Cells and Wafers from China

5th June 2013

The European Commission (EC) has announced today that it is to impose provisional duties of 11.8% on Chinese imported solar modules, cells and wafers with immediate effect.  These duties may increase to an average 47.6% after the 6 August, unless a settlement is reached with China beforehand.  After 6 months the continuation of these duties will be subject to a vote by EU member states.

The 27 EU member states have voted overwhelmingly in favour not to impose these provisional duties, however despite the 18 no votes, 5 abstentions, and 4 yes votes, the EC will implement them immediately.  The decision has also been heavily criticised by the renewables industry.

Response from Rupert Higgin, Managing Director of The Green Electrician Group:

“The EC has ignored the position of the vast majority of EU member states, the industry and opted for dangerous protectionism.  Open markets are the right choice to achieve lower solar energy prices, to create more solar jobs and to develop a growing green energy industry in the UK.

These provisional duties add unwelcome challenges to the UK solar industry and it will impact on installation prices, regardless of panel origin. However, we are confident that a settlement will soon be reached between China and the EU and we can once again concentrate on the business of developing the UK’s solar energy network.

The UK solar industry has proved resilient to recent changes and continues to provide great returns to those who invest in solar.  We are confident that the dynamic nature of our industry will see it respond to any outcome in a positive manner.”

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