The Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has called on the UK government to guarantee that it will vote against the imposition of any duties on Chinese solar imports.
The Brighton and Hove MP and ex-Green Party leader wrote on her personal blog: “From what I've heard first hand from small solar firms in my constituency, the last thing that the UK solar PV sector needs right now is the crippling uncertainty being caused by the EU anti-dumping anti-subsidy investigations.
“The outcome of this investigation is not yet clear but the uncertainty is already making ripples in our green industry with orders already being cancelled.
“The government must help by guaranteeing the UK will vote against these duties and by encouraging other Member States to do the same.”
The European Commission is set to present its preliminary proposals to the Council in early June, before members vote on the proposals. If a majority of members vote against the proposals then they will be dismissed.
Speaking at the Large Scale Solar Conference yesterday, the minster for energy and climate change, Greg Barker, sought to ease industry concern’s saying: “I want to assure you that the coalition is working hard to make the commission aware of the wider impacts of the EU/China case.”
Indeed, industry rumours are suggesting that the EU could be in the middle of negotiating a compromise with China that would bring an end to the current uncertainty surrounding the market.
However, if the EC does propose duties a number of UK industry players have expressed severe worries about the potential impact. Lucas concluded: “If the Government is serious about its ambition of 22GW of solar power by 2020, Ministers need to do all they can to oppose the EU anti dumping measures – and to support firm and ambitious targets for the renewable energy sector more broadly.