UK and European solar industry representatives have warned of the potentially severe impact of trade tariffs against China in an open letter to European trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht.

The letter said any potential duties arising from the current EC anti-dumping investigation could “severely hamper” the European solar industry “to the detriment of the entire EU solar PV value chain and without significant positive effect for the EU solar producers”.

The letter, penned by the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE), has received support from 1,024 company representatives from across the EU solar PV industry. Of the 1,024 signatures, 176 are from UK-based solar professionals.

The letter explains that the European PV market is in a state of consolidation after a destabilising series of booms and busts over the last 30 year. “There would be no winners, only losers at the detriment of the entire EU solar industry,” said Wouter Vermeersch, CEO of the Belgian company Cleantec Trade.

He continued: “The harm to the upstream and downstream suppliers (which account for 70 % of the PV supply chain’s value in the EU) would outweigh benefits to EU PV producers. 

“Tariffs on solar products and their components are bad for the entire European solar industry since they would lead to price increases and significantly dampen demand.” 

The open letter and list of signatories can be viewed below:

Afase Open Letter Signatories 130403