EU chiefs have been warned there will be “nothing left” of European industry, unless bosses take action to tackle Chinese competition.
European solar panel manufacturers are said to be on the brink of being swept out by low-cost Chinese solar panels.
The European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) has now warned Ursula von der Leyen about the devastating effects on the industry if urgent measures are not enforced.
One German state premier has blamed part of the problem on US “protectionism”.
EU chiefs have been warned there will be “nothing left” of European industry, unless bosses take action to tackle Chinese competition
The ESMC says Chinese panels have flooded the market which could cause a global overcapacity situation.
A letter to Ursula von der Leyen read: “If nothing is done now, there will be no European industry left in 2030.
“Xi Jinping’s plan to control the entire solar panel production chain will have worked and the aggressive strategy of the subsidised Chinese industry will have paid off.”
Chinese products are subsided by Beijing – which makes it impossible for European manufacturers to compete.
The ESMC says this has “led to a collapse in panel prices, leaving large quantities of unsold products on the hands of European manufacturers”.
In the letter to von der Leyen, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, ESMC Director of Public Policy, said: “This is the moment of truth to find out whether the European Commission and the Member States remain committed to their desire not to depend on imports of solar panels.”
Across the EU, four solar panel factories have already closed their doors or confirmed they will shut down amid huge numbers of unsold products.
The ESMC has called for measures including “a mechanism to facilitate the purchase of stocks of unsold European solar panels” and a change to the legal framework “to strengthen the financing of projects using panels produced in Europe”.
European solar panel manufacturers are said to be on the brink of being swept out by low-cost Chinese solar panels
Meyer Burger, Germany’s biggest remaining solar manufacturer in Freiberg, Saxony has threatened to close.
Saxony’s Prime Minister Kretschmer blamed the US for the growing crisis, saying: “The situation arose because the US market was closed for Chinese solar panels and the products that were on their way from China to America could not be landed there, so the ships were diverted to Rotterdam.”
He added: “In other words, the problem arises because protectionism is being practised in America, and we are the ones who suffer”.