MEPs, associations and NGO’s applaud tariff free solar
Earlier this month the European Commission ended the trade measures on solar panels from China and other Asian countries. In the wake of this decision, a broad group of MEPs, associations and NGOs have expressed their delight for the removal of the trade duties.
MEPs from all of Europe’s biggest political groups have expressed their support for the end of the trade barriers:
MEP Morten Helveg Petersen (ALDE), Vice-Chair of the Industry and Energy Committee:”The energy future of Europe is renewable. With this decision, Europe takes a large step closer to that future. With the declining costs of both solar and off-shore wind, we now need to open up the internal market for electricity, so that all Europeans can get sustainable and affordable energy. This is a key part of the ambition to meet our Paris commitments.”
MEP Sean Kelly (EPP) Parliamentary leader for the Renewables Directive: “I welcome that this long-standing issue has finally been resolved. Having been part of the negotiating team that achieved the 32% Renewable Energy Target for 2030, it is clear to me that we need to give ourselves the best chance of reaching it. The removal of tariffs will make solar installations more affordable for citizens who wish to take control of the energy transition, and as a result will help to increase deployment across the EU.”
MEP Jo Leinen (S&D): “The Commission’s decision takes into account realities. Lifting the tariffs can help Europe meet its renewable energy targets for 2030. In the future, however, Europe needs a robust strategy for the development of clean technologies.”
MEP José Inácio Faria (EPP): “Climate change is real and to meet the Paris agreement objectives we have committed to, we will need to shift the sources of energy towards sustainability. Solar power technology is available today and has just now become more affordable with the falling of trade barriers. Hopefully, a competitive market will reduce prices and will help us, as Europeans, in pursuing our commitment to reduce the ecological footprint.”
MEP Emma McClarkin (ECR): “Removing AD duties on solar panels from China will bring fairer prices to consumers and the wider solar industry, creating more jobs and encouraging people to invest in solar and meet renewable energy targets.”
European associations also lined up to support the decision:
“Thanks to the removal of the solar trade measures, we will undoubtedly see a surge in demand for solar as the technology will become significantly cheaper without the unnecessary tariffs – this increase in consumer demand means the creation of thousands of local, skilled jobs across the EU, which will be a major boost for SMEs to become competitive and drive the European economy” said Giorgia Concas, Secretary General, The European Association for Electrical Contractors (AIE).
“The end of trade measures on solar panels offers European citizens and their renewable energy communities the chance to accelerate the energy transition to a decentralised and democratically controlled energy production. It will bring about the creation of a lot of jobs to install the PV panels and strengthen the local economy. Together with the recent acknowledgement of citizens (as ‘active customers’) and energy communities in EU legislation, this brings new opportunities for Europe’s growing community energy movement” said Dirk Vansintjan – President REScoop.eu.
Some of the largest NGOs that have advocated for the trade duties to be lifted, have also announced their support for the dropping of the measures stating that it will help the EU reach its climate goals.
Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor Global Energy Policy at Climate Action Network International: “Congratulations to the Commission. Rather than penalising overall renewable energy solutions that help to meet our climate goals cost-effectively, the Commission is now well advised to strongly address the direct and indirect subsidies that go to nuclear and fossil fuels in Europe which stand in the way of sustainable development.”
Nick Mabey, CEO, E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism: “Open global supply chains have been the motor driving radical falls in the cost of clean energy. The decision to remove tariffs on solar imports will allow European consumers to benefit from this technology revolution and accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions making us all safer.”
SolarPower Europe sent a letter to Commissioner Malmstrom applauding the Commission’s move to end the five year long trade measures.