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EU's trade barriers against Chinese solar panels

Reporter: Liu Kai 丨 CCTV.com

10-28-2016 16:49 BJT

The International Energy Agency is saying that for the first time ever, the global capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has overtaken coal. The fresh report comes as the simmering row over the European Union’s trade barriers against Chinese solar panels has erupted once again. Richard Bestic reports from London.

More than 400 European solar energy firms have demanded EU immediately scrap minimum pricing trade measures against China.They’re harming the growth of an important industry across the European continent.The boss at one of Britain’s biggest solar panel installers saying European tariffs act as a drag on the development of clean energy.

"You know that there is absolutely no question that solar is going to win the race and all this does is slow it up for Europe...it just makes absolutely no sense, because ultimately the recipients of this, ie the Europeans can only win because it means that we can generate electricity at a cheaper price. I don’t see the problem with that." Lightsouce Renewable Energy CEO Nick Boyle said.

Lightsource is always on the lookout for new ways of pushing out solar panels.  Here covering a reservoir near London. Trade barriers acting as a damper on innovation and business, claims the company.     

The EU’s minimum price rules were introduced four years ago to combat alleged overproduction and dumping from Chinese manufacturers, to create a  ‘level playing field, currently disputed by China.

Lightsource claims it is research and development and the economies of scale that give the edge to Chinese Solar Panels.

"Clearly where you sit is where you stand.  You know if I’m in the situation where I’m the manufacturer, small manufacturer of solar panels, who clearly because of my volume and my lack of money to invest in R&D is not able to compete on that level playing field, then clearly I would have issues with that." Nick Boyle said.

"However, I am a businessman and at the end of the day, what we’re about is producing electricity at the cheapest possible price for the end user. Full stop." Nick Boyle said.

The pressure on the European Union then from both producers and installers keen to shine their light looks set to remain unrelenting.

For the foreseeable future, the solar power industry will continue to be seen as industry in Europe at odds with itself.  RB CCTV London.

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