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Anti-dumping tariffs will bring long-term stability, says Savills Energy

David Grindley of Savills Energy
David Grindley of Savills Energy

The announcement that the European Commission will impose provisional anti-dumping duties on wafers, solar cells and modules imported from China could be good news for the long-term future of the solar industry, says David Grindley of Savills Energy.

Grindley, a director at Savills Energy, is a specialist in the field of solar park developments in the UK and abroad.

He said: “Although the first reading of this week’s changes in anti-dumping tariffs on imports from China may initially be cause for concern, the longer-term reality is that this will likely bring about a negotiated compromise agreement and, ultimately, stability in the marketplace.

“In the shorter term, however, we expect to see fluctuations in panel prices and difficulties for developers looking to get hold of panels in large quantities. As China has reduced its imports into the EU, panel prices have been steadily increasing over the past few months but we should see steadiness once the expected compromise agreement has been reached.” 

The European Commission has introduced the duties in order to counteract unfair trade practices which, it is claimed, have harmed the European solar industry. However, despite the provisional duties being enforced, the EC has reiterated its commitment to securing an amicable solution to the solar trade dispute through continued negotiations with Chinese business.

Grindley added: “While it is important that the industry keeps an eye on what’s happening with China, we are actually more concerned about the impact of the UK government’s stance on greenfield solar park developments post-2014. There is still a large volume of PV which needs to be installed to reach government renewable energy targets and restricting the land use available only serves to dissuade developers and investors from taking on significant projects.

“Indeed, between the potential trade war with China and the approach currently being taken by the UK government, we would argue that timing for development is more critical than ever. Anyone contemplating a solar park scheme should move now if they wish to secure the better land rents under 1.6 ROCs.”

The EU will issue a final decision on anti-dumping duties on 5th December 2013.