Multiple leading European solar associations have come together in a concerted effort, publishing an open letter that calls for the European Union to develop a comprehensive industry strategy for the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector. In a move aimed at preserving the vitality of the European solar industry, the signatories express their strong opposition to the imposition of tariffs and trade barriers.
The open letter outlines four key strategies that the signatories believe can be swiftly implemented to address the sharp declines in solar PV module prices in Europe. First and foremost, the signatories call on the EU's member states and delegates to petition the European Commission to make further adjustments to the EU State Aid framework. This would enable member states to provide operational expenditure support to solar factories.
Secondly, the open letter underscores the need for the EU to promptly adopt the EU Net Zero Industry Act. The signatories propose the establishment of specific Resilience Auction systems in consumer markets over the coming months. Additionally, they suggest tailoring Article 20 of the Net Zero Industry Act to permit member states to organize auctions of limited but progressively increasing capacity to align with the growing manufacturing capabilities within Europe.
The signatories emphasize the importance of refraining from imposing pre-qualification criteria for solar PV, as such measures could adversely affect the speed and cost-effectiveness of the energy transition and solar deployment across the continent.
Furthermore, the open letter urges EU member states and delegates to collaborate with the European Commission in creating an EU-wide financial support framework dedicated to the solar PV supply chain. This framework could be closely linked to existing national support funds, mechanisms, or instruments, as well as the Innovation Fund.
Lastly, the signatories encourage the EU to maximize the utilization of Resilience and Recovery Funds (RRF) to bolster the production of solar PV, thereby fortifying the solar industry's resilience.
The push for these measures comes on the heels of challenges faced by the European solar industry, including the bankruptcy of ingot producer Norwegian Crystals in August and the temporary suspension of production by Norwegian solar ingot manufacturer NorSun due to the influx of low-priced Chinese solar modules in September.
In addition to advocating for a strategic approach to support the solar sector, the open letter firmly opposes the imposition of tariffs and trade barriers. The signatories contend that such measures could endanger the burgeoning PV market and the existing PV ecosystem in Europe. The signatories assert that such actions could hinder the achievement of political installation goals and deprive consumers of the economies of scale that render solar PV one of the most appealing energy generation technologies, serving both decentralized consumer markets and utility-scale supply. They call upon member states and delegates to dismiss any proposals of this nature.
This united effort by European solar associations underscores the critical importance of fostering a robust solar PV industry in Europe and the necessity of strategic measures to support its growth.