Tariffs imposed on Chinese solar panels entering the European Union market have now been scrapped in a move that the European Commission hopes will boost availability of low-cost panels across the continent.
The move to end Minimum Import Price (MIP) rules came into effect at midnight on September 3rd with a view to supporting the EU's target for meeting energy provision from renewable sources. Indeed, it is hoped that this will create an increase in solar deployment of 30 per cent.
MIP was introduced for Chinese solar goods in December 2013 and then extended by 18 months in March 2017.
However, industry insiders had argued that MIP made buying and installing solar panels in Europe more expensive and was therefore holding up the transition to a more environmentally friendly continent.
A statement from the EC said: "The commission observed that the market situation has not changed to the extent that this would justify a further extension of the measures now beyond the scheduled 18 months. It therefore rejected the EU industry's request for an expiry review investigation."
According to consulting firm IHS Markit, China manufactures roughly 70 per cent of the world's crystalline-silicon solar panels. Many firms worldwide outsource their manufacturing to China because production costs are so low.
The International Energy Agency predicts that photovoltaic solar could provide up to 16 per cent of the world's electricity by the middle of this century.