This could lead to the demise of European companies. The European industry association, the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC), claims that China has started to significantly reduce prices on solar panels, which could result in European manufacturers having to shut down their operations due to an inability to compete on price.
According to ESMC, Chinese solar modules have seen a 35 percent price drop since May and are now selling for less than 15 eurocents per watt. This is reportedly below the Chinese production cost of 20 eurocents/W and half of the approximately 30 eurocents/W production cost for European manufacturers. ESMC is now seeking assistance from the EU Commission and the EU Parliament. Johan Lindahl, Secretary-General of ESMC, stated:
“We want an immediate ban on solar panels manufactured using forced labor by Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, and for EU countries to assist in purchasing the large inventories held by European manufacturers. Additionally, we propose introducing a bonus for those who purchase European solar panels.“
India and the USA are reported to have previously restricted imports and supported domestic solar cell manufacturing in a manner similar to what ESMC is now advocating for in the European market.