China vs the EU – Solar Trading Begins
The combative talks between China and the EU, about the pricing of solar panels and related components have come to an end with the Chinese exporters agreeing to a lowest acceptable price for their wares.
The China Chamber of Commerce Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products led the talks on behalf of Chinese exporters. They agreed to a minimum price per watt of 56 cents when sold to the EU. Exporters who do not fall in line with this agreement and mutually fixed rate would face to face the Union’s anti-dumping tariffs which are poised to rise to 47.6% in August 2013, from their present 11.8%.
Wars over competitive prices in the solar industry have the world reeling
Competitive prices would ensure China retain hold of a significant market share and remain a steady exporter to Europe. The EU is China’s largest export market for solar panels and accessories according to the spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Shen Danyang. Over the last few years, falling prices of solar equipment have worried Europe and the US because home manufacturers are being forced to close down after losing out to the competitive prices offered by China. Tens of thousands of workers in the solar equipment industry have lost their jobs. In Germany alone, a fifth of the entire workforce, amounting to over 24,000 jobs, have been benched since 2011.
Why competitive prices are necessary in commercial solar technology today
With the world increasingly enthusiastic about green technology which reduces carbon emissions at a minimum, produces nil wastage and utilizes the completely free power of the sun, solar is a new platform for commerce wars between the manufacturing powers of the world. Demand for wholesale solar panels, photovoltaics, and clean technology that pair intelligently with solar architecture is at an all-time high. Supply is hard pressed to keep up with orders coming from all parts of the world. The developed countries are in a race to lower their expenses while cutting down on their carbon footprint, while the poorer South are looking for ready access to electrical power for their homes and community buildings. The whole world is more conscious of energy conservation and self sufficiency and the eco-pundits who have long advocated green living look on all developments with undisguised glee.
Competitive prices for solar equipment is a boon for all
For the green lobby and indeed, for anyone interested in environmental conservation, these developments mean a reduction of prices for solar equipment. This is a welcome boon for all eco- preservationists because of the relatively high, albeit one-time, investment in solar panels and accessories. Modern technology has given us more options for faster and better conversion of natural energy to electricity – particularly in the exploitation of solar power, but this modern marvel comes at a steep price. Costs have been dipping steadily over the last 20 years, but are still a factor to reckon with when someone wants to wire up a home or office with power harnessed from the wealth of sunlight. Competitive prices in the marketplace for solar products have eased the burden on the consumer, but new laws and keener competition may auger better futures for those buying their equipment now.
The settlement between Chinese exporters and the governments represented by the EU is not only a victory for competitive prices but also a positive showing for the Chinese claim to fair trade practices. The ultimate gainer is the common buyer – who will be going to the marketplace to buy solar equipment to kit out a home or a workplace. The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions. Conversion to the eco-friendly option of solar power is similarly fraught with the bugbear of relatively high prices – at least, before the bottom started to fall out of the market in our present decade.
Would the war for competitive prices result in a green, clean world?
The advantages of solar power are known to all. Energy that utilizes the free power of the sun which falls in the earth is a great resource that does not depend on the fast-emptying reserves of fossil fuels on our planet. The energy produced is clean, efficient and ties in well with solar architecture which is the new buzz-term for new buildings and constructions coming up in all parts of the world. There is minimal loss, and harmful emissions into the environment are also cut out of the equation.
Therefore, it is not only the green enthusiasts and lovers of technology who plump for this form of electricity. It is, most definitely, one of the most important areas of electrical production for energy self-sufficiency on earth. For sustainable living, for conservation of the flora and fauna of our planet, we need to continue our progress with solar power technology. Competitive prices of solar technology and equipment will ensure just that. Green Tech and Clean Tech are synonymous with solar technology and it will allow us to hand over the planet – none worse than we have already made possible – to the future generation when it is time for us to pack up our interests and hang up our working boots on our way to the deep blue beyond.
Bill Michaels is an indefatigable advocate of green living and has written several articles on all subjects – technological and social – to help us to live as more responsible citizens. He now eagerly writes for http://www.avic-intl.com.au/ in helping promote awareness for future generations.