Europe Warns: Tariffs Risk Solar Boom
- SolarPower Europe urges EU policy makers not to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment as it could impede clean energy installation. Instead, incentivise resilient European solar production for a better win-win strategy. EU set a record in 2020 with 40Gw of solar capacity, but risk repeating past dips if restrictions are enacted.
SolarPower Europe, the primary trade organization of the solar power industry in Europe, has urged policymakers not to impose tariffs on imports, as such action could seriously impede the rapid installation of clean energy. The organization believes incentivising solar installations from resilient European production would be a better policy approach. They have also warned tariffs would be a “lose-lose strategy”, as the EU relies heavily on Chinese imports for ingots and wafers for solar panels. The industry experienced a dip in solar energy installations when the EU imposed limits on Chinese imports, a situation they fear could be repeated if restrictions are implemented. Despite these worries, the EU set a record in 2020 with 40 gigawatts of installed solar capacity.
Should the EU Impose Tariffs on Solar Imports?
- The EU has been considering tariffs on solar imports as a way to protect its member countries’ domestic solar industries and give them an edge in the global market.
- Proponents of tariffs argue that such measures would create jobs in the solar sector and help stimulate economies in the EU.
- Opponents of tariffs argue that they would raise prices for consumers and reduce competition within the solar sector, potentially leading to lower quality products and services.
- Tariffs could lead to a trade war between the EU and countries with a large solar industry, such as China, India, and the US.
- Tariffs could also affect the global competitiveness of the EU's solar industry by making European-made solar products more expensive than those from other countries.
- Tariffs may also discourage investment in renewable energy, a key component of the EU's long-term environmental goals.
- The impact of tariffs on solar imports would likely depend on how they are structured and implemented. If the tariffs are too high they could make solar energy unaffordable for many households and businesses.