Greg Barker lobbies EC to drop solar duties

The UK’s minister for energy and climate change, Greg Barker, arrived in Brussels to lobby the European Commission (EC) over proposed plans to impose trade duties on Chinese-manufactured solar products.

The UK government has broken its silence over the ongoing EC investigations, urging other EU member states to vote against provisional proposals that will see an average levy of 47% applied to all Chinese-manufactured solar products in the UK. Barker has personally written to all 26 EU environment ministers ahead of his visit, calling on his peers to “follow the UK in backing the growth of solar”.

A DECC spokesperson said: “We have serious reservations about these proposals, which we have made clear to the European Commission. These plans could have a significant knock-on effect on the price of solar panels, putting the growth of the low carbon market across Europe at risk and making solar PV a less viable option for householders and businesses in the UK.

Barker’s vocal opposition to the potential duties follows the German vice chancellor and economy minister Philipp Rösler’s recent outburst, in which he labelled the EC’s plans as a “grave mistake”.

A price rise in panels is not in the interest of anyone who wishes to see the growth of low carbon energy production.  I was lucky enough to be able to make my voice clearly heard at yesterdays BPVA working group meeting. If you have not commented yet, then surely in the interest of a cleaner energy future it could be worth a few moments to give our minister your support on this issue, we are all to quick to criticise.

Write to him here at -