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European Solar Manufacturing Outlook Not So Sunny – HotAir

Those darn Chinese, they spoil everything. Particularly when you’re an industry that need subsidies to survive because you haven’t been able to stand alone yet, even after decades of government largesse greasing your skids. Just when you think you’ve finally got it made, climate cultists have taken over running the country, and are bankrupting everyone except “renewables” in their rush to mandating Greener glory, what happens?

Cheap Chinese imports flood your lucrative, government-ordered fertile solar sales fields, and boom turns to bust.

Time to go begging for a bailout again. It’s not not a climate emergency now. It’s “cash crunch” emergency.

Europe’s solar panel manufacturing industry has urged the European Union to step in with emergency measures to avoid local firms shutting down under price pressure from Chinese imports, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

Multiple European solar manufacturers have announced plans to close factories in recent months, citing pressure from a flood of imports and an oversupply of solar panel parts that have piled up in European warehouses and pushed down prices.

In a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, industry group the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) warned that without rapid help, the EU risked losing more than half of its operational solar photovoltaic module manufacturing capacity within weeks.

“Over the next 4–8 weeks, major EU PV module producers and their European suppliers are poised to shut down manufacturing lines unless substantial emergency measures are promptly implemented,” said the letter, dated Jan. 30.
ESMC asked the EU to launch emergency measures including a scheme to buy up excess inventories of EU solar modules to ease the oversupply, and change state aid rules to boost government support for local solar producers.

One of the Swiss PV firms is threatening to shut down a factory in Germany this month “unless the government delivered promised funding.” Um…good luck with that. Germany, as I’ve noted time and again, is suffering through a touch of its own money crunch right now, and the hanging-on-by-the-hairs-of-their-chinny-chin-chin Greens no longer have the wherewithal – nor the consent of a duped and supine public – to blithely drop a check to cover the difference.

Could get techy, as the Greens are meeting this very weekend to “water down” their climate goals as it is.

The European Green Party is set for an internal battle over climate targets at a party congress this weekend (2-4 February), with the German Greens pushing to postpone the climate neutrality goals by five years and scrap parts of the gas and oil phase-out policies.

The European Green Party’s (EGP) draft manifesto, first reported on by Euractiv, calls on the EU to bring forward by ten years its target date for climate neutrality, from 2050 to 2040.

The German Greens have other plans, though, as they are now trying to push the manifesto’s target back to 2045, according to proposed amendments seen by Euractiv.

This sure doesn’t read as if a solar factory is getting a direct deposit any time soon, does it? Points for trying, but sometimes you have to learn to read a room, dudes.

And isn’t it funny who the European solar industry is looking to for their template to keep the government Green grift going. Knock you over with a feather, right? This is not how America is supposed to lead in the world.

Following the blueprint set by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the US and improving permitting legislation are were among the opportunities discussed for the European solar sector by panellists at Solar Media’s Solar Finance & Investment Europe event this morning.

…“The solar boom in the US was really driven by the IRA, and made it relatively attractive compared to Europe,” said Peter Schümers, partner and co-head of investments at Energy Infrastructure Partners. “This happened at the same time as the Ukraine crisis and a windfall profit tax for energy companies, and that was a very bad sign for Europe.”

However, implementing an IRA-style form of legislation presents obvious challenges in a market such as Europe, where there are a myriad of governments and legislative frameworks. The panellists also discussed some of the challenges stemming from this legislative complexity, where it can take several years for permits to be given to new solar projects in markets such as Italy, especially as projects become more complex and there is more money involved.

European solar manufacturers are talking out of both sides of their mouths, too. They don’t want “tariffs,” they say – just “fairness.” When they’re being thoroughly dominated and can’t possibly pull themselves out of the hole without government (read: taxpayer/rate payer) intervention, fairness has little to do with it.

…Currently, less than 2% of European demand for solar is met by products from the region, with about 90% of components coming from China.

The industry isn’t demanding tariffs on Chinese imports, but it is calling for fair competition. It’s high time the EU took action to protect what’s left of its failing manufacturing sector.

It’s the ultimate irony of ironies that European solar manufacturers are in this state in large part due to the European rush to renewables that made these companies a guaranteed early fortune. But which also made ELECTRICITY so EXPENSIVE on the continent, companies cannot afford to continue to manufacture panels to perpetuate their own grift. Without, of course, more government intervention bailouts.

See how that works? Like a snek biting its tail, only they have your average consumer in their mouth before they grab hold to start the circle.

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