SolarPower Europe Alerts European Commission to Risk of Record-Low Solar PV Prices on EU’s Open Strategic Autonomy

Representational image. Credit: Canva

In a letter addressed to the European Commission, SolarPower Europe has sounded the alarm over the extremely low prices of imported solar products, cautioning that they pose a threat to the European Union’s pursuit of open strategic autonomy objectives.


Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe (she/her), said, “While price drops are typically welcome news, if unchecked they have serious repercussions for our open strategic autonomy. In the short term, this is already posing real challenges to domestic competitiveness and the rebirth of EU solar manufacturing. We’re urgently calling on EU leaders to save Europe’s strategic tech supply lines.”

A convergence of market dynamics, a common occurrence in commodity markets, has driven prices down by over 25%. Module prices have plummeted to a historic low, dipping below 0.15 EUR/W for budget-friendly products, even sinking below pre-Covid levels. This challenging scenario has created obstacles for European manufacturing firms attempting to sell their products. Notably, Norwegian Crystals, a longstanding ingot manufacturer in Europe, recently filed for bankruptcy.

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The interplay of robust global demand signals and intense competition among Chinese suppliers has prompted substantial investments in solar PV supply chains. Consequently, this oversupply has caused a rapid decline in prices for essential raw materials such as silicon, which has a ripple effect down the supply chain, impacting modules, inverters, and batteries. The current situation is further exacerbated by a temporary but slight slowdown in the European solar market during Q3.

SolarPower Europe has urged the European Commission to take decisive action, such as:

  • Swift emergency acquisition of European PV manufacturer’s module inventories.
  • Establishing a Solar Manufacturing Bank at EU level. Address the inadequacies of the Temporary Transition and Crisis Framework (TCTF) for State Aid, in particular point 86. Accelerate the adoption of the Net Zero Industry Act, including strong sustainability and resilience criteria in specific auctions.
  • Advance the intended impact of the EU Forced Labour Regulation by backing the Solar Stewardship Initiative (SSI).
  • Enable collaboration between Member States support programmes.
  • Balance oversupply with a further boost demand for solar PV in Europe e.g. through the European Performance of Building Directive.
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Hemetsberger further added, “This is a rare second chance. Europe’s original solar manufacturing base was lost a decade ago. If we don’t respond rapidly and appropriately to this price crisis, we’re looking at another wave of bankruptcies, and a false start for EU’s open strategic autonomy agenda.”

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