Impact of the lifted EU import controls on solar prices

On September 3rd the European Commission decided not to extend the trade controls for Chinese solar panels. Controls included Minimum Import Price (MIP) which effectively set the lowest price for Chinese imports. The minimum price had gradually been reduced to reflect the falling average prices until its expiry.

There is speculation on the market how much this will actually bring down the module prices with the estimates saying the drop would be around 20 per cent. At the same time the European solar investments are expected to pick up after several slow years.

Solar panel prices have decreased in the past years with the MIP in place and have dropped 18% in 2018 alone. For a typical residential PV installation, the modules make up a third of the total price. Therefore, the theoretical price reduction for a 10 kW installed system could be 7% or 8500 kronor.

It is not likely though that the price drop will be seen in the residential market. Large scale solar farms will benefit much more clearly as they order the modules straight from the manufacturer. Projects that have been on the shelf will likely start construction with the shifted economics, eating up the added supply on the market.

We will follow closely the price developments on the market. GRØNBID does not see any reason to postpone investments in anticipation of solar panel prices falling from the already low levels. The monocrystalline solar panels used in residential installations are more premium products and therefore less sensitive to the elimination of the import controls.

About the Author : Tuukka

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