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EU snubs dying solar manufacturers as China poised to swallow market

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Politico or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The European Union's refusal to adjust subsidy rules for its struggling solar manufacturing sector signals a grim future for these companies amidst layoffs and the looming dominance of China in the global solar market
• Despite urgent requests from EU solar producers for financial support to combat China's supply glut of inexpensive solar panels, the EU Commission has chosen not to intervene without significant encouragement from EU governments

🔭 The context: EU solar manufacturers are facing an existential threat due to China's overwhelming control over global solar supply lines, leading to a surplus of cheap solar panels in the EU
• This has resulted in an inability for EU producers to compete, with imminent layoffs of around 4,000 skilled workers
• The industry's plea for amendments in state aid rules to unlock €880 million in subsidies has been ignored, pushing companies towards closure and risking the EU's cleantech ambitions and independence from China's solar products

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The decline of the EU's solar manufacturing sector jeopardizes the bloc's clean energy goals and its ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2050
• With over 80% of its solar imports coming from China, the EU's reliance on external sources for clean energy technology could compromise its energy transition and sustainability efforts

⏭️ What's next: The potential shutdown of key EU solar manufacturers, such as Germany's Meyer Burger, indicates a critical juncture for the future of Europe's solar industry
• Without immediate intervention or support, the EU risks losing its capability to produce solar panels domestically, leaving it vulnerable to external market forces and hindering its clean energy progress

💬 One quote: "If the closures go ahead as expected, China would have the possibility to control the energy transition of Europe," (Johan Lindahl, secretary general of the European Solar Manufacturing Counci)

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