It’s certainly been a month for high profile meetings, as SunGift’s managing director Gabriel Wondrausch was invited to the government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) for a meeting about the low price of Chinese solar PV panels in the EU.

BIS were anxious to get the opinions of the UK’s leading solar PV distributors and installers, so we were invited along as industry experts.

We always do our best to lobby the government and others so that we can help move forward the industry in a way that we feel gives the best deal for our customers.

So, what was the meeting all about?  Well, we are currently in an unprecedented situation in terms of the supply of solar PV panels, because a group of EU solar panel manufacturers have lodged a complaint with the EU Commission.  The complaint claims that the Chinese government is subsidising Chinese solar panel manufacturers to allow them to sell their panels in Europe below cost-price, significantly undercutting non-Chinese manufactured panels.

The EU Commission has recently announced that it isn’t going to rule on the complaint until later this year.  However, it has said that all Chinese-manufactured solar panels imported into Europe from 6 March onwards could be liable, retrospectively, for any penalties imposed if it does rule in favour of the complaint later this year. This is causing significant supply problems in the marketplace: the availability of Chinese-manufactured panels imported into Europe before 6 March is virtually non-existent and prices of alternative panels have significantly increased to account for any potential penalties imposed if the complaint is successful.

Despite this not being the ideal scenario, even with the slight increase in the price of panels the returns on solar PV remain excellent for SunGift customers, and the return on investments are still in excess of 10 per cent per annum – index-linked and tax free

Find out more about the story on Chinese solar panels.

Find out more about solar PV and some of the products that SunGift uses in our installations.