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Newly-formed Global Solar Council calls for free trade for PV

In Brussels on May 3, a group of international firms across the PV value chain announced the formation of the Global Solar Council, and called for reduced trade barriers to push global PV growth.

The group calls itself a “CEO-level coalition” and aims to promote the development and expansion of solar energy by interacting with policymakers around the world and supporting the efforts of organizations such as EPIA, APVIA, and SEIA.

Roland-Jan Meijer, the Council’s Executive Director said called the Global Solar Council “an important and timely industry initiative. It demonstrates a strong commitment by key players in the sector to work together to continue to make solar energy a global success.”

Manufactured by Silicon Energy, LLC, in Washington State, a strong new photovoltaic module made with DuPont™ PV5300 Series encapsulants is ready to withstand wind and snow. Credit: Dupont PV Solutions.

The founding members of the Global Solar Council are:

  1. Applied Materials (Dr. Charles F. Gay, President, Applied Solar)

  2. Dow Corning (Robert D. Hansen, CEO)

  3. DuPont (David B. Miller, President, Dupont Electronics & Communication)

  4. First Solar (Michael J. Ahearn, Chairman and Interim CEO)

  5. Lanco Solar (Vutukuri Saibaba, CEO)

  6. Phoenix Solar (Dr. Andreas Hänel, CEO)

  7. Suntech (Dr. Zhengrong Shi, CEO)

The coalition will address all parts of the solar energy value chain, including material supply, product manufacturing, financing, policy support, research and innovation, cross-border cooperation, and grid development and management.

“A thriving solar industry is an important contributor to economic growth and employment in developing regions,” said Suntech CEO, Dr. Zhengrong Shi. “By joining forces in the Global Solar Council, we will be able to demonstrate these benefits to our key stakeholders with one voice and drive forward the growth of the green economy.”

In a white paper released the same day, the Global Solar Council called upon governments worldwide to “promote the creation of sustainable solar markets by allowing the solar industry to compete freely and fairly on the basis of quality, technology, service, and price.”

Citing concerns that PV expansion is under threat from “calls for restrictive trade measures that hinder access to markets rather than provide it,” the Council is advocating for open and rules-based global trading system.

The Global Solar Council suggests favorable policy regimes, energy market access, lower import duties on manufacturing inputs and research and development support as but some measures governments should take to continue to lower the barriers to trade in the PV supply chain.


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