June 23, 2024
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EU to investigate Chinese wind turbine subsidies

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The European Commission has announced an inquiry into suspected illegal subsidies for Chinese wind turbine producers, amid fears the domestic industry could be decimated by cheap imports.

The EU executive has launched a probe into wind farm developments across Europe. It comes amid concerns that state subsidies are allowing Chinese producers to undercut domestic turbine manufacturers, as the bloc looks to accelerate its clean energy transition.

The move, announced by European Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager during a lecture at Princeton University in the US, comes six months after EU trade officials launched a similar anti-subsidy investigation into the import of battery electric vehicles (BEV) from China.

“I can announce today that we are launching a new inquiry into Chinese suppliers of wind turbines,” Vestager said. “We are investigating the conditions for the development of wind parks in Spain, in Greece, in France, in Romania and Bulgaria.”

The Danish politician, famous for her resolve in leading anti-trust investigations into US tech giants, said China had already dominated the solar panel industry by attracting foreign investment, acquiring technology and granting “massive subsidies” to domestic suppliers before exporting cheaply.

“The result is that nowadays, less than 3% of the solar panels installed in Europe are produced in Europe,” Vestager said. “We can’t afford to see what happened on solar panels, happening again on electric vehicles, wind or essential chips,” she said.

The EU executive in Brussels confirmed the launch of the probe. “Based on information available to the Commission, there are indications that certain wind manufacturers and other companies active in the internal market may benefit from foreign subsidies which grant them an unfair advantage over their competitors and which may lead to distortions of competition,” a spokesperson said, Euronews reported.

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