Workers install solar power generation panels in Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang province, on July 9, 2018. (YAO FENG / FOR CHINA DAIL)
The decision by US trade officials not to launch an investigation into Asian solar manufacturers has been well received by the industry in China, believing it to be a victory for both the Chinese solar industry as well as Washington's goals to bolster clean energy and combat climate change.
The United States rejected a request on Wednesday to launch an investigation into Asian solar manufacturers, determining that Asian companies did not sell solar cells "at less than normal value," according to a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday.
JinkoSolar, a solar module manufacturer, said the rejection will benefit Chinese solar companies, especially those with an overseas presence.
Qian Jing, vice-president of JinkoSolar, which is also the world's largest solar panel producer by shipments, said the rejection is a big victory for the US Solar Energy Industries Association, and it is critical to meet the Biden administration's goals to bolster clean energy and combat climate change.
"It is encouraging news for solar manufacturers like JinkoSolar, as this decision provides certainty for us to keep our investments moving," Qian said.
"JinkoSolar will further diversify our supply chain and manufacturing as well as localize sales and services further to accelerate climate action globally," she added.
"US solar developers rely on cost-competitive imports to make their projects competitive and the country relies on economic ways to bring about energy transition."
Li Zhenguo, president of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co, said the company is assessing the possibility of building plants in countries including Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, to further expand its presence on the global stage.
Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute, said it is a good sign that China and the US have started cooperating and it will be a win-win for both parties.
"China saw its photovoltaic industry developing rapidly in recent years with costs drastically decreasing. The decision will complement each other's advantages," Luo said.
The American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention said in filings with the US Department of Commerce on Aug 16 that certain Chinese companies have been shifting production to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and shipping components from China to be assembled into solar cells and panels at factories in these nations to avoid existing US duties on solar cells and panels made in China.
"If this investigation had been initiated, it would have meant long-term damaging consequences for our nation's energy goals and the 230,000 Americans the solar industry currently employs," the American Clean Power Association, a trade group, said in a statement.