Solar panel manufacturing has faced a series of legal challenges in the U.L.G.U.E., but the solar industry’s top U.N. official said Monday that the European Union’s new regulations would not affect U.s. solar panels manufacturing.
N General Assembly adopted a sweeping climate and energy regulation known as “The Renewable Energy Directive” in December, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% over the next decade and require a minimum investment of 1,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020.
In its first major legal challenge to the EU, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against U.k. solar industry giants SunEdison and Vestas in February.
The Commission said the EU’s regulations could lead to significant economic losses for U.KS. manufacturers and lead to job losses in the industry.
“The regulations in question, which aim to promote efficiency and reduce the use of fossil fuels, would, therefore, be harmful to the European solar industry,” said Peter Kormos, the UG-U.K.’s trade representative for the solar sector.
“We have the utmost confidence that we will be able to defend the European Solar Industry against these measures.”
The EU’s complaint, however, is limited in scope.
It does not say that the solar companies would be harmed or that their business would suffer.
It merely points out that the regulations will result in a reduction in European solar panel production.
The industry group representing the solar panels manufactures and distributors in the United Kingdom said the proposed EU regulations would impact their business.
“It’s a very limited argument that basically says we’re not going to be affected by the European directive and that’s it,” said Paul Taylor, a partner at consultancy IHS.
“It doesn’t go to any of the other issues that we’re concerned about.”
solar manufacturer said it would consider appealing the European decision to the International Trade Court (ITC).
Solar panel makers have been lobbying the ITC for more than a year to strike a deal with the EU that would protect their business, which generates about 4% of the U and EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) and about 40% of their gross domestic consumption.
The ITC recently approved a new “guidance document” for the European Directive, which includes provisions aimed at making it easier for U-k.
manufacturers to import and sell their panels in the bloc.
In December, U. K. solar manufacturers said the new directives would have a negative impact on the industry, including an increase in costs and a decrease in quality of product.
The new directive was signed into law by U. and EU leaders on January 20.
It states that the EU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is committed “to work towards the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.”
Under the directive, solar manufacturers will be required to invest up to 2% of output of all their solar panels in renewable energy, or about $8,500 per MW of output.
U.S.-based Vestas has said the directive will have a negligible effect on its business and will lead to more efficient solar panels.