The UK is currently experiencing a high level of surplus solar panel stock and installers are advised to use caution when deciding where to purchase their panels. The following information should help...The UK is currently experiencing a high level of surplus solar panel stock and installers are advised to use caution when deciding where to purchase their panels. The following information should help.
Low Cost Chinese Panels and the "Minimum Import Price" (MIP)
Currently there is an agreement between the EU and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to not sell Chinese made solar panels in the EU below a specified price. This is known as the "Minimum Import Price" (MIP). You can read more on this here.
Only Chinese companies officially approved may sell their Chinese made panels in the EU and any not approved are subject to a tariff of 53.4%.
Taiwan and Malaysia Imports
Due to many Chinese companies circumventing this agreement, and shipping Chinese made panels via Taiwan and Malaysia, the EU have recently imposed the same tariffs on panels from those two countries. This is unless they have been genuinely made by an exempted company who have been approved by the EU. Details on the exempt companies can be found here.
A number of Chinese companies are avoiding these tariffs by the following methods:
- Products are made in China but then using false documentation are being made to appear like they have been made and shipped from another country.
- Products are made in China and imported at the MIP into the EU by a "shell" company which then sells those panels on at a substantial loss below MIP. After a while this shell company is shut down with large losses.
- Another is that modules are sold at MIP, but then costs such as marketing expenses are covered by the manufacturer at such a rate that the effective buy price is lower than MIP.
What this means in the UK
The current MIP has been set at €0.56c/Wp but allowing for other costs, the minimum cost of a Chinese made module into a UK warehouse is just over €0.57c/Wp at the current Euro/Sterling exchange rate. These would typically be sold by a UK based distributor for between 47p and 50p/Wp depending on volumes and the exchange rate.
If you are consistently offered solar panels below 45p/Wp you should ensure they have been made in or imported correctly into the EU. Across Europe the various tax authorities are investigating imports that are non-compliant with the EU/China MIP agreement. Any warranty offered on panels not imported correctly may at best be very difficult to claim and possibly worthless.
There is a perception that only the official importer of the panels may be liable for the duty. In fact, anyone who purchases them knowing they have been imported evading the correct duty may be investigated and held liable. This is especially true if the original importer no longer exists.
- Where panels are being claimed to have been made outside of China you should ask your supplier for a "Certificate of Origin" which states clearly where the panels have been made. If that is in Malaysia or Taiwan you should check the manufacturer named is on the exempted list.
SOLFEX Ltd always checks and verifies the source of the products it imports and sells into the UK market and for all our modules we have secured a "Certificate of Origin" for both the modules and the cells.
- Where panels are made in China but consistently sold below 45p/Wp you should ask your supplier to confirm that they are satisfied that they have not been imported in a manner intended to circumvent the MIP agreement, and therefore avoid the duty that would otherwise be due.
Where possible an independent factory audit report providing evidence that the factory is fully capable of manufacturing the modules is also obtained. SOLFEX Ltd has independent OST factory inspection reports for Enhance Photovoltaics modules produced in Taiwan & undertaking certificates and proof of origin for Chinese modules purchased at MIP.For more information about the modules we offer, contact our photovoltaic sales team on; 01772 312847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our latest Underfloor heating product guide and price list is now available. The guide is packed full of useful information on our huge variety of products. These include all of our hydroponic syste...
Our latest Underfloor heating product guide and price list is now available. The guide is packed full of useful information on our huge variety of products. These include all of our hydroponic systems ( sorted by floor construction for ease of selection ), pipe options, detailed information on our pre-assembled manifold and mixer packs, and details of our new electric underfloor heating systems.
At the rear of the guide is also a handy price list with a break down of all our products so that you can see exactly what's available.
Prefer to order from Travis Perkins or City Plumbing Branches? We've also included their stock codes to make ordering from branch easy.
Well done to Danny Wilkinson, our operations director, who raised £120 for Cancer Research UK by taking part in Britain's Biggest Breakfast and cooking the Solfex team a full English b...
Well done to Danny Wilkinson, our operations director, who raised £120 for Cancer Research UK by taking part in Britain's Biggest Breakfast and cooking the Solfex team a full English breakfast on the BBQ
SOLFEX energy systems is pleased to announce that they will be attending the ecobuild exhibition in March.As in previous years, we will be situated with our parent company Travis Perkins on&...
SOLFEX energy systems is pleased to announce that they will be attending the ecobuild exhibition in March.
As in previous years, we will be situated with our parent company Travis Perkins on stand - E2050, E3050. If you enter via the N2 entrance, you can't miss us.
We will be showcasing a range of products including, Enhance photovoltaics, Samsung SDI's All-in-one battery storage unit, our solar thermal FK series collectors and a selection of our underfloor heating systems.
ecobuild is a free to attend exhibition, you can Register for your free entry ticket here
For more information on our ecobuild display, click here.
Following on from the success of last years battery storage training, 3 new Battery storage training days at locations in Bedford, Sheffield and Glasgow on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of March respectiv...
Following on from the success of last years battery storage training, 3 new Battery storage training days at locations in Bedford, Sheffield and Glasgow on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of March respectively.
Our previous events have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, helping to answer your questions and bring you up to speed with this increasingly sought after technology.
Fully supported by SAMSUNG SDI, the events will feature demonstrations from Samsung’s technicians as well as a chance to discuss your own requirements with the SOLFEX energy systems technical team.
This FREE event is a valuable opportunity to learn everything you need to enter the energy storage market, and we hope to see you there.
Attendees of the event will be awarded with a certificate of attendance and be welcomed as an official SOLFEX energy systems / Samsung SDI Battery Storage Partner.
The Samsung 3.6 KWh All-In-One can be directly connected to your PV installation. The compact system, which combines the PV inverter with Lithium-Ion battery storage capabilities, optimises power yield and has an intuitive remote monitoring system, which can detect errors in advance.
For more information on the event, visit www.solfex.co.uk/ess
The Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will continue to be funded until 2020, contrary to rumours that it might be scrapped altogether. The RHI will provi...
The Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will continue to be funded until 2020, contrary to rumours that it might be scrapped altogether.
The RHI will provide £1.15bn of funding in 2020/21 and will also be reformed with a focus on value for money, saving around £700m. However, it’s not clear yet exactly where these savings come from. There will also be budgetary caps providing a backstop on expenditure, meaning that if the forecast expenditure reaches the agreed budget, the Secretary of State will be able to take action to suspend the scheme to new applications.
David Cameron was tackled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn earlier today during Prime Minister’s Questions on the UK being furthest from meeting its 15% 2020 renewable target of all the member states in Europe. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd recently admitted the UK was only on track for 11.5% renewable energy by 2020. The latest statistics for renewable heat show that in 2014 it provided 4.8% of the UK’s heat, against a DECC target of 12% in 2020.
Kathy McVeigh, who is on the Solar Trade Association’s Board of Directors and the Managing Director of Northern Ireland-based solar thermal business Cool Sky Ltd commented:
“We welcome the fact that the Renewable Heat Incentive will remain, despite the ominous rumours before the Spending Review. Amber Rudd has done well to protect the renewable heat sector.”
“However deployment to date of solar thermal under the RHI has been disappointing. We look forward to working with DECC to implement some of the measures we have recommended to increase the uptake of solar thermal, including making it eligible on new build, removing the need for a Green Deal assessment and providing support for solar space heating and hybrid PV and thermal.”
Solar thermal water heating is particularly well suited for smaller and more shaded roofs, properties off the gas grid and is also a great solution for commercial buildings like leisure centres, hotels and hospitals with big hot water requirements. It is a tried and tested technology in the UK, having been around since the late 1970s.
The easiest and most cost-effective time to install solar thermal is when homeowners and businesses are already replacing their boilers or heating systems.
Kathy McVeigh continued:
“We need to make sure that plumbers and heating engineers are offering solar thermal as an add-on whenever they quote for a new boiler, and the Government needs to help get this message out far and wide.”
The British solar thermal market has suffered since 2011, due to years of delay in introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive and insufficient levels of support. The market has collapsed from 30,000 solar thermal installations in 2010 to just 6,000 so far this year.
Via the Solar Trade Association