The European Union is investigating the solar panel industry in China, saying the Chinese government has unfairly subsidized panel makers, the New York Times reported. The EU is trying to determine if government authorities provided manufacturers with solar products, like silicon and glass, at prices below market value, which could have skewed competitiveness within the industry.
The new investigation follows another one taken by the European Commission also into whether Chinese manufacturers sold solar equipment for less than it cost to make it, the Times reported. SolarWorld, a German manufacturer, is among those that say the alleged unfair trade practices of the Chinese have hurt their business.
Reuters reported SolarWorld was among 25 companies that together complained about the Chinese exporting practice, which has been called "dumping." The news source said Chinese companies sold about $27 billion worth of solar panels to the EU last year. The panels accounted for about 60 percent of all Chinese exports in 2011 and about 7 percent of all Chinese exports to the EU.
The two investigations will determine if the EU will impose duties by 2013, which would last five years, the Times reported.