Following the allegations from US about solar PV module dumping by Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturers, a new controversy has emerged. The Wind Tower Trade Coalition in the US has now accused Chinese companies of using unfair pricing methods a.k.a predatory pricing to undercut the competition significantly effectively ensuring that they almost wipe out the US companies from the race.
The new row has erupted over the sale of under priced wind-towers from various Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturers. The wind tower imports total to over $150 million (about $100 million accounted for by China and the rest by Vietnam), and the US manufacturers are currently lobbying to impose heavy import tax on these wind towers which come from the east. It has been claimed that the imported goods are being sold at prices which are about 214% lower than the prices currently set in the US. The coalition has thus urged the government to impose an anti-dumping tax of about 64% for the Chinese manufacturers and 59% for the Vietnamese manufacturers. It is very likley that China is going to strongly oppose this motion, as was the case with the proposed tax levies on the solar modules imported from China. This should add further strain on the already weakening trade ties between two of the largest economies in the world.
The move though seems well thought out by the US coalition. It is no secret that 2012 will very likely be the peak year for wind installations in the US for some time to come as the government had previously announced the withdrawal of the production tax credit from 2013 onwards. The import duties, should they pass are likely to affect the solar modules segment too, with solar manufacturers significantly lobbying in that area. As a result of these moves, it is likely that the cost of power production from renewable energy sources in the US might increase due to an increase in component costs as wind towers account for about 15% of the costs incurred in setting up a wind farm while modules attribute to about 50% of the cost in a solar energy installation.