Miao Liansheng, chairman of Yingli Green Energy Holding, stands next to the company's Panda solar panel at the Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco on July 14. [Photo/Agencies]
Solar energy company remains unfazed by recent trade disputes
Chinese solar company Yingli Green Energy Holding is still bullish about the US solar market and expects a 50 percent increase in solar cell shipments to the country next year, despite recent trade disputes, the company's chairman said on Wednesday.
"The US investigation is irresponsible and the Ministry of Commerce has organized some Chinese solar companies to work out responses to the US move," said Yingli Chairman Miao Liansheng on the sidelines of an annual trade conference in Haikou, capital of Hainan province.
"The investigation will not affect our business in the US solar market the growing market demand says it all," he said.
Miao's remarks came after the US government announced last Friday that it would proceed with an investigation into China's alleged violation of World Trade Organization rules by supporting its renewable energy industry. The United Steelworkers union had requested the probe.
"The complaint only presents a small group's benefits. Our customers won't agree as they benefit from lower costs to build more plants and bring more job opportunities," said Wang Yiyu, the company's chief executive officer.
"We have no problem achieving a 10 percent market share of the US solar market, and will probably have 12 percent of the market share next year," he said.
Environment advocate Robert Kennedy Jr also said at the conference that the US government's move is a shortsighted one and it should learn from China's commitment to renewable energy.
Yingli is one of several Chinese companies that entered the US market last year. The company's sales revenue from the US market accounted for 5 percent of its global volume and that is expected to hit 10 percent of its total revenue this year as demand for solar modules continues to grow.
Sales of solar equipment have risen this year as buyers rushed to stock products before European governments axed subsidies for solar energy systems in major markets including Germany, the world's largest solar market, Italy and Spain.
Chinese solar companies are adding capacity to increase production of solar cells to keep up with the growing demand.
Yingli announced on Tuesday that it will expand capacity from the current 1 gigawatt (gW) to 1.7 gW next year by building up new manufacturing lines in Haikou, and Baoding in Hebei province.
But oversupply conditions may resume in 2011 after subsidy changes in key markets, pressuring average selling prices and margins, analysts said.