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Canadian Solar Supports Open Markets and Free Competition in the Solar Industry

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Canadian Solar expresses concerns regarding the plans of a small number of European solar manufacturers to restrict market access in Europe.

Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world’s largest solar companies with production facilities in Canada and China, expresses concerns regarding the plans of a small number of European solar manufacturers to restrict market access in Europe by mirroring the current protectionist trade actions in the US against Chinese solar panel production. This would endanger thousands of qualified jobs in the solar industry, which is one of the fastest growing in Europe. A recent economic analysis prepared by The Brattle Group in the US predicted that tariffs on imported solar PV cells and modules from China would result in tens of thousands of job losses in the USA. Similar effects would especially endanger European project developers, installers and maintenance companies. The study was commissioned by the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), a fast-growing coalition of American solar companies that believe free trade and industry competition are critical to making solar electricity affordable for everyone.

Cost efficiency has played a fundamental part in allowing the photovoltaic sector to establish itself as a key asset in the fight against climate change. The European solar industry today employs over 280,000 people, and despite the falling prices for solar modules, this number is continuously growing. As the economic strength of the EU is traditionally centred in its regions; this is especially true with regards to the decentralised solar energy business. The vast majority of qualified jobs within the European solar industry are connected to the realisation of solar power plants for example project developers, installers and maintenance companies. Only a small percentage of the qualified jobs have been in the module manufacturing facet of the sector. In the case of Germany, for instance, the German Bundesverband für Solarwirtschaft calculates that 18,000 of the 130,000 total jobs in the German solar industry are directly related to solar module production.

“The greatest potential for Europe lies in the regions with local installers and businesses indirectly linked to solar. This positive development would be endangered if the Chinese solar module industry were to be excluded de-facto from the market. This would have direct impact on the market opportunities for project developers and installers and would endanger thousands of jobs. This is definitely the wrong signal to send for a European economy which continues to struggle as a result of the current Euro crisis: It would negate all the positive achievements reached thus far towards more scalable, reliable and secure solar solutions for companies, local communities, private customers and institutional investors. It would destroy everything the public has asked for from the solar industry”, commented Gregory Spanoudakis, President of EMEA Operations for Canadian Solar.

“For our customers ranging from home to corporate real estate owners and the public sector, tariffs on imported solar PV cells and modules would mean significantly increased cost. This would of course affect the willingness to invest into solar solutions, “says Paul Wheeler, Founder and Chairman MAP Environmental, a UK-based supplier of photovoltaic solar technology. “In the end, this would harm every local supplier and installer whose business depends on cost-effective and efficient technology.”

About Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is one of the world’s largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications, Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide. With operations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solar solutions to support global, sustainable development. For more information, please visit www.canadiansolar.com.

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