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REC Solar Sees U.S. PV Sales Boost From Duties for China

REC Solar ASA, which makes solar modules in Singapore, expects increased business in the U.S. next year because of possible import duties against rival products from China and Taiwan.

REC Solar anticipates U.S. authorities to expand import duties against solar cells from China and Taiwan, Luc Grare, the company’s senior vice president, said in an interview. That will help it generate about 30 percent of sales in the Americas next year, up from 7 percent in the second quarter, as local developers shy away from products affected by the trade spat, he said.

“We have enormous potential to increase our market share in the U.S.,” Grare said today by phone. REC recently signed an agreement to supply panels to SolarCity Corp. and is in “far-going discussions” with one other company over a similar deal that it expects to announce “after the summer,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is due to announce preliminary findings of its anti-dumping investigation against some Chinese and Taiwanese solar products, according to an e-mail today from the department’s press office.

REC generated about 60 percent of its sales in Europe in the second quarter, with the U.K. and Germany its biggest markets.

Germany, once the world’s largest solar market, has reached the “deepest point” after subsidy cuts curb new projects to an expected 1.8 gigawatts of additions this year, Grare said. He said he expects the German market to grow to 2.5 gigawatts to 3 gigawatts next year, and increase by 0.5 gigawatt annually after that.

The U.K. market won’t completely drop off after an expected “huge boom” in the fourth quarter when developers will try to beat changes in the local subsidy scheme, he said. Large commercial rooftop projects will still enable business in the U.K. next year, he said.

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