De Sino-Europese relaties inzake schone energie: partners of rivalen?

  • Thijs Van de Graaf orcid logo


This article examines EU-China relations with regard to two key renewable energy sectors, wind and solar. lt finds that, although there have been sources for trade disputes in both sectors, trade frictions have surfaced most prominently in the solar sector. The reason is a double imbalance between the manufacturing and deployment of solar panels, both geographically (with China producing the bulk of solar panels almost exclusively for export) and numerically (with structural overcapacity). Yet, the image of a zero-sum bilateral trade war over solar panels is exaggerated, because there are both opponents and proponents of trade defense measures in China and the EU. The study further argues that the solar dispute is part and parcel of a global wave of clean energy trade frictions and it explores pathways to settle the issue through the negotiation of a multilateral agreement on environmental goods and services.

How to Cite:

Van de Graaf, T., (2014) “De Sino-Europese relaties inzake schone energie: partners of rivalen?”, Res Publica 56(1), 7-29.

Download pdf
View PDF



Published on
30 Mar 2014
Peer Reviewed