The Stated Mission
AFASE – Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy was created on 1st March 2012, ostensibly to promote free trade of solar energy and to fight against protectionist policies in this area. It was a coalition of many companies in the European Photovoltaic industry covering all aspects of production and supply of photovoltaic energy. The logic was that free trade will promote technology, research, and environment, and also increase job opportunities. Active among the member companies were some like Yingli who were Chinese owned European companies. Obviously, there was an element of protection for the Chinese products.
The Alliance War
This alliance was created in response to the complaints of European solar companies which suffered very badly because of what they claimed illegal dumping of Chinese products in Europe which sold below the estimated cost price. European companies led by Solar World AG of Germany complained to both EU and USA against this. To pursue this matter further they formed a counter alliance named the EU Prosun in July 2012. Prosun accused AFASE of being subservient to Chinese interests and complained to both the EU and the US to take legal action. AFASE refuted the allegations, and argued that the Chinese component in the said items was less than 6 percent.
Despite the efforts of AFASE and the Chinese government, Prosun won the case. Ant-dumping penalties were imposed on Chinese companies first by the US and then by the EU. The Chinese also reacted by imposing certain penalties on US companies. A compromise solution now appears to have evolved.
The End of AFASE
AFASE dissolved itself on 31 October 2013 and joined the much bigger SETI Alliance cobbled together by the International Center for trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), which has its headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland. SETI stands for Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative which is a conglomeration of many entities who are stake holders in technologies related to green energy. They include research bodies, organizations (private, government, or intergovernmental), governments, academia, and, trade and industry bodies.
All activities of the AFASE are now undertaken from the platform of the SETI Alliance, and the scope is widened to include all forms of green and sustainable energy.