The development of the renewable energy industry is a priority of economic policies in many countries, since it is viewed as one of the key growth sectors in the economy, playing also a very important role in mitigating climate change. At the international level, renewable energy is an issue of international cooperation but also an area of high trade tensions between countries. The main goal of this paper is to examine the nature and sources of recent trade disputes in the solar photovoltaic sector, which is the most dynamically growing sector in the green energy industry. In particular, the paper explores the links between the contemporary trade disputes and modern protectionism and between protectionist policies and practices and the export competitiveness in the growing sector of the economy. To achieve the aim of the study we explore in detail the WTO trade disputes over photovoltaic (PV) products, which occurred in the years 2007–2018. The products covered by the analysis were solar modules and cells classified under the HS code 854140. In our research we also used measures of descriptive statistics, hierarchical cluster analysis and revealed comparative advantage indexes. Our key results demonstrate the existence of links between protectionist policy causing trade conflicts and the export competitiveness. The research has also allowed us to identify problems of future studies concerning the association between trade protectionism and global value chains in the solar energy sector.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited