Industry ad hoc association EU Pro Sun in July filed a complaint stating solar power components imported from China into the European market were priced below fair market value. A September complaint from the association said solar components imported into the European Union were benefiting from "unfair government subsidies."
Last year, the commission said China exported more than $26 billion worth of solar power components to European markets. As a result, the commission said Pro Sun's complaint is the "most significant" ever received "in terms of value of imports affected."
The commission said it would take about 13 months to conduct the investigation.
"According to trade defense rules it is possible to impose provisional anti-subsidy duties within 9 months, provided there is sufficient prima facie evidence of subsidization," it said in a statement Thursday.
Following the earlier complaints, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce described the investigation as regrettable.
The European Union in September announced it signed a finance agreement with China aimed at helping the country transition to a low-carbon economy.