EU aims to agree key path towards green industry ambitions

The bloc aims to set a 2030 target of producing 40% of the products it needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Philip BlenkinsopReuters
Published : 6 Feb 2024, 06:18 AM
Updated : 6 Feb 2024, 06:18 AM

European Union policymakers hope to agree new rules on Tuesday to promote domestic production of equipment for solar and wind power, fuel cells and other clean technologies to ensure its industry can compete with Chinese and US competitors.

The bloc aims to set a 2030 target of producing 40% of the products it needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These will cover renewable energy, battery storage, heat pumps, electrolysers, biogas, carbon capture and electricity grids.

Europe is increasingly relying on China, which is forecast to have 80% of global manufacturing capacity in solar power for example. It also has concerns that the $369 billion of green subsidies in the US Inflation Reduction Act will entice European producers to relocate.

European Parliament lawmakers and Belgium, which holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, will seek to agree the final details of the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) in negotiations scheduled to last all day on Tuesday.

The NZIA is a centrepiece of the EU's push to ensure it is not only a global leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but also in manufacturing the clean tech required.

The act, likely to enter force later this year, proposes streamlining the granting of permits, ensuring they are issued within 18 months.

Public authorities conducting tenders for clean-tech equipment would also have to award contracts based not only on the price, but also on environmental criteria and ensuring that no more than 65% of supply is from a single source.

Tuesday's talks are expected to focus on how widely to interpret clean tech, such as including nuclear power or all equipment components, whether to shorten the permitting timelines and how strictly non-price criteria should be applied in tenders.