- How the EU is to become a hub for green industries
- Industry: Europe’s response to the IRA falls short
- CRMA: commodity projects get priority
- Macron pushes pension reform through
- E-fuels dispute: legislative text to be left unchanged
- Industrial emissions: environment council wants exclusion of extensive agriculture
- Hydrogen Bank: first auction in fall
- ECB significantly raises interest rates in eurozone
- Trilogue on European digital identity ready to start
- What’s cooking in Brussels? Cuisine nucléaire
- Apéro: Beautiful sounds, brittle material
Europe is to become the leading location for climate-friendly technologies: By 2030, 40 percent of the annual use of net-zero technologies is to be covered by domestic production. That is the goal of the Net-Zero Industrial Act (NZIA), which the Commission has now presented. The legislation is the centerpiece of Europe’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act. But the reactions have been mixed. From the point of view of the industries concerned, the proposals are a step in the right direction – but they do not see them as a sufficient response to the IRA. Till Hoppe summarizes the most important points of the NZIA and the assessments of politicians, industry and environmental associations.
With a Spotify playlist, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton yesterday announced which 16 commodities should be considered strategic for the EU. Read more about Breton’s music choices from David Guetta to Nirvana in today’s Apéro. Leonie Düngefeld took a look at the contents of the Critical Raw Materials Act in her analysis and spoke with experts. Above all, the strengthening of domestic mining and the weak requirements for the development of the circular economy are being criticized.
The dispute over e-fuels seems to be getting a little less contentious in the meantime: Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and German Minister for Transport Volker Wissing are apparently in agreement not to tackle the legislative text for CO2 fleet limits and the combustion engine phase-out. That’s according to a letter from the Ministry for Transport to Timmermans’ office, obtained by Table.Media. Read what else is in the letter in the News.
How the EU is to become a hub for green industries
A dispute over the treatment of the nuclear industry almost blew up the schedule. Several commissioners objected to including certain technologies, such as for small modular reactors, in the Net-Zero Industrial Act (NZIA). In the end, Austrian representative Johannes Hahn, among others, was content to put his objections on record.
The Commission could hardly afford to delay tabling the NZIA. After all, the legislation is supposed to be the centerpiece of Europe’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (see also the article below in this issue). With the NZIA, the Commission hopes to make Europe more attractive to manufacturers.
- The goal: By 2030, 40 percent of the annual use of net-zero technologies is to be covered by domestic production. This figure should be understood as a political signal to industry, not as a binding production target, as the Commission emphasizes.
- According to the annex, strategic net-zero technologies include solar, wind, heat pumps, green hydrogen, grid expansion, energy storage, biogas and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Accordingly, member states can classify new factories for these technologies as “strategic European climate industry projects”, granting them a number of benefits.
- In addition, there are several other technologies, such as alternative fuels and new nuclear technologies, that benefit from at least some of the envisioned advantages. These include, for example, opportunities for experimentation in real laboratories.
- The Commission wants to achieve the goals primarily by accelerating the approval of industrial projects. National authorities are to take no longer than 9 months to review strategic projects with an annual production capacity of up to one gigawatt (12 months for more than one GW). Otherwise, the project is considered approved unless an environmental impact assessment is pending.
- For technologies without this special status, the deadlines are longer (12 and 18 months, respectively). Member states are also expected to ensure that all approval procedures for a project are coordinated by a one-stop shop.
- Public demand is to be an important lever. Public authorities are therefore to take sustainability and resilience criteria into account when they put products out to public tender, at least 65 percent of which are imported from a single third country. In concrete terms, this means that the currently dominant suppliers of solar panels from China would have poorer prospects of winning public contracts in the EU. Government purchase incentives for consumers in the respective country would also have a negative impact.
Wind Europe finds plan insufficient
The proposals have been received with reluctance by the addressed industries and politicians. The plan is inadequate in its current form, criticized Giles Dickson, CEO of the Wind Europe association. “All right, we want to build 36 gigawatts of wind turbines in Europe every year. But how?” He said national governments have some new leeway to support green industries, but it’s unclear how they will use it. And financial support from the EU is also still pending, he said.
- Inflation Reduction Act
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