On Thursday, the European Commission unveiled the Net-Zero Industry Act, a much-anticipated proposal aimed at boosting EU green technology production amid an increasingly intense global race.
The new regulation is a key part of the European Green Industrial Plan – the bloc’s response to the US’ $369 billion subsidy package – which aims to ensure at least 40% of the Union’s net-zero technology demand is domestic by 2030 is produced.
“We need a regulatory environment that allows us to rapidly advance the clean energy transition,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. “The Net-Zero Industry Act will do just that. It creates the best conditions for the sectors that are crucial for us to reach net zero by 2050.”
Technologies described as “strategic” for the block’s decarbonization include solar power, onshore and offshore wind power, batteries and storage, carbon capture, biogas/biomethane and renewable hydrogen.
The law proposes several key measures to drive investment in domestic manufacturing of these technologies. These include speeding up approvals, an increase in a skilled workforce, a dedicated platform to enable collaboration between the Commission and Member States, and regulatory sandboxes that Member States can use to test innovative technologies.
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Alongside the Net-Zero Industry Act, the commission also released its Critical Raw Materials Proposal, which aims to boost the block’s supply of the critical minerals needed to produce green tech and reduce reliance on imports.
Both regulations still have to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council before they can enter into force.
“Demand is growing in Europe and globally and we are acting now to ensure we can meet more of that demand with European supply,” von der Leyen noted.