Damaging Protectionism: EU Wants 40% of its Green Stuff Built Locally: FT Scoop from March 14 doc (1)

March 5-6, 2023

CarrZee: Instead of insisting the USA fight fair under WTO and global free-market rules…the EU is following the US down a damaging protectionist rabbit hole.

This boosts the chance that BRIC countries and the OECD countries will split …worsening the world’s economic situation and decreasing the chance the climate will be saved.

CarrZee hopes this nonsense is some sort of negotiation position that will be soon abandoned.


The leaked plans for the forthcoming #NetZeroIndustryAct are promising:

  • The #EU has understood that an #energytransition that’s entirely reliant on China for the supply of pretty much all that is necessary – from #solar, #wind, #batteries to #criticalrawmaterials is not only an acute vulnerability for #energysecurity but also particularly poor #industrialpolicy.
  • Paying for R&D and deployment and then seeing the commercialization elsewhere is foolhardy. Given that our #windindustry is now so squarely on the #solar trajectory, it’s important that we stake our claim to this sector, with a particularly bold manufacturing target of 85%.
  • Our recent work on #energyresilience seems to be bearing fruit. Plans for ‘Net Zero Resilience Projects’ are more overdue than I can say. These are envisioned to be ‘strategic projects that will boost the EU’s autonomy in sectors where it is currently more than 80 per cent reliant on a third country….’ It’s finally dawning that pursuit of ‘autonomy’ is entirely incompatible with such rates of dependencies, all the more so when it’s on a single country that is so clearly not in our sphere of influence.
  • As I said in my introductory remarks at the kick-off of our ‘Energy Resilience Leadership Group’ at Munich Security Conference #msc2023 two weeks ago: #energyresilience means not being overly reliant on any one source of energy or any one country. Seems that this is getting through, also in view of my next point.
  • For a long time, the only emerging #cleantech squarely on the EU radar was #renewablehydrogen.
  • While that’s clearly needed, it’s also obviously not enough. That’s why it’s truly gratifying to see i.e. #biomethane #gridtechnologies #ccus on the list.
  • And just last week the Council adopted the #repowereu strategy, where one of the priority areas for funding is #energystorage.
  • Despite the ever-more ambitious EU renewable targets, this was an issue that until last year was largely off the policy radar screen, despite the evident need given the intermittent nature of solar/wind.
  • The problem with perennially slow #permitting is also tackled, with national governments allowed to fast-track industrial projects that have an ‘adverse impact on the environment’ if authorities consider ‘the public interest served by the project should override those impacts.’
  • While this may be controversial, we must remember that these are testing times:
  • a) #ukrainewar
  • b) compromised #energysecurity
  • c) flagrant lack of #energyresilience (see above) and
  • d) #deindustrialization in energy-intensive industries (see BASF job cuts of 2400 last week).

This is a make-or-break moment for Europe.

Accelerating the #energytransition is the defining generational challenge of our times.

The #greendealindustrialplan and #netzeroindustryact must quickly address gaping shortcomings that have exposed existential vulnerabilities.

Huge thanks to Financial Times’ Alice Hancock for the excellent reporting, helpful scoop.

See this FT snip [Unedited]:

More information can be found here.

Brussels has said it wants enough manufacturing capacity for clean technologies within the bloc to meet two-fifths of domestic needs while allowing EU governments to override environmental considerations in order for key projects to go ahead.

In a draft proposal seen by the Financial Times, the European Commission said that in five key sectors — solar, wind, heat pumps, batteries and electrolysers — the bloc’s production capability should be able to meet at least 40 per cent of the EU’s requirements as it tries to reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The highest targets set are for the wind and heat pump sectors, at 85 per cent.

The document, due to be presented on March 14, is a direct response to the US Inflation Reduction Act, announced last August, which provides $369bn in tax credits and subsidies for clean energy technologies.

The US IRA has caused panic among EU policymakers as they fear an exodus of European manufacturers across the Atlantic.

It has also forced a reappraisal of the bloc’s relationship with China, upon whom it is reliant for more than 90 per cent of its imports in the solar sector, for example…


blue and red light digital wallpaper
Photo by Mahdi Bafande on Pexels.com
photo of white and purple painting
Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

Leave a Reply