by Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union policymakers are expected to agree on Tuesday new rules to boost domestic production of equipment for solar and wind power, fuel cells and other clean technologies to ensure its The industry could compete with Chinese and American competitors.
The bloc aims to produce 40% of the products needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These will include renewable energy, battery storage, heat pumps, electrolyzers, biogas, carbon capture and electricity grids.
For example, Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on China, which is estimated to have 80% of its global manufacturing capacity in solar energy. There are also concerns that the $369 billion in green subsidies in the US Inflation Reduction Act will tempt European producers to relocate.
Lawmakers from the European Parliament and Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency for six months, will try to agree the final details of the Net-Zero Industries Act (NZIA) in day-long talks on Tuesday.
The NZIA is the centerpiece of the EU’s effort to ensure it is a global leader not only in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but also in building the needed clean technology.
The Act, likely to come into force later this year, proposes to streamline the granting of permits, ensuring they are issued within 18 months.
Public authorities holding tenders for clean-tech equipment will have to award contracts not only on the basis of price but also on environmental criteria and ensure that no more than 65% of the supply comes from a single source.
Tuesday’s talks are expected to focus on how to interpret clean technology broadly, such as to include nuclear power or all equipment components, whether to shorten permitting timelines and non-prices. How strictly should the norms be enforced…