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EU Commission New Industrial Strategy to accelerate use of renewables

EUROPEAN UNION, 2020/EC - AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE/LUKASZ KOBUS
European Commission Executive Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton give a press conference on the new industrial strategy package in Brussels, 10 March 2020.

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The European Commission presented this week its “New Industrial Strategy for Europe” and “New Circular Economy Action Plan” as part of the European Green Deal with the objective of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050.
The new Strategy for Europe’s industrial transformation, proposed a comprehensive set of future actions, including comprehensive measures to modernise and decarbonise energy-intensive industries, support sustainable and smart mobility industries, to promote energy efficiency, strengthen current carbon leakage tools and secure a sufficient and constant supply of low-carbon energy at competitive prices.
The strategy also proposes a Clean Hydrogen Alliance to accelerate the decarbonisation of industry and maintain industrial leadership, followed by Alliances on Low-Carbon Industries and on Industrial Clouds and Platforms and raw materials.
Moreover, it proposes further legislation and guidance on green public procurement.
The new Circular Economy Action Plan launched on 11 March aims to make the European economy fit for a green future, strengthen the EU’s competitiveness while protecting the environment and give new rights to consumers. Building on the work done since 2015, the new Plan focuses on the design and production for a circular economy, with the aim to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible, the Commission said.
Commenting on the EU’s Industrial Strategy, SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger said the Commission’s communication launched on 10 March provides a promising starting point, reflecting the need to intensify the cooperation between European Institutions and renewable industries, to develop a concrete ‘Industrial Toolbox’ for the solar sector. “Indeed, the European solar PV industry has a crucial role to play in successfully achieving a climate-neutral Europe, creating jobs and ensuring security of supply along the way,” she said.
For his part, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said it is good the Commission has acknowledged the strategic role of renewables for the EU economy. “Now is the time to take concrete measures. If the European Green Deal is to deliver climate neutrality by 2050, the EU needs to accelerate the deployment of wind energy. The Commission see wind being half of Europe’s electricity by 2050. And it’ll be big part of the renewable hydrogen the EU wants more of,” Dickson said.
“As a strategic sector the European wind industry, both onshore and offshore, needs to be represented in the Industrial Forum. The forum should draft the policies the European wind industry needs to thrive. This includes developing a European export strategy for renewables that looks not only at third country market access but also at how national export credit agencies can support the European industry in the face of State-financed Chinese competition,” he said, adding that the forum should also consider how the concept of alliances can be leveraged to develop innovative renewable energy technologies.”
Bioenergy Europe also welcomed the new European Industrial Strategy.
According to the International Renewable Energy (IRENA), from 1.2 million direct and indirect jobs in the EU today, renewable energy will create 2.7 million jobs in Europe.
“Maintaining the technological autonomy of a strategic sector such as the renewables is vital for a successful and inclusive transition to a carbon-neutral economy,” Bioenergy Europe Secretary-General J said. “The European Industrial Strategy should carefully shape bold and coherent measures that fully promote this distinctiveness and ensure job creation and vibrant economic growth in Europe,” he added.
 

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Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

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