New and old industries in Europe are fighting for political – and financial – favour as Brussels sits down to work out a new industrial policy strategy for 2030. At the EU’s annual “Industry Days” last week, three CEOs from the world of clean tech set out their ambitious plans for battery “gigafactories”, renewables representatives called for an EU industrial policy for their sector, and Brussels hinted at trade measures to protect Europe’s “green” competitive edge. At the same time, traditional manufacturers emphasised the vital role that they can play in a low-carbon society: “The chemical factory is the only sensible battery of the future.” Sonja van Renssen reports on the cutting edge of EU industrial policy.
Three years after President Juncker’s statement – “I want Europe to become the world number one in renewables”- the reality is not that bright. Green MEP Claude Turmes neatly summed up the challenge in a blogpost published on 23 February: “EU investments in renewables are stagnating (half of EU Member States did not invest a single Euro in wind last year!), solar PV panel production has largely moved to China, and in the streets of Brussels the only 100% full electric taxis are Chinese or American!”…
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