EC Net-Zero Industry Act proposed

21 March 2023

On 16 March the European Commission proposed its Net-Zero Industry Act to scale up manufacturing of clean technologies in the EU and ensure that the Union is well-equipped for the clean-energy transition. This initiative was announced by president von der Leyen, and is part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan.

The Act is intended to strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of net-zero technologies manufacturing in the EU, and make its energy system more secure and sustainable. It should create better conditions to set up net-zero projects in Europe and attract investments, with the aim that the Union's overall strategic net-zero technologies manufacturing capacity approaches or reaches at least 40% of the Union's deployment needs by 2030. This is intended to accelerate the progress towards the EU's 2030 climate and energy targets and the transition to climate neutrality, while boosting the competitiveness of EU industry, creating quality jobs, and supporting the EU's efforts to become energy independent.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “We need a regulatory environment that allows us to scale up the clean energy transition quickly. The Net-Zero Industry Act will do just that. It will create the best conditions for those sectors that are crucial for us to reach net-zero by 2050: technologies like wind turbines, heat pumps, solar panels, renewable hydrogen as well as CO2 storage. Demand is growing in Europe and globally, and we are acting now to make sure we can meet more of this demand with European supply."  

Net-Zero Industry Act sets out ‘a clear European framework’ to reduce the EU's reliance on highly concentrated imports. By drawing on the lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic and the energy crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it will help increase the resilience of Europe's clean energy supply chains, by setting enabling conditions, accelerating net-zero technologies by enhancing information, reducing the administrative burden to set up projects and simplifying permit-granting processes, giving priority to Net-Zero Strategic Projects, accelerating CO2 capture, facilitating access to markets, enhancing skills, fostering innovation, and creating a Net-Zero Europe Platform that will assist the Commission and Member States to co-ordinate action and exchange information.

The proposed Regulation now needs to be discussed and agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union before its adoption, and entry into force.

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