The European Union on 16 March, 2023 revealed its strategy to establish itself as a major global player in the worldwide shift towards renewable energy. Its Net Zero Industry Act outlines an objective to produce a minimum of 40% of its own sustainable technology by the year 2030.
Under the Net Zero Industry Act, the EU would apply the 40% production targets to key technologies that are crucial to the adoption of sustainable energy, such as wind power, solar panels, geothermal power, heat pumps, batteries, biogas, small modular nuclear reactors, sustainable alternative fuels, and carbon capture. The legislation would also make investments in these technologies, and enhance training for green industries, among other measures. Additionally, the act aims to achieve a target of storing 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year through carbon capture technology by 2030.
In a statement shared on the European Commission website, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen was quoted saying, “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.”
The Commission has also revealed its plan to strengthen the EU’s access to critical raw materials, including copper, nickel, and lithium, which are essential for green technologies. This is being done through the implementation of the Critical Raw Materials Act. According to this act, the EU is aiming to mine 10% of these materials within its borders by 2030, while also fulfilling 15% of its requirements through recycling. The EU will limit the annual use of any particular raw mineral to no more than 65% from a single non-EU nation.
The EU’s commitment to boosting domestic green energy production and strengthening access to critical raw materials essential for green technologies demonstrates its dedication to transitioning to sustainable times ahead.