Chair of CBI
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The European Union has set the scene for a massive increase in net zero supporting technologies. And batteries – of all chemistries – have a starring role to play.
The Commission’s recently proposed regulation, the Net Zero Industry Act, couldn’t be clearer about the critical role of industry, and batteries in particular, in the transition to a climate neutral, clean economy.
The prospect of scaling-up existing value chains and generating new jobs by nurturing net-zero technology sectors points to another prize: increased growth.
As officials admit in their own assessment, Europe is playing catch-up: “Our partners and competitors have grasped this opportunity and are deploying ambitious measures to secure significant parts of this new market.”
They also point to the importance of securing the supply of materials and technologies: “The resilience of future energy systems will be measured notably by a secure access to the technologies that will power those systems – wind turbines, electrolysers, batteries, solar PV, heat pumps and other. In turn, a secure supply of energy will be essential for ensuring sustainable economic growth, and ultimately public order and security.”
This is not a zero sum game for one sector over another. This is about a combination of industries, value chains and sectors working towards the same goal: a low carbon future for Europe, boosting innovation and securing growth.
The EU’s lead battery value chain, which is well-established and supports the circular economy in battery recycling, is an important link in achieving the EU’s net zero ambitions. Apart from supporting e-mobility and renewable energy storage, innovative and adaptable lead battery systems are already being deployed in microgrids supporting communities globally. And through the Consortium for Battery Innovation there is huge scope for rolling out new storage systems based on advanced lead batteries.
The Net Zero Industry Act is a call to action. It recommends reducing administrative burdens for industry – which should mean adopting sensible and proportionate regulatory measures designed to strengthen the EU’s green industries.
And if the Act gets the support it needs from the EU Parliament and Council, this could mark a sea change in Europe’s bid to achieve climate reduction targets. It cannot come soon enough.