Several associations representing the European energy-intensive industries are calling on the European Union to recognise the role of this sector within the Net Zero Industry Act.
Indeed energy-intensive industries currently provide direct employment to around 2.6 million people and represent the foundations of critical and strategic value chains for the EU economy and society.
“Our sectors provide materials which are indispensable for the decarbonisation of the industry and the economy as a whole and for the manufacture of the Strategic Net Zero Technologies identified in the draft Regulation,” read the joint letter. “At the same time, energy-intensive industries will also be key users of these technologies, accounting for a major share of the demand. By focusing almost exclusively on the manufacturing side of specific technologies, the draft Net Zero Industry Act presents significant shortcomings.”
That’s why the signatories are asking for a Net Zero Industry Act that contains concrete measures for users of Net Zero technologies. For instance, easier permitting procedures, as well as the one-stop shop concept, should apply throughout the value chain – not only to manufacturers of technologies but also to industrial end-users, covering also the related infrastructure.
Also, they are urging both EU and national funding – ETS Innovation Fund, Recovery and Resilience Facility, national funding instruments – to be directed at greening Europe’s industrial base and support the rapid deployment of breakthrough technologies. In this regard, the conditions to access to EU and national funds must be simplified.
Finally, the parties involved underlined how the EU needs a structural and ambitious rethinking of its energy policy to secure a resilient and competitive climate-neutral economy.