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European Parliament green lights Net-Zero Industry Act

The European Parliament adopted today (25 Thursday) the Net-Zero Industry Act aiming to increase EU production in technologies needed for decarbonisation.

The Net-Zero Industry Act, already informally agreed upon with the Council of the EU, sets a target for Europe to produce 40 per cent of its annual deployment needs in net-zero technologies by 2030, based on EU Member States’ national energy and climate plans (NECPs) and to capture 15 per cent of the global market value for these technologies.

Technologies to be supported under the legislation include all renewable technologies, nuclear, industrial decarbonisation, grid, energy storage technologies and biotech. The proposed law aims to simplify the permitting process, setting maximum timelines for projects to be authorised depending on their scope and output.

The agreement provides for the creation of “Net-Zero Acceleration Valleys” initiatives, speeding up the permitting process by delegating parts of the evidence collection for environmental assessments to EU countries.

“This vote is good news for European industry and sets the tone for the next term. To achieve all our economic, climate and energy ambitions, we need industry in Europe. This Act is the first step to making our market fit for this purpose”, said MEP Christian Ehler (EPP, DE).

According to the proposed legislation, national support schemes aiming to get households and consumers to move over to technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps more quickly will have to take into account sustainability and resilience criteria.

Public procurement procedures and auctions to deploy renewable energy sources should also meet such criteria, albeit under conditions to be defined by the European Commission, and for a minimum of 30 per cent of the volume auctioned per year in each EU Member State, or for a maximum of six gigawatts auctioned per year and per country.

The legislation will encourage funding from national Emission Trading System (ETS) revenues and for most strategic projects through the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP), and it is a step towards a European Sovereignty fund, the European Parliament noted in a press release.

The legislation was adopted by the European Parliament with 361 votes to 121, with 45 abstentions. It will now have to be formally adopted by the Council of the EU in order to become law.

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