The clean tech revolution is here

The clean tech revolution is here

We explain the pillars of the Green Deal Industrial Plan, which aims to drive the EU forward in the field of clean technologies

The Green Deal Industrial Plan is making a strong push for clean technologies in the European Union. This initiative aims to improve the competitiveness of European industry with zero net emissions, in order to contribute to the transition to climate neutrality by 2050. It will do so by creating a more favourable environment for increasing the EU’s manufacturing capacity for low-carbon products and technologies.

It is the industry’s embodiment of the European Green Deal, the European Commission’s (EC) ambitious set of policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This industrial plan aims to improve Europe’s hydrogen, biotechnology, nanotechnology and many other industries to make the EU the cradle of green innovation. To boost clean technologies, the plan will be based on four key pillars:

Accelerated access to finance

The EC wants to simplify the granting of the aid needed to accelerate the transition to clean technologies. To this end, it wants to create a new Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, so that each Member State can manage its state aid in a much more streamlined way.

It will also revise the General Block Exemption Regulation in line with the European Green Deal, increase the notification thresholds for green investment support, and facilitate the use of existing funds such as the Innovation Fund, InvestEU or REPowerEU.

Its proposal is also to create a European Sovereignty Fund, in the context of the revision of the multiannual financial framework, as a medium-term structural response to clean technology investment needs.

A simplified and predictable regulatory framework

The European Commission intends to propose these initiatives:

· Critical Raw Materials Act, to ensure the necessary access to materials such as rare earths, which are key to manufacturing breakthrough technology.

· Changing the shape of the electricity market, so that consumers benefit from cheaper prices for renewable energy.

· Net-Zero Industry Act, to set targets for net zero emission industrial capacity and provide a regulatory framework for their rapid implementation.

Improving skills

In this article we talked about why the EU has designated 2023 as the European Year of Skills, and this need underpins one of the pillars of the Green Deal’s Industrial Plan with the aim of achieving quality, well-paid jobs. To deliver a major green transition, the EC will propose the creation of academies with retraining and upskilling programmes in strategic industries. It also wants to combine existing skills-based approaches with new approaches based on real skills, access for third-country nationals to EU labour markets and the promotion and harmonisation of public and private funding for skills development.

Open and fair trade

Finally, the EC seeks global cooperation under the principles of open trade and fair competition, defending the single market against unfair trade practices. In this way it seeks to put trade at the service of the ecological transition, building on commitments with EU partners and the work of the World Trade Organisation.