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EU council, parliament strike green industry deal
Measures aim to boost deployment of net-zero tech, support industries in transition
The Asset 8 Feb 2024

The European Union’s council and parliament have reached a provisional deal on the regulation establishing a framework of measures for strengthening Europe’s net-zero technology products manufacturing ecosystem, better known as the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA).

The regulation aims to boost the industrial deployment of net-zero technologies needed to achieve EU’s climate goals, using the strength of the single market to reinforce Europe’s leadership in industrial green technologies.

Under the proposed new agreement, there will be a single list of net-zero technologies, with criteria for selecting strategic projects in those technologies that will contribute better to decarbonization.

The NZIA act aims to ease conditions for investing in green technologies by simplifying permit-granting procedures and supporting strategic projects. It also proposes to ease market access for strategic technology products, enhance the skills of the European workforce in these sectors (notably through the launching of net-zero industry academies) and create a platform to coordinate EU action in this area.

To foster innovation, the NZIA proposes favourable regulatory frameworks to be created for developing, testing and validating innovative technologies (known as regulatory sandboxes).

Progress towards the act’s objectives will be measured by two indicative benchmarks: reaching 40% of the production required to cover EU’s needs in strategic technology products, and their evolution in comparison with world production for products like solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, batteries and heat pumps.

The proposal also sets a specific target for CO2 carbon capture and storage, with an annual injection capacity of at least 50 million tonnes to be achieved by 2030.

The provisional agreement supports the main objectives of the net-zero industry act that were proposed by the European Commission less than a year ago, while introducing several improvements, such as streamlined rules on construction permit procedures, creation of net-zero industrial valleys, and more clarity on criteria for public procurement and auctioning.

The agreement reached now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions.

“With the NZIA, we want to support our industry in its transition,” says Jo Brouns, Flemish minister for economy, innovation, work, social economy and agriculture. “The NZIA is an important step in creating the necessary ecosystem to boost the manufacturing of clean technologies.

“Europe launched a pathway towards a cleaner and sustainable future for the European industry. Now the time is ripe for Europe to take back the lead on the global scene for clean technologies and to build a competitive, green and job-creating industrial sector.”

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