Europe risks falling behind China and US on renewals, warns industry leaders

Europe risks falling behind the United States and China in decarbonization efforts unless they legislate for a radical expansion of renewable energy, said the bloc’s chemical and wind industry leaders.

This will require a disruption of national planning rules, and greater coherence in energy investments across the EU, according to Martin Brudermüller, president of the world’s largest chemical company, BASF, and Andreas Nauen, executive director of the second largest wind turbine manufacturer, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

Both China and the United States are taking a more pragmatic approach to allowing their industries to reduce emissions, Brudermüller said in an interview with the Financial Times.

For example, in a few weeks, China had revised legislation blocking a local partnership to supply renewable energy to BASF’s new plant, Brudermüller said. Europe, on the other hand, was “very slow and very complicated.” Lots of plans [for renewable energy] they are national plans, not EU plans. We need energy integration, ”he said.

Nauen said the expansion of wind energy in Europe would run at half the rate needed to meet the bloc’s revised ambition for a 55 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. of varied and complicated permits across Europe maintain substantial capacity, he said. “Politically we are greener than we have ever been in Europe,” he said. “But we cannot translate super ambitious goals into implementation at the speed that will be needed. That is why we fear that Europe will fall behind.”

Brudermüller and Nauen spoke as the heads of their respective industry associations, Cefic and WindEurope, weeks before Brussels unveiled proposals for a legislative framework to support the new emissions target, revised to the next by a 40 percent reduction.

These proposals will include the potential expansion of the European carbon tariff mechanism, known as the emissions trading scheme, to sectors such as cars and heating, as well as the possible phasing out of duty-free allowances. energy consuming industries. The commission will also reveal its conception for a frontier imposition of coal on imports.

Both leaders said that new forms of industrial cooperation, in all sectors and between suppliers and customers, will be required to meet the new emissions target. However, they have expressed concern that future reforms will fail to address the need for a substantial change in Europe’s approach to encouraging investment in innovation; to State aid, which is still allocated at the national level; and at transition costs.

“We need political coherence for our industry,” Brudermüller said. “We are an energy-intensive industry, and also a capital one.” We need it. . . a clear prospect for investment, otherwise investments will not happen and that endangers the entire ecosystem in Europe ”.

Nauen estimated that the electrification of the European economy will go from about 25% to “50-60%” for the next 30 years.

Brudermüller has indicated the group’s plant in the German city of Ludwigshafen, where energy demand is expected to triple by 2035. The group recently announced its plans to reduce emissions by 25 percent. 2030. “If I don’t have renewable energy, I can‘ I don’t implement my plans, ’” he said.

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