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MEPs adopt plans to boost Net-Zero tech production

MEPs adopt plans to boost Net-Zero tech production
The European Parliament building in Strasbourg (photo courtesy European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio).

The European Parliament has approved the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) to bolster EU production in technologies needed for decarbonization. Already informally agreed upon with the Council, NZIA sets a target for Europe to produce 40 percent of its annual deployment needs in net-zero technologies by 2030, based on National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) and to capture 15 percent of the global market value for these technologies.

Technologies to be supported under NZIA include all renewable technologies, nuclear, industrial decarbonization, grid, energy storage technologies, and biotech.

Adopted by MEPs in Strasbourg, France on April 25, 2024, NZIA will simplify the permitting process, setting maximum timelines for projects to be authorized 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 member states.

Sustainability and resilience criteria

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 Commission, and for a minimum of 30 percent of the volume auctioned per year in the member state, or for a maximum of six GW auctioned per year and per country.

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

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 lead MEP Christian Ehler (EPP, DE).

The legislation was adopted with 361 votes to 121, with 45 abstentions, and will now have to be formally adopted by the Council to become law.

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