In order to achieve the objectives of the Green Deal, the set of policy initiatives proposed to the European Commission with the overall goal of achieving climate neutrality in Europe by 2050, public and private research and innovation in the field of clean energy technologies needs to be significantly increased, moving from laboratories to the market. This is what the European Commission says in its latest report on the competitiveness of the EU green industry. It reviews progress on wind power, photovoltaics, heat pumps, batteries, electrolysis, smart grids and sustainable fuel production.
The report shows that Europe remains at the forefront of research into low-carbon technologies. Globally, it has a higher share of ‘green’ inventions in climate change mitigation technologies than other major economies. Furthermore, the report shows that patents have begun increasing again and Member States are committed to catching up in some key areas, such as energy storage. Europe’s leadership in the wind power sector is also confirmed, particularly in the offshore area.
The EU battery industry is catching up thanks to a combination of investment in production, increased demand for electric vehicles and a focus on recycling to tackle the raw material problem. Europe’s heat pump, renewable fuel, smart grid and renewable hydrogen industries are well placed to benefit from the growing demand for clean energy. Their competitive position will depend on the speed of penetration/development, financial commitment, as well as a favourable legal framework and developments in other sectors (e.g. air and maritime transport).
Finally, more efforts are needed to bridge the gap between innovation and the market. Climate technology start-ups founded in Europe continue to follow their counterparts, moving to the United States or Asia in order to reach the market.