Battery industry warns over ‘flawed’ EU net zero laws

Battery industry warns over ‘flawed’ EU net zero laws

Battery industry warns over ‘flawed’ EU net zero laws 640 427 Energy Storage Journal

October 18, 2023: Proposed EU laws to boost investment in clean energy technologies including batteries and renewables need revising to remove serious flaws, say industry leaders.

Flow Batteries Europe (FBE) told Energy Storage Journal yesterday the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), set to come into force next year, would fail to stop investors being lured away from Europe by lucrative incentives such as those offered under the US Inflation Reduction Act.

FBE policy officer Beata Viršumirska said the organization broadly welcomed the NZIA, but feared moves to include too broad range of technologies in the legislation would “deprioritise recognized strategic clean technology industries and their supply chains”.

“This in turn could close the door on Europe’s clean industrial strategy for growing markets from within,” Viršumirska said.

In a policy paper published on October 11, the FBE called on the European Commission to allocate specific funds to “strategic net-zero technologies such as flow batteries”.

The paper says NZIA lacks a concrete objective for the battery sector and gives only a general 40% EU manufacturing target by 2030 for all listed technologies.

The paper also urges coherence between EU chemicals legislation and the NZIA — a reference to separate proposals by the European Chemicals Agency to ban on a group of chemicals (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS) key to the development of certain flow batteries.

The NZIA was discussed by ministers from EU member nations at a Competitiveness Council meeting in May and a follow-up meeting is set for December, when the proposals should be on the agenda again.

Meanwhile, on October 11, FBE and other trade bodies, including the European Association for Storage of Energy and Solar Power Europe, sent an open letter to EU ambassadors warning that NZIA proposals, as they stand, risk weakening the delivery of the EU’s climate and energy action agenda.