Yesterday, the council of the European Union instated a series of conclusions, addressing how COVID-19 recovery actions can pave the way for a “more dynamic, resilient and competitive European industry.” This includes solar and renewables as a steppingstone of recovery and a permanent bedrock of any future European industry that emerges from the pandemic.
More specifically, the Council encouraged launching a new alliance on renewable energy, in an effort to strengthen European “competitiveness and sustainable growth through technological leadership”, including leadership in the field of solar. It explicitly mentions looking forward to “the launch of new alliances that could accelerate the green and digital transition, such as in low-carbon industries (and) renewable energy.”
The Council also particularly welcomed the future update of the European Industrial Strategy expected ahead of the March 2021 European Council. They called on the Commission to prioritise and speed up initiatives that foster the green and circular economy. To ensure a successful implementation of the industrial strategy, the Council called for key performance indicators to be defined, and regularly reported on, in order to monitor how the industry is contributing to the clean energy transition.
Naomi Chevillard, Senior Policy Advisor of SolarPower Europe, commented: “Following the identification of solar PV as one of the leading competitive energy technologies, EU Industry and Competitiveness Ministers look forward to the launch of a new industrial alliance on renewables as part of the reviewed Industrial Strategy. This should be the basis for the launch of a European Solar Initiative.”
The Council highlighted the importance of comprehensive actions to support the transition process to make energy-intensive European industries global leaders in renewables, and to ensure a just transition, both of which solar can help facilitate.