The European Commission presented the Green Deal Industrial Plan to enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s net-zero industry and support the fast transition to climate neutrality. This arises in the context of the 2019 European Green Deal, which set the goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
The Green Deal Industrial Plan builds on previous initiatives and relies on the strengths of the EU Single Market, complementing ongoing efforts under the European Green Deal and REPowerEU. Among other efforts, it will ensure faster access to funding for cleantech industries.
Faster access to funding
- Speeding up investment and financing for clean tech production in Europe. The Commission will consult the Member States on an amended Temporary State aid Crisis and Transition Framework and it will revise the General Block Exemption Regulation in light of the Green Deal.
- Facilitating the use of existing EU funds for financing cleantech innovation, manufacturing, and deployment. The Commission will work with Member States in the short term, with a focus on REPowerEU, InvestEU, and the Innovation Fund, on a bridging solution to provide fast and targeted support. For the midterm, the Commission intends to give a structural answer to the investment needs, by proposing a European Sovereignty Fund.
- New guidance for Member States to modify their existing recovery and resilience plans in order to facilitate access to the REPowerEU funds.
Almost €270 billion available for REPowerEU
Overall, close to €270 billion REPowerEU funds will be available for Member States, which means an increase in the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) financial envelope by:
- €20 billion in new grants to finance measures that Member States will be able to include in REPowerEU chapters, financed through the sale of Emissions Trading System allowances.
- €5.4 billion of funds from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve that Member States can transfer to the RRF to finance REPowerEU measures. This adds to the existing transfer possibilities of 5% from the cohesion policy funds (up to €17 billion).
- A remaining of €225 billion of RRF loans that Member States can use for REPowerEU purposes.
Moreover, once the revised plans are adopted, Member States will have the possibility to request pre-financing of up to 20% of funds allocated to REPowerEU chapters, allowing for a swift disbursement of the funds.
A predictable and simplified regulatory environment
- A Net-Zero Industry Act will identify goals for net-zero industrial capacity and provide a regulatory framework suited for its quick deployment, ensuring simplified and fast-track permitting, promoting European strategic projects, and developing standards to support the scale-up of technologies across the Single Market.
- A Critical Raw Materials Act will ensure sufficient access to those materials, like rare earth, that are vital for manufacturing key technologies, and the reform of the electricity market design, to make consumers benefit from the lower costs of renewables.
- Developing the skills needed for well-paid quality jobs in the context of the European Year of Skills, since around 35%-40% of all jobs could be affected by the green transition.
- Establishing Net-Zero Industry Academies to roll out up-skilling and re-skilling programs in strategic industries, in order to ensure a people-centred green transition.
Open trade for resilient supply chains
- Keep developing the EU’s network of Free Trade Agreements and other forms of cooperation with partners to support the green transition.
- Exploring the creation of a Critical Raw Materials Club, to bring together raw material ‘consumers’ and resource-rich countries to ensure global security of supply through a competitive and diversified industrial base, and Clean Tech/Net-Zero Industrial Partnerships.
- Protecting the Single Market from unfair trade in the clean tech sector and ensuring that foreign subsidies do not distort competition in the Single Market.
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