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EU planning fast-track permits for clean tech -draft


An aerial view shows a wind farm in Graincourt-les-Havrincourt, France, November 7, 2020. Picture taken, November 7, 2020 with a drone. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

Producers of clean technologies like renewable hydrogen and batteries could receive faster permits under European Union plans to support industries facing U.S. and Chinese competition, a draft document showed on Monday.

The European Commission is set to publish ideas on Wednesday to retain and boost Europe’s green industry against a backdrop of large subsidies by the United States and China that some governments fear could tempt European industries to relocate.

A draft of the Commission’s plan, seen by Reuters, said it would produce a simpler regulatory framework for manufacturers of technologies deemed key to meeting the EU’s climate change goals, including faster permitting procedures.

Specific projects considered important to developing clean technology supply chains could also receive speedier permits, said the draft, which could still change before it is published.

Potential options include batteries, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, renewable hydrogen, energy storage, and low-carbon construction technologies, although the EU will assess which projects to make eligible, the draft said.

The EU would also set goals to expand these industries by 2030, to ensure they keep up with Europe’s growing needs for clean energy and products.

Brussels is looking to create more EU-wide standards for clean technologies – potentially by defining requirements for net-zero emissions products, which could then guide national governments’ public procurement of such goods, the draft said.