The EU's renewable industry plan 'setting direction' for Europe's green revolution
Alex Cadier in Brussels

A new plan proposed by the European Commission to boost the European Union's net-zero industry has been welcomed by experts as "setting the direction" in promoting the bloc's energy transition and accelerating the growth of renewable energy.

The Green Deal Industrial Plan, introduced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the first of February 2023, hopes to "enhance the competitiveness of Europe's net-zero industry and support the fast transition to climate neutrality" according to the European Commission.

The plan is part of the EU's response to the Biden Administration's Inflation Reduction Act ​​which offers tax breaks and subsidies to North American businesses producing clean and green products like renewable energy parts and electric cars.


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Announcing the plan, Von der Leyen welcomed investments from other countries. 

"We have since long argued that the fight against climate change is a must. A must for our planet, a must for our economic prosperity and a must for our strategic independence. We are competitive, we need competition."

The Commission President also described the Green Deal Industrial Plan as a "once in a generation opportunity to show the way with speed, ambition and a sense of purpose to secure the EU's industrial lead in the fast-growing net-zero technology sector" adding that "Europe is determined to lead the clean tech revolution."


Welcomed – but too vague?

The plan was welcomed by Belgium's renewable energy business association, Edora.

"This kind of plan is a good thing. It shows the EU is setting the direction. We have to promote the energy transition and accelerate the development of renewable energy across the bloc. This is particularly important because member states haven't perfected their own strategies" Dr Fawaz Al-Bitar, Edora's General Secretary told CGTN.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the Green Deal. /Yves Herman/Reuters
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the Green Deal. /Yves Herman/Reuters

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the Green Deal. /Yves Herman/Reuters

Despite this support, Al-Bitar warned that the plan remained too vague on which energy sources would be eligible for support.

In particular, the inclusion of nuclear power as an eligible energy source would likely be a divisive issue.

"For us, this is really clear. Green energy means renewable energy or transition energy sources. Renewable energy sources help boost our energy independence and offer a lasting solution to the energy crisis we've experienced" said Al-Bitar.

The Green Deal Industrial Plan will now be scrutinized by the European Parliament before being set to the European Council for approval.

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