Energy-intensive industries call for an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy to help the industry better contribute to the EU long-term GHG goals

A new and integrated EU industrial strategy for energy-intensive industries is required to complete a transition to a low-carbon economy in the EU, according to the report released today by the Institute for European Studies (IES) - Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and. The report commissioned by eleven Energy-Intensive Industries describes a combination of possible key solutions that will help them achieve significant emission reductions and at the same time remain competitive, innovative and pivotal in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Having analysed more than 80 low-CO2 technology options available for energy-intensive industries, the VUB/IES researchers have concluded that the following conditions need to be taken into account in designing an efficient EU industrial policy:

  • An ambitious RD&I programme that addresses the main challenges towards competitive low-CO2 processes in energy-intensive industries as well as adequate support for demonstration of advanced low-CO2 technologies to improve market readiness;
  • Globally competitive energy prices; including a sufficient, reliable and competitively priced low CO2 electricity supply to enable further electrification of industry;
  • Financing mechanisms that help companies refurbish old industrial facilities and modernise production processes;
  • Support to the creation of industrial clusters and symbiosis as an important tool in improving resource efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions of industrial facilities;
  • Incentives to the use of public procurement and low-CO2 standards for products to develop the market for low CO2 products and processes taking an appropriate lifecycle-based approach into account.

A coherent EU regulatory framework – encompassing climate, energy, industrial, trade and environmental policies – is a necessary precondition to ensure a global playing field and support
industry in its transition to a low-carbon economy.

The report is the group’s contribution to the forthcoming EU Commission’s Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions. By integrating these conditions into the long-term EU GHG emission reduction strategy, the EU will be able to preserve the industry’s role as a provider of economic growth in Europe and as an enabler of the transition by supporting the industry’s potential to