In short – A European cleantech investment plan is crucial at this time to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy. Such a plan would attract investments in clean technologies, renewable energy projects, and sustainable infrastructure. It would also foster innovation, create jobs, and contribute to Europe’s climate goals. Implementing a comprehensive and strategic investment plan will be instrumental in driving the green transition and ensuring a sustainable future for Europe.
In Details – Cleantech for Europe’s Sofia Karagianni explores how Europe’s cleantech industry, despite its innovative solutions for energy resilience and decarbonisation, faces a significant investment gap.European cleantech companies have developed world-leading batteries, electrolysers, and supercapacitors, as well as near-zero carbon steel and cement technologies. This tech leadership could underpin Europe’s competitiveness, energy resilience and decarbonisation for decades to come.
However, a large funding gap at the scale-up stage puts Europe’s next generation of industry at critical risk. The European Commission calculates that to scale the manufacture of just six key technologies under the Net Zero Industry Act — namely solar, wind, batteries, heat pumps, electrolysers, carbon capture and storage — will require €92 billion of public and private investment by 2030.
Even in this optimistic view, our latest research shows the EU is facing a €50+ billion investment gap by 2030. This gap could easily grow to the hundreds of billions of euros by 2030 if we include the other key technologies we need to scale up: green steel and cement, long-duration energy storage, green chemistry and more.
Meanwhile, our global peers are investing aggressively in cleantech. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act is projected to unlock US$1.2 trillion of cleantech incentives by 2032. In 2023 alone, China invested $676 billion in clean energy. Japan, through its GX Initiative, will realise private-public investments of ¥150 trillion (approximately $1 trillion) over the next ten years.