The Commission has published today the new European Research Area (ERA) industrial technology roadmap for low-carbon technologies, which provides a list of key emerging low-carbon technologies for energy-intensive industries and ways to leverage R&I investments to accelerate their development and uptake in energy-intensive industries. The roadmap complements the revised Industrial Emissions Directive, as proposed on 5 April, which will help reach EU’s 2050 zero pollution ambition announced under the European Green Deal. The draft law introduces a revised framework for preventing and controlling industrial pollutants emissions from large industrial installations.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Education, Culture and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said:
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has strengthened the case to accelerate the green transition and become more resource efficient. In addition to clean energy, developing and up-take of low-carbon technologies is key to meeting the EU’s climate goals, while reducing industry dependence on gas. EU instruments are available but cannot replace national and private investments. There is no time to lose.
Key opportunities for action include the need for:
- Assessing the opportunity for creation of an Industrial Alliance or similar platform for low-carbon technologies in energy-intensive industries, as referred to in the 2020 New Industrial Strategy for Europe. Synergies with the R&I partnership Processes4Planet and the Clean Steel Partnership of Horizon Europe should be fully used, as well as those with other EU instruments, such as the Innovation Fund and InvestEU.
- Facilitation of specific national sectoral and cross-sectoral strategies or programmes with key stakeholders as part of the ERA policy agenda 2022-2024
- Establishment of a community of practice to facilitate the authorisation for first-of-a-kind installation for low-carbon industrial technologies, building upon similar approaches under the European Chips Act, the Regulatory Hubs Network and EU recommendations for approval processes for renewable energy installations and the Hubs4Circularity community of practice
- Enabling further valorisation by exploring with industry the opportunity to open up IP on central (cross-sectoral) green inventions, widening the access to IP for licensing (e.g. patent pool) and knowledge transfer
- Cooperation with European standardisation organisations (CEN/CENELEC) and industrial partnerships to identify and fill standardisation gaps for innovative low-carbon industrial technologies
The roadmap points to a gap between the current overall research and innovation (R&I) investments across energy-intensive sectors and the amount needed to reach EU Green Deal emission targets for 2030 and 2050. The biggest investment gap concerns investments in the coming years in first-of-a-kind installations for low-carbon industrial technologies and further deployment of mature technologies. This roadmap and all other actions will contribute to closing the gap.
The roadmap, elaborated with member states, industry and other stakeholders, sets out key low-carbon technologies and the means to transfer them to the industrial ecosystem for energy-intensive industries (chemicals, iron & steel, cement and other industries) at EU and national level. It also provides a mapping of geographical location of these industries in the EU and their greenhouse gas emissions.
Its analysis builds on the Horizon Europe Processes4Planet and Clean Steel partnerships, two public-private partnerships that respectively support the transformation of the process industries and specifically the steel industry into carbon-neutral industries.
It falls under the new ERA policy agenda 2022-2024, agreed by research ministers, which notably calls for the acceleration of the industrial up-take of R&I results. Its findings will also feed R&I priorities into the upcoming transition pathway for EU energy-intensive industries ecosystem, as announced in the updated Industrial strategy.
At the EU level, the InvestEU programme isis expected to mobilise, by the end of 2027, substantial private and public investment including for the deployment of low-carbon technologies. The Innovation Fund will also provide support over the period 2020-2030 for the commercial demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies.
- Publication date
- 8 April 2022
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation