Parliament adds nuclear to EU’s net-zero industry shortlist

(EurActiv, 25 Oct 2023) The European Parliament’s industry committee voted on Wednesday (25 October) to put nuclear back on the list of technologies eligible for preferential treatment as Europe looks to reshore production of technologies deemed crucial for a net-zero world.

The European Commission tabled its Net-Zero Industry Act in March this year as a response to the US Inflation Reuction Act, which provides billions in subsidies for clean industries.

The law singles out key technologies that will be eligible to receive faster permits and looser state aid oversight from EU competition authorities to ensure a share of production takes place in Europe.

“Europe is finally getting serious on industrial policy,” said Christian Ehler, a German conservative lawmaker who is the Parliament’s speaker on the proposal. The committee backed this approach with 43 votes in favour and 12 against.

The initial proposal caused controversy by reserving regulatory perks only for “strategic” technologies – such as solar panels, batteries and heat pumps – while excluding others like nuclear power. 

But Ehler’s compromise text, backed by the Parliament’s centrist Renew and Socialist groups, does away with this distinction by expanding the list to 16 technologies – including all types of nuclear fission, as well as fusion, sustainable fuels, and biogas. 

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EurActiv, 25 Oct 2023: Parliament adds nuclear to EU’s net-zero industry shortlist