The European Union could be as dependent on China for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells by 2030 as it was on Russia for energy before the war in Ukraine if it does not take tougher measures, a draft for EU leaders has warned. It is said in the article.
The document, obtained by Reuters, will be the basis for discussions on Europe’s economic security during a meeting of European Union leaders in Granada, Spain, on October 5.
Worried about China’s growing global aggression and economic weight, leaders will discuss European Commission proposals to reduce the risk of Europe becoming too dependent on China and the need to diversify towards Africa and Latin America.
Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, Europe needs ways to store energy to reach its goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the paper says. Will be.
“This will increase our demand for lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers, which is expected to increase 10 to 30 times in the coming years,” said the paper prepared by the Spanish president of the EU.
While the EU has a strong position in the intermediate and assembly stages of manufacturing electrolyzers, with more than 50% global market share, it is heavily dependent on China for vital fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. .
“Without the implementation of strong measures, the European energy ecosystem could become dependent on China by 2030 in a different way, but with the same intensity, as it was on Russia before the invasion of Ukraine,” it said.
According to the European Commission, in 2021, the year before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU took 40 percent of its total gas consumption, 27 percent of its oil imports and 46 percent of its coal imports from Russia.
Ending most energy purchases from Russia has shocked energy prices in the EU and boosted consumer inflation, prompting the European Central Bank to sharply raise interest rates in a move to curb economic growth. has been.
Lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells were not the EU’s only area of concern, the Spanish presidency paper said.
“A similar scenario could play out in the digital tech space,” the document said. “Forecasts indicate that the demand for digital devices such as sensors, drones, data servers, storage devices and data transmission networks will increase rapidly in this decade.”
“The EU has a relatively strong position in the latter, but it shows significant weaknesses in other areas,” he said.
By 2030, it said, this foreign dependence could seriously hinder the productivity gains that European industry and service sectors urgently need and hinder the modernization of agricultural systems needed to combat climate change. .