Reports from the European Commission (EC) show that the 22 Recovery & Resilience Plans it has approved will funnel €177bn towards climate-related investments.
This figure, according to the EC’s own calculations in Progress on Competitiveness of Clean Energy Technologies, forms 40% of the total allocation of member states. Broken down, €76bn will be used for projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and network, with another €65bn dedicated to sustainable mobility.
The report went on: “Research and innovation also represented an important share, as Members States allocated nearly €12.3bn to investment in R&I in climate change mitigation and adaptation and the circular economy in their Recovery and Resilience Plans.”
In an accompanying statement, the EC said: “Competitiveness in the clean energy sector entails the capacity to produce and use affordable, reliable and accessible clean energy through clean energy technologies, and compete in energy technology markets, with the overall aim of bringing benefits to the EU economy and people. A competitive clean energy industry is therefore key in order to supply the technologies needed to transition.”
An accompanying report, State of The Energy Union 2021 – Contributing to The European Green Deal and the Union’s Recovery, was largely congratulatory about the role of renewable energy development in the economic recovery following the covid-19 pandemic.
That report concluded: “This 2021 stocktaking of the State of the Energy Union 2021 shows that the implementation of EU energy and climate policies is contributing to the delivery of the European Green Deal and to the recovery from the impacts of the covid-19 crisis.”
It went on to outline six areas that the EC felt warranted further action:
- A revamping of the legislative framework
- Further public and private investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy
- Addressing barriers to investment such as streamlined permit procedures and the phasing out of grid bottlenecks.
- The ending of fossil fuel subsidies.
- Tackling energy poverty.
- Improving and enhancing international cooperation in the fight against climate change, which the EC intends to do through a ‘strategy on external energy engagement’.