US, China Taking Over EU's Green Energy Transition

(MENAFN- Asia Times) The EU's climate agenda is in trouble.

The Green Deal, which aims to slash the bloc's carbon emissions by 55% by 2030, had started off promisingly after several major pieces of legislation were adopted , including its ban on the sale of new combustion-powered vehicles from 2035 and new carbon border tax.

Increasingly, however, Europeans are rebelling against green restrictions of which they have difficulty seeing the advantages. Another less reported but equally important threat to the bloc's ecological and energy transition comes from the alarming number of Chinese and US companies moving into the EU power sector.

In our book,“Energy: How to Recover Our European Ambition” (published in French), we shed light on this overlooked issue ahead of European elections that will be critical for the EU's energy strategy, and call on the bloc to carefully weigh up cooperation and competition with sovereignty.

China's green share

While there currently isn't any quantitative data on China's share in the European energy market, we do know the country controls 80% of the global clean-technology manufacturing capacity in 11 segments , from solar wafers to many lithium-ion battery components.

Taking advantage of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, Chinese investors first stepped in to acquire substantial stakes in what have long been regarded as “sovereign” sectors , such as power transmission and distribution grids, in the early 2010s.

Key among those was the world's largest utility company, the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), commonly known as the State Grid – the world's fourth-biggest company overall by revenue , behind Walmart, Saudi Aramco and Amazon as of March. Also increasingly present is Three Gorges Corp, responsible for the world's largest hydroelectric power complex.

For instance, in Portugal , Three Gorges Corp. won the bidding for the Portuguese government's 21% stake in EDP-Energias de Portugal SA in 2010. Meanwhile, in Italy , SGCC expanded its presence by collaborating with the Italian government in 2014, acquiring a 35% share in the CDP Reti fund, thereby attaining a blocking minority at the local gas network operator, SNAM, and electricity transmission network operator, Terna.


Asia Times

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