By 2030, the European Union might turn into as reliant on China for lithium-ion batteries and gas cells because it was on Russia for power previous to the struggle in Ukraine until it takes concrete measures, a paper ready for EU leaders mentioned.
The doc, obtained by Reuters, would be the foundation of discussions on Europe’s financial safety throughout a gathering of EU leaders in Granada in Spain on Oct. 5.
Anxious by China’s rising world assertiveness and financial weight, the leaders will talk about the European Fee’s proposals to cut back the chance of Europe being too depending on China and the necessity to diversify towards Africa and Latin America.
The paper mentioned that due to the intermittent nature of renewable power sources like photo voltaic or wind, Europe will want methods to retailer power to succeed in its purpose of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
“It will skyrocket our demand for lithium-ion batteries, gas cells and electrolyzers, which is predicted to multiply between 10 and 30 occasions within the coming years,” the paper, ready by the Spanish presidency of the EU, mentioned.
Whereas the EU has a robust place within the intermediate and meeting phases of constructing electrolyzers, with a greater than 50% world market share, it depends closely on China for gas cells and lithium-ion batteries essential for electrical autos.
“With out implementing robust measures, the European power ecosystem might have a dependency on China by 2030 of a special nature, however with an identical severity, from the one it had on Russia earlier than the invasion of Ukraine,” it mentioned.
In keeping with the European Fee, in 2021, the yr earlier than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU took greater than 40% of its complete fuel consumption, 27% of oil imports and 46% of coal imports from Russia.
Ending most power purchases from Russia induced an power worth shock within the EU and a surge in client inflation, forcing the European Central Financial institution (ECB) to sharply elevate rates of interest in a transfer that has curbed financial progress.
Lithium-ion batteries and gas cells weren’t the one areas of EU vulnerability, the Spanish presidency paper mentioned.
“An identical state of affairs might unfold within the digital-tech area,” the doc mentioned. “Forecasts recommend that the demand for digital gadgets akin to sensors, drones, knowledge servers, storage tools, and knowledge transmission networks will rise sharply on this decade.”
“The EU has a comparatively robust place within the latter, however it exhibits important weaknesses within the different areas,” it mentioned.
By 2030, this overseas dependency might significantly hinder the productiveness positive factors that the European trade and repair sector urgently require and will impede the modernization of agriculture techniques important to addressing local weather change, it mentioned.