By 2030, the European Union may grow to be as reliant on China for lithium-ion batteries and gas cells because it was on Russia for power previous to the battle in Ukraine except 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.
Nervous by China’s rising international assertiveness and financial weight, the leaders will focus on the European Fee’s proposals to scale 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 anticipated to multiply between 10 and 30 instances 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 creating electrolyzers, with a greater than 50% international market share, it depends closely on China for gas cells and lithium-ion batteries essential for electrical autos.
“With out implementing sturdy measures, the European power ecosystem may have a dependency on China by 2030 of a distinct 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 12 months earlier than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU took greater than 40% of its complete gasoline consumption, 27% of oil imports and 46% of coal imports from Russia.
Ending most power purchases from Russia precipitated an power worth shock within the EU and a surge in shopper inflation, forcing the European Central Financial institution (ECB) to sharply increase 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.
“The same situation may unfold within the digital-tech house,” the doc mentioned. “Forecasts recommend that the demand for digital units resembling sensors, drones, knowledge servers, storage tools, and knowledge transmission networks will rise sharply on this decade.”
“The EU has a comparatively sturdy place within the latter, however it reveals vital weaknesses within the different areas,” it mentioned.
By 2030, this international dependency may critically hinder the productiveness good points that the European trade and repair sector urgently require and will impede the modernization of agriculture programs important to addressing local weather change, it mentioned.