ZVEI on Fit for 55: Move forward boldly

  • Ambitious emissions trading is the right way 
  • Reluctant implementation of the new ETS not effective
  • No incentives for relocation abroad

"The road is finally paved for an emissions trading system in the heating and transport sectors," says Wolfgang Weber, CEO of ZVEI, on today's decision on the ‘Fit for 55’ package by the European Parliament. An increasingly cross-sectoral pricing of CO2 emissions is necessary to stimulate the use of innovative, emission-reducing and energy-efficient technologies in these sectors. However, as this ETS comes with a price cap and a very late inclusion of private citizens, its implementation is reluctant and thus not very effective. The climate targets set can only be achieved, if the green transformation through electrification and digitalisation is demanded and promoted across all sectors. Weber: "The technologies are available, the EU can and must now boldly drive their deployment and scaling."

That the vote on the core of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, consisting of EU emissions trading, the new ETS trading for heat and transport, EU border adjustment mechanism and EU social climate fund, initially failed in Parliament has rather been an opportunity rather than a setback. Weber: "The decided shortening of certificates in emissions trading through a higher linear reduction factor is perfectly right." In this way, the delta of operating costs for renewable energies could be lowered significantly compared to fossil energies. Generating, distributing, and using power from renewable energies must be more attractive for operators as well as consumers than sticking to fossil energies.

It is also important that the energy transition is made possible for everyone. "The transformation to a climate-neutral society is a huge task that we can only accomplish together," says Weber. This requires specific investment support for industry and vulnerable groups. ZVEI therefore supports corresponding measures for industry and the EU social climate fund.

The association, however, remains critical of the border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), especially if it only covers upstream products, for example from the steel and chemical industries. Weber: "Their customers, such as the electro and digital industry, should not be given any incentives to relocate their production to non-EU countries."

As a next step, the Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive (RED and EED) should now be addressed quickly, and with increased ambition. The geopolitical situation requires a faster expansion and more efficient use of renewable energies, as Weber emphasises: "If we hesitate now, the pressure to transform will increase even more."

Energy Power Engineering Europe