EU needs to get back into the clean energy manufacturing race
Last year the sector’s global sales value rose by 10% to almost €200 billion, close to the scale of consumer electronics manufacturing. It is projected to overtake oil and gas equipment in the next three years. Sales of European manufactures dropped by 5%.
“The report shows that clean tech manufacturing is a great business opportunity and an essential element for getting onto a sustainable development path. But if Europe wants to get back into the race it needs new and ambitious goals to pull its clean tech manufacturing to new levels of performance, and to stay competitive in the 21st century economy”, said Jason Anderson, Head of Climate and Energy Policy at WWF European Policy Office.
The report ranks 40 countries based on the 2011 sales value of the clean energy technology products they manufacture. Compared to the previous year, the EU slipped from first to second place behind China. However, when clean tech sales are weighted as a percentage of GDP, Denmark and Germany occupied the first and third position globally.
While global sales value grew by 10%, sales volumes shot up even more, meaning that clean energy is getting cheaper, fast. European manufacturers sold more, but earned less; several other countries managed to see sales volumes outpace the price drop.
“The price drop is good news for consumers, but to keep generating revenue EU manufacturers have to keep up with the competition. Policy can help by creating stable conditions for investment and innovation”, said Anderson.
The top five fastest growing manufacturing hubs for 2010-11 were Taiwan (+36%), China (+29%), India (+19%), South Korea (+19%) and the United States (+17%). South Korea is seeing a positive impact from its “Low Carbon, Green Growth” national vision launched in 2008, which designated clean tech as the next engine for growth and includes R&D and manufacturing stimulus as well as targets on renewable energy use and energy efficiency.
Europe is currently struggling to pass an Energy Efficiency Directive which would get the EU back on track to its 2020 energy savings target, or to agree on new and adequate climate targets. A 2030 renewables target is just beginning to be discussed.
The “Clean Economy, Living Planet” report was prepared by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and commissioned by WWF, with support from Eneco, Rabobank and De Lage Landen.
The report will be launched in Brussels on 7 June in the European Parliament.
Note to the editors:
*The report defines the sector as the manufacturing of components and finished products in renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass, hydropower and geothermal), energy efficiency (micro CHP, insulation, heat pumps, CFLs, LEDs, fuel cells) and e-mobility (batteries, power electronics and electric power trains).
For further information:
Communication and Media officer
WWF European Policy Office
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 494 03 20 27
Paolo Di Stefano,
Phone: +32 2 230 20 16
Mobile: +32 498 10 83 38