European Commission approves NZIA law to promote waste-to-energy

The new NZIA law brings under its purview technologies such as waste-to-hydrogen conversion, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), heat pumps, and sustainable alternative fuel technologies for energy transition.

The European Parliament has approved the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) to acknowledge and enhance the role of waste-to-energy in transitioning initiatives in the continent.

The new NZIA law brings under its purview technologies such as waste-to-hydrogen conversion, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), heat pumps, and sustainable alternative fuel technologies.

As a pivotal element of the Green Deal Industrial Plan (GDIP), the NZIA law aims to ensure that by 2030, Europe generates 40% of its annual deployment requirements in Net Zero technologies. This is as per the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). The countries will also have to capture 15% of the global market value of these technologies.

This NZIA legislation is anticipated to standardize permitting processes across EU member states and align public procurement practices to establish a regulatory framework that encourages private investment and facilitates the deployment of the aforementioned technologies.

While Hydrogen Europe has welcomed the recognition of hydrogen technologies as a strategic solution for the transition, it has expressed concerns about the lack of specific support measures and EU funds for the sector in the legislation.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, said, “We urge the lawmakers to bridge the gap between ambition and reality by increasing available funding for strategic technologies and implementing a Capital Markets Union to maximise European potential.”

Hydrogen Europe said that a Capital Markets Union could prevent European companies from relocating to more favorable market conditions abroad, as noted by H2 View. Simplifying processes for Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and establishing a pan-EU state aid framework will also aid in this endeavour.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had previously highlighted the alignment of the NZIA with the Critical Raw Materials Act at Davos 2023.

The NZIA draft, unveiled at the event, aims to delineate clear goals for European clean tech by 2030, directing investment towards strategic projects throughout the supply chain. Following the parliamentary vote, the NZIA awaits final approval through a Council vote before becoming European law.

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