The landmark adoption of the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act has set off a global race to scale clean technologies, and reap the combined benefits of decarbonisation, energy security and industrial leadership. With hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks, grants and loans being distributed across tens of technologies, promising companies are already considering moving some or all of their activities to the US.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to significant investments, Europe has become a powerhouse of cleantech innovation. But we are still struggling to scale and industrialise these technologies. In past 5 years, while the EU attracted 22% of global cleantech seed venture capital (early-stage), it only attracted 9% of global cleantech growth capital, well below our weight and to be compared with 49% for North America. More than 70 industrial cleantech projects are still awaiting Final Investment Decisions.
The latest climate packages from the US, while extremely positive in the global race to net zero, threaten to siphon off promising European technologies. We, CEOs and founders of 7 of the fastest-growing cleantech scale-ups in Europe, call on the EU to react with ambition and urgency.
“Cleantech scale-ups are ready to build the next generation of European industry, but we’re facing a system made for incumbents. The EU needs to move with Speed, Scale and Simplicity if we want a chance to lead the global cleantech race.”
This new paradigm should be private sector-led and public sector-enabled, with four pillars: