The EU risks dependence on China for lithium batteries

By 2030 the European Union could become dependent on China for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells as much as it was by Russia for energy before the war in Ukraine, unless substantial measures are taken. This is what emerges from a paper reported by “Reuters” and prepared for European leaders.

The document should form the basis of discussions on Europe’s economic security during the encounter of the leader dell’Ue which will be held in Granada, Spain, on October 5th.

Concerned about China’s growing global assertiveness and economic clout, leaders will discuss the European Commission’s proposals to reduce the risk of Europe becoming too dependent on China and the need to diversify supply chains towards Africa and Latin America.

The document states that, due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, Europe will need ways to store energy to reach the goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

“This will cause our demand for lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers to skyrocket, which is expected to multiply between 10 and 30 times in the coming years,” reads the document prepared by the Spanish EU presidency.

While the EU has a strong position in the intermediate and assembly stages of electrolyser production, with a global market share of more than 50 percent, is very reliant on the Chinese for fuel cells and battery to the ions of lithium crucial by and electric vehicles.

“Without the implementation of strong measures, by 2030 the European energy ecosystem could have a dependence on China of a different nature, but with a similar severity, than it had on Russia before the invasion of Ukraine,” he said. law.

Lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells are not the EU’s only area of ​​vulnerability, the Spanish presidency document says.

“A similar scenario could play out in the space of digital technology”, the document states. “Forecasts suggest that demand for digital devices such as sensors, drones, data servers, storage equipment and data networks will increase significantly this decade.”

“The EU has a relatively strong position in the latter, but shows notable weaknesses in other areas,” it says.

By 2030, this foreign dependence could seriously hinder the productivity gains that Europe’s industry and service sectors urgently need and could prevent the modernization of agricultural systems essential to tackling climate change.

By Editor

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