Despite taking the initiative, back in 2010, for action against the climate crisis, Europe has since lost plenty of ground and now lags behind North America in the energy transition race as a result of a lack of measures and incentives to attract related investments.
Evangelos Mytilineos, president and CEO at the Mytilineos group, as well as president of Eurometaux, Europe’s association for non-ferrous metals producers and recyclers, has pointed out this widening gap that separates Europe and North America.
The USA is subsidizing the cost of energy transition projects at a level of 20 percent, while Canada’s subsidy support reaches 30 percent.
Such investment support for energy transition projects is sorely lacking in Europe, more focused on setting goals and proposing actions such as the Critical Raw Material Act, intended to ensure the EU’s access to a secure, diversified, affordable and sustainable supply of critical raw materials.
Europe’s approach is failing to attract investors, and, even more crucially, energy-intensive industries, Mytilineos pointed out. Many are relocating their headquarters to Asia and the USA.
Energy cost is a key factor behind such decisions. Even now, natural gas prices in the EU, which have de-escalated, remain five times higher than in the USA.
Europe was particularly fortunate last winter as a result of lower temperatures, energy savings, the absence of China from markets, and restricted energy demand in the Far East. However, this fortune has begun changing as energy prices in the Far East are now beginning to exceed European prices. LNG tankers are heading back to Asia in increasing numbers.
The Mytilineos group’s chief forecast the USA would recover from the energy crisis sooner than Europe. Canada, also recovering faster, recently lured the Mytilineos group for a 1.16 billion-euro solar energy portfolio acquisition.
Delayed European decisions, held back by greater bureaucracy and the time-consuming need for approvals by all member states, will leave the continent well behind North America in the energy transition race, Mytilineos noted.