The European Battery Innovation, the 2nd major project of common European interest (PIIEC), has just been authorized by the European Commission. This project aims to support European research and innovation in the battery value chain. 2.9 billion euros of public aid have just been validated from 12 member states of the European Union (EU). These countries include Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
This new PIIEC is expected to be completed by 2028.
European Battery Innovation, the new pan-European project
Second PIIEC on the battery value chain
European Battery Innovation is the second PIIEC aimed at developing innovation in the battery and energy storage value chain. It will complement the first one authorized by the European Commission in December 2019.
According to Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president for competition policy of the EU, these investment projects support a risky sector. These are too important to be assumed by a single state or even a company. Common European aid therefore seems necessary to compensate for market failures.
9 billion euros more expected
It should be remembered that the European Commission had to confront the project with the European rules on state aid. Finally, 2.9 billion euros from 12 member states were validated. This has made the sector more attractive. In fact, an additional 9 billion euros from the private sector are expected.
Thus, European Battery Innovation will directly benefit 42 participants, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They will have to collaborate with each other, but also with 150 external partners such as universities or other public organizations. The project is therefore focused on the collaboration between different European actors.
With this project, the idea is to encourage technological development and innovation in all phases of battery development. This ranges from the extraction of raw materials, through design and manufacturing, to recycling.
A project of major strategic importance for the EU
“Achieving our ambitions” in Europe for batteries
First of all, the battery sector is a strategic area for the EU. The organization wishes to play a leading role in terms of sustainable development and energy transition. In this sense, according to Thierry Breton, Commissioner in charge of the internal market, the European Battery Innovation would allow “the realization of our ambitions in terms of clean mobility and energy storage”.
According to Maroš Šefčovič, vice president of the Commission in charge of the European battery alliance, this sector is “vital for the green transition.” This is why the EU is becoming a global pole for batteries, whereas the sector was not very developed a few years ago.
In the long run, the EU is seeking a certain autonomy in a highly strategic area.
Significant technological and economic benefits
European Battery Innovation therefore promotes technological innovation. The collaborative aspect of the project thus has positive effects on all European actors. It also strengthens their competitiveness.
In this sense, the economic benefits are not negligible either, since in addition to promoting employment, companies will return part of the aid to the States through various recovery mechanisms.
In sum, the investment guarantees favorable economic and technological effects for all European countries. The project also allows the European Union to assert its autonomy in a strategic sector of the future, but also linked to its objectives in terms of sustainable development.