By Nick Pope, The Daily Caller News Foundation | September 18, 2023
European Union (EU) countries may soon become as dependent on Chinese batteries as they were on Russian gas ahead of the invasion of Ukraine, according to a document obtained by Reuters.
The warning states that the EU’s green energy agenda, which heavily relies on electric vehicles, solar and wind power, will necessitate a large increase in the continent’s demand for battery storage equipment, and China dominates the global battery cell and lithium-ion battery markets, according to Reuters. The Spanish presidency of the EU prepared the document ahead of an October summit where European leaders will discuss economic security and Chinese influence.
The intermittent nature of green energy technologies that the EU’s climate agenda promotes “will skyrocket our demand for lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers, which is expected to multiply between 10 and 30 times in the coming years,” the document states, according to Reuters. “Without implementing strong measures, the European energy ecosystem could have a dependency on China by 2030 of a different nature, but with a similar severity, from the one it had on Russia before the invasion of Ukraine.”
The EU is aiming to have green energy provide no less than 32% of its overall energy supply by 2040, and is in the process of boosting that share to 40%, according to the European Commission.
The EU’s “Green Deal” sets a 2050 target date to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions in order to ensure that “economic growth (is) decoupled from resource use,” according to the European Commission. Further, the EU has mandated that all cars sold in the EU will be “zero-emissions vehicles,” meaning electric vehicles, by 2035.
Some Chinese companies are believed to take advantage of Uyghur Muslim slave labor to manufacture green energy products, such as solar panels, according to The China Project.
In 2021, the year before Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine, Russia supplied the EU with about 45% of its total gas imports, according to CNBC.
Russia has used the EU’s reliance on its energy supplies to its geopolitical advantage in the Ukraine war, and abrupt moves from EU countries to diversify energy supply have resulted in price increases, inflation and higher interest rates that have hurt the European economy, according to Euronews. Even more than 18 months into the war, some European countries, like Belgium, have struggled to completely ditch Russian fuels despite the hostilities.
Representatives of the EU did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
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