The Commission authorized, under the rules of EU State Aid, a second important project of common European interest (‘PIIEC’) aimed at supporting research and innovation in the battery value chain. 12 Member States – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden – will join forces to support research and innovation in this strategic value chain. The project, called the “European Battery Innovation” project, will cover the whole battery ecosystem from the extraction of raw materials, design and manufacturing of battery cells and packs, and finally the recycling and disposal in a circular economy. The latter is done with a strong emphasis on sustainability.
Beyond the automotive sector, battery technologies play a crucial role. The most prominent example is better storage of renewable energy. When the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, energy can be tapped from those batteries. All these efforts will only really pay off for the environment if we improve the production and recycling processes of batteries. State aid rules offer the Member States many possibilities to support the necessary research and innovation. In recent years, those have enabled more than 10 billion euros per year in public support.
But for those massive innovation challenges for the European economy, the risks can be too big for just one Member State or one company to take alone. So, it makes good sense for European governments to come together to support the industry in developing more innovative and sustainable batteries. Especially when the resulting innovation can benefit the entire European economy. That’s why the European Commission has put special State aid rules in place to smooth the way. With the sole purpose that all Member States can pool their resources and cooperate in an important project of common European interest.
Source: (European Commission, 2021)