Europe must reduce China renewable dependence

The European Union must reduce its dependence on China when it comes to vital equipment used in producing renewable energy, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency said Tuesday.

It is important to work to “decentralise the supply chain”, Francesco La Camera, director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, told AFP on the sidelines of a conference in Berlin on offshore wind power. 

There should be “more collaboration with continental Africa, South America, Southeast Asia”, he added. 

As the EU races to transition to green energy, it is heavily dependent on China for supplies of rare minerals and components for solar panels and wind turbines. 

The 27-member bloc gets 98 percent of its supply of rare earth minerals, vital in many green technologies, from China.  

China also produces a large number of the world’s wind turbines and solar panels. 

Heavy dependence on China is “a matter of concern”, La Camera said, adding that boosting links between different parts of the world would help “the reaching of goals by the Europeans”.

The EU recently reached a deal to almost double the share of renewables in the bloc’s energy consumption by 2030, as it seeks to become carbon neutral and ditch Russian fossil fuels.

The provisional political agreement seeks to raise the share of renewable energy to 42.5 percent. However green groups have criticised the agreement as not going far enough.