Council position on Net Zero Industry Act

SolarPower Europe Statement

8 December 2023

Today, on 7 December 2023, the Council of the EU for Competition and Industry - comprised of ministers from EU member states on - established its position on the Net-Zero Industry Act. 


This follows the European Parliament's position announced in November 2023. With the co-legislators position agreed, the Parliament and Council will now enter intro ‘trilogue’ negotiations with the European Commission. Negotiations will start in December and aim to wrap up as quickly as possible in 2024.


On the Council position, SolarPower Europe has issued the following statement.


Dries Acke, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe (he/him): 


"SolarPower Europe welcomes the Council text and wants to highlight the following three points:

1. The Council text maintains the category of strategic net-zero technologies, close to the original Commission proposal. 


This is good news as it is clear that industrial strategy requires focus on the most important technologies for the energy transition and, certainly, those with highest import dependency. It should also act as an effective push-back against the EP proposal that widens the scope and even scraps the category of ‘strategic net zero technologies.’

2. The Council is adding much needed realism and proportionality to the proposals on public auctions and procurement by setting limits to the application of non-price criteria and pre-qualifications to a segment of 20% of the annual auctioned volumes per MS. 


This is a better approach compared to the Commission’s original proposal, which suggested immediate application on non-price criteria to all public auctions, and the European Parliament that even went a step further suggesting resilience-based pre-qualification. The European Parliament position on this is a red flag to the solar sector.

3. We're also pleased to see the reference to an Implementing Act dedicated to further specifying the pre-qualification and award criteria in public auctions. 


This will generate clarity for industry and support a harmonised implementation across EU member states. Going further, we urge decision-makers to recognize that this needs to be done on a technology-specific basis. This is absolutely essential given the very different supply chain starting points between, say, wind, electrolysers and solar PV.

We invite policy makers to start the trilogues with principles of clarity, practicality, and proportionality in mind. 


We need to strike the right balance between improving supply chain resilience in strategic net-zero technologies, while maintaining simplicity for the sake of a swift and cost-effective energy transition. 


The solar sector calls for a technology-specific approach to defining and phasing-in non-price criteria. We asks decision-makers to set a specific segment of ‘resilience auctions’ for solar PV of 5GW of all auctioned volumes across the EU in 2025, growing to 30GW in 2030, in line with the proposal from the European Solar Industry Alliance."

Questions? Get in touch.

Bethany Meban
Head of Press and Policy Communications

+32 492 97 82 48
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