A New Zero-Carbon Industrial Era

06. 09. 2023
AUTHOR: Linda Kalcher

Policies that guide the transition to net-zero emission goals have significantly strengthened competitiveness, energy security and provide a solid basis for future economic prosperity. They appear as the best strategic choice to respond to multiple crises that the world is facing. As a result of these plans, a new industrial era based on zero-carbon technologies is emerging.

A tight leadership race is happening between China, the United States and the European Union (EU) on both the deployment and the manufacturing of zero-carbon technologies - renewable energy, batteries, electric vehicles and heat pumps. Countries that are at the forefront of this new industrial era are likely to shape future markets, attract investments and create thousands of new jobs.

The European Green Deal was initiated at the right time to strengthen Europe’s position in comparison to China. Without scaling up domestic production and financial support for these technologies in the next few years, the EU risks falling behind again - especially as the US’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will boost US performance.

Our new report, Competing in the new zero-carbon industrial era, compares for the first time existing data for manufacturing, deployment and investment in key decarbonisation technologies in China, the EU, the US, Japan and India. With the support of international research group Zero Carbon Analytics, the report highlights how:

  1. A global race to the top on zero-carbon technologies is well underway, with China, the EU and the US competing for leadership. All countries are seeking to position themselves in this new industrial era, with its associated socio-economic benefits.
  2. Manufacturing and investing in renewable energy, battery electric vehicles and heat pumps provides a competitive advantage for the countries at the forefront of the technology race.
  3. While India’s starting position is not comparable to the fiscal space of the other economies, it shows significant potential to grow its importance in the global supply chain. Japan is not yet fully maximising its potential due to weak policies.