A recent study for the European Union reveals China’s remarkable lead in research on clean-energy technologies, surpassing the EU and reshaping the dynamics of innovation.
In 2021, China led in peer-reviewed publications covering areas like solar and wind power, lithium batteries, heat pumps, and carbon-capture technology, marking a reversal from 2010 when the EU led in most of these sectors.
The study highlights China’s growing role as a global leader in science and innovation, posing both challenges and opportunities for the EU’s green-tech ambitions. Despite the EU’s efforts to reduce dependencies, the study suggests that gaps in research and innovation could impact the region’s ability to diversify its sources.
Interestingly, the EU is set to unveil new rules aimed at scrutinizing and potentially blocking foreign investments in sensitive industries. The study underscores the EU’s significant import reliance on China, reaching 22% in 2022, with implications for trade diversification. Chinese inputs are particularly integral to EU industries such as basic metals, chemicals, electronics, and electrical equipment.
However, the report also highlights reciprocal trade dependencies, as China’s electronics sector relies on almost 5% of its total output value from EU inputs, similar to the EU’s reliance on Chinese inputs in its overall industrial sector.
Will these measures reshape the landscape of global collaboration in the clean-energy sector?
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