19 May 2022
CEMBUREAU, the association of the European cement industry, fully supports the objectives of the REPower EU plan issued by the European Commission.
We believe it is essential to complement the plan issued yesterday by concrete measures that will further contribute to reducing Europe’s energy dependency whilst providing a sound business case for dercarbonisation investments. CEMBUREAU recommends EU policymakers to urgently:
- Support the use of waste in cement production to phase-out fossil fuels: the use of non-recyclable waste and biomass waste in cement kilns is a readily available solution that allows to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels whilst decarbonising cement production. It should be supported by targeted measures at the EU, national and local level.
- Fast track investments that achieve major CO2 reductions in energy-intensive sectors as well as energy efficiency improvements, such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS): EU and national funding should be fast-tracked to support decarbonisation in industrial sectors. Hydrogen is an important technology, but CCUS remains crucial for sectors with high process emissions like cement.
- Support electrification and address the rising electricity costs for construction materials through targeted measures: the State Aid rules on indirect compensation should be reviewed to cover additional sectors, and the temporary State Aid rules framework be made more flexible. In the medium term, the electricity market design rules should be reviewed.
- Support the large-scale deployment of renewable energy across the EU: faster permitting measures and grid infrastructure deployments are critical to support the upscaling of renewables investments on industrial sites.
- Exploit the thermal properties of concrete in buildings to facilitate renewables deployment: through thermal mass activation, concrete can store energy, thereby facilitating renewables’ integration and energy efficiency in the existing and future EU buildings.
- Maintain the pace of the EU climate agenda (‘Fit for 55’) and implement Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in a timely manner: the rise of EU cement imports (+300% between 2016-2021) further highlights the need for a CBAM to be implemented swiftly, with a realistic and coherent approach when it comes to the phase-out of free allocation.
For more information, please see CEMBUREAU’s Position Paper The war in Ukraine, REPowerEU and the European cement industry.