Column: Can Europe save its industrial metals production sector? – by Andy Home (Reuters – September 14, 2022)

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – A massive and rapid deployment of renewable energy is central to Europe’s drive to end its dependency on Russian fossil fuels. Solar energy will be “the kingpin of this effort”, according to the European Commission.

The only problem is that the global solar supply chain is currently dominated by China, a dependency that will only grow if Europe continues losing industrial metals production capacity at current rates.

High power prices have already forced the closure of aluminium and zinc smelters and pose an “existential threat” to the entire European metals supply chain, warned industry group Eurometaux earlier this month.

The message seems to be getting through, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today promising a critical raw materials act to increase the bloc’s metallic self-sufficiency.

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