Unless the European Union takes decisive action, by 2030 it could become as dependent on China for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells as it was on Russia for energy before the war in Ukraine. This is written in a strategic document prepared by the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, which is available to Reuters.

The document is supposed to be the basis for discussions on the economic security of Europe at the summit meeting of the European Political Community, which will take place on October 5 in Granada, Spain.

The EU must buy batteries

It states that due to the fickle nature of wind and solar power, Europe will need ways to store energy to meet its goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This will increase EU demand for lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and electrolyzers in the coming years ten to thirty times.

The EU must reduce its dependence on China

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“Without the implementation of effective measures, the European energy ecosystem could become dependent on China by 2030,” reads the document of the Spanish Presidency.

The same dependence on China as before on Russia

This dependence will be of a different nature, but just as severe as the dependence on Russia before its invasion of Ukraine. According to the authors of the document, the EU has a good position in the production of electrolyzers, but is heavily dependent on China for the fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries needed for electric cars.

However, lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells are not the only areas where the EU is vulnerable. A similar scenario could occur in the field of digital technologies. Forecasts indicate that demand for sensors, drones, servers, storage devices and data networks will soar this decade. When it comes to networks, the EU has a relatively strong position, but in other areas it has significant weaknesses.