energy storage

Skeleton Supports European Cleantech Competitiveness Initiative

Skeleton has joined a group of cleantech industry stakeholders in signing an open letter to EU lead candidates, including President Ursula von der Leyen. The letter, initiated by Cleantech for Europe, advocates for the "Cleantech Competitiveness Deal" to bolster Europe's leadership in clean technologies. It identifies several economic challenges, such as fragmented capital markets and outdated competition rules, and highlights competitive pressures from international markets, particularly the US and China.

As stressed by the signatories, existing initiatives like the Net-Zero Industry Act, which will be voted on Thursday, April 25, and the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP)—essentially a downgraded Sovereignty Fund—are steps forward, but they lack key elements needed to establish Europe as the home of cleantech manufacturing.
They propose a Cleantech Investment Plan aimed at closing the investment gap by mobilizing institutional investors and expanding the European Investment Bank's counter-guarantee facilities, which currently only cover the wind sector. This plan extends support to include critical technologies such as battery gigafactories, electrolyzers, and solar factories, where Europe holds a technological edge but risks losing ground.

“In year five of the Green Deal, it is important for Europeans not to fall into complacency. Neither the Net-Zero Industry Act nor the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform, itself a downgraded Sovereignty Fund, are solving the significant cleantech investment gap,” acknowledges Arnaud Castaignet, VP of Government Affairs and Public Relations at Skeleton Technologies. “There is a lack of strategy in Europe’s approach, and right now we are at risk of losing the scale-up race. Without appropriate funding, the vision of a future European cleantech industrial base will not materialize, so we need to incentivize institutional investors to participate in this market." 

Arnaud Castaignet_Skeleton TechnologiesArnaud Castaignet

Furthermore, the open letter calls for the creation of Concrete Action Plans for Cleantech Manufacturing in Europe, modeled after the successful Wind Power Action Plan. These plans would enhance domestic production of key technologies such as electrolyzers, batteries, and grid technologies, and include strengthening NZIA provisions with sector-specific resilience criteria for supply chains at geopolitical risk. This strategy aims to promote the use of European-made components, vital for the clean transition, and mitigate vulnerabilities from international supply disruptions.

Castaignet insists that Europe needs to ensure the technologies needed for its energy security and transition can be developed, grown and manufactured here. “If Europe fails to scale strategic clean technologies, we will lose our technological edge and weaken our energy security.  It is therefore critical to work with allies and build global partnerships, but also tackle and fix our strategic dependencies and competitiveness crisis.” 

The letter also stresses the need for abundant, clean, and affordable electricity, as manufacturing in a clean economy is highly energy-intensive. It calls for regulatory reforms and public investment in clean energy infrastructure to address the significant challenges faced by industrial companies and startups aiming to scale.

“Manufacturing activities are energy-intensive, and a clean economy demands more electricity, not less. Reindustrialization and large-scale industrial projects cannot occur without abundant, decarbonized, and cheap electricity,” VP of Skeleton points out. “Countries that fail to grasp it will find themselves sidelined and lacking competitiveness.” 

The signatories urge European political leaders and candidates in the upcoming elections to prioritize these initiatives, highlighting their importance for Europe's future industrial and environmental leadership. The proposed measures are designed to secure Europe's place in the global cleantech race by catalyzing both private and public investments in strategic technologies, ensuring Europe maintains its technological edge.

In addition, the open letter is signed by Airborne Wind Europe, Aster, Carbon-Free Europe, Carbon Gap, Climate  Strategy & Partners, Ecocem, Electrochaea, Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres, GET Fund, I4CE Institute for Climate Economics, MITO Technology, Negative Emissions Platform, Planet A Ventures, Rockstart, Solar Impulse Foundation, Tech for Net Zero Alliance, European Federation for Transport and Environment, Trill Impact, Verkor, Vireo Ventures, World Fund, and xista science ventures.

Title image courtesy of Cleantech for Europe

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