Global Cleantech and European Green Deal

As we discussed the Renewable Energy Directive few months ago, further Green Deal steps are being taken. Accordingly, technology companies have an essential role in realizing such policy goals by developing clean technologies. Most recently, EU has approved new rules on financing and fast-track procedures, the Nordic countries have entered into a Nordic carbon neutral “Bauhaus” project, and Finnish clean tech company Kemira and US biotechnology company Danimer Scientific in Bainbridge, Georgia have agreed upon partnership for supply of biodegradable PHA material, similar to plastic, and production of sustainable packaging for the food and beverage sector.

The Bauhaus Initiative in EU is about leveraging our green and digital challenges to transform our lives for the better. Based on the Nordic Council declaration and in connection with the EU Bauhaus Initiative, the Nordic Bauhaus project is promoting low carbon construction and the circular economy. This joint project involves Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands, and will be officially launched in June 2022. The project was accepted by EU and selected by the Commission to be a part of the Bauhaus Initiative. In EU, development of clean tech is promoted not only by the Bauhaus Initiative but also by new rules for which common interest energy projects can receive EU financing and benefit from fast-track administrative procedures. The funding will be available until the end of 2027.

In the US-Finnish clean tech partnership between Finnish clean tech company, the global market for “dispersion barriers” is worth 500 million euros and will grow 10 percent per year as the companies estimate. Danimer CEO Stephen Croskrey thinks that the collaboration between Kemira and Danimer will “support the global commercialization of PHA.” The market for PHA globally is relatively small, but major players in the industry are aiming for a slice of the broader $350 billion plastic packaging market globally and say the time is right, given rising concerns over pollution, micro-plastics in waterways and climate change. Many brands require vendors to use sustainable materials in packaging, partly in response to consumer concerns over solid waste. 

As to potential Finnish-Georgia projects, it is notable that Georgia is home also to RWDC Industries, which has a partner in Singapore and raised $208 million from international investors. It is building out a massive PHA plant in Athens, where the first 5,000-ton production module is fully operational and serves clients such as Kimberly-Clark Corp. Daniel Carraway, RWDC’s CEO and co-founder, also started Danimer in Bainbridge after a decade working there for International Paper. 

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