Assessing the International Interlinkages and Dependencies of the EU27 ‘Energy-renewables’ Ecosystem


Francesca Guadagno and Robert Stehrer

wiiw Research Report No. 473, May 2024
55 pages including 13 Tables and 17 Figures

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The energy-renewables ecosystem (ERES) plays a particularly important role in the green transition. This paper analyses its relevance in EU member states and the competitiveness for the EU27 as a whole vis-à-vis other global players and identifies structural dependencies and vulnerabilities. It does so by drawing on the Joint Research Centre’s FIGARO dataset and detailed trade data, and by developing a novel approach that adapts input-output indicators to the analysis of industrial ecosystems. A number of key findings emerge from our analysis. First, the ERES is particularly relevant in new member states, Austria and Germany. At the global level, the EU27 is the second most important exporter after China. Second, in 2020 the EU ecosystem was dependent on imports of coal and lignite from Russia, as well as on a variety of other products from China (including medium- and high-tech electronic products). Third, analysis on the basis of detailed trade data indicates that a few products in the ERES supply chain are delivered by only a handful of countries, which could indicate some vulnerability. Most of the partner countries supply some products that may be characterised as ‘risky’, but China is a main source of such products.


Keywords: green transition, energy-renewables ecosystem, linkages, dependencies, open strategic autonomy

JEL classification: F10, F14

Countries covered: European Union

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI

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