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Competitiveness of Europe's Eco-Industries

Competitiveness of Europe's Eco-Industries

How competitive are Eco-Industries in Europe - and how well have they fared during the economic crisis? This is the central question of a short study that the Ecologic Institute produced for the Greens in the European Parliament. The key finding is that Eco-Industries have been a source of growth, particularly at times when other parts of the economy contracted. The study is available for download.

Output growth of Eco-Industries

The empirical analysis consisted of two components: first, an analysis of output growth in the segment of "low-carbon environmental goods and services", based on a worldwide statistical dataset compiled by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. A particular feature of this dataset is that it includes intermediate products, i.e. it covers not only the final assembly and installation of, for instance, a wind turbine, but also the intermediate inputs at different stages of the value chain. In this way, the dataset provides a more complete picture of the overall economic impact of Eco-Industries.

Analysis of patenting activity

And second, an analysis of patenting activity in nine core areas of environmental technologies, based on a data set compiled by the OECD. The analysis covered three technology lines in each of the three broader areas of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency and energy saving, and 'classical' environmental technologies like air and water pollution abatement.


The analysis focused on five EU countries - Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK - as well as China, the US and Mexico, in order to illustrate how European eco-industries have fared in comparison to international competitors, and how much the developments in this sector have diverged among different EU countries.