After losing the solar PV market to China, Europe’s flat glass industry is concentrating on its strongholds: chiefly buildings, and automotive. But it also has its eyes set on the next generation solar panels as well as high-tech digital applications.
In this Special Report, EURACTIV takes a look at the challenges and opportunities faced by Europe’s flat glass industry, including the transition to zero-carbon manufacturing and the emergence of new competitors at the EU’s borders.
Glass is irreplaceable in buildings, making it a key part of the solution to unlock energy savings and help reach Europe's decarbonisation targets. But it's also an energy-intensive industry, for which no immediate clean energy alternative is available.
If Europe goes climate neutral, it will consume more flat glass, predicts Christian Quenett. And the benefits could be huge: simply doubling the replacement rate of windows, in line with the European Green Deal, would achieve 20% of the EU’s energy efficiency targets for 2030, he says.