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Towards Deep Decarbonisation of Energy-Intensive Industries: A Review of Current Status, Technologies and Policies


Industries account for about 30% of total final energy consumption worldwide and about 20% of global CO2 emissions. While transitions towards renewable energy have occurred in many parts of the world in the energy sectors, the industrial sectors have been lagging behind. Decarbonising the energy-intensive industrial sectors is however important for mitigating emissions leading to climate change. This paper analyses various technological trajectories and key policies for decarbonising energy-intensive industries: steel, mining and minerals, cement, pulp and paper and refinery. Electrification, fuel switching to low carbon fuels together with technological breakthroughs such as fossil-free steel production and CCS are required to bring emissions from energy-intensive industry down to net-zero. A long-term credible carbon price, support for technological development in various parts of the innovation chain, policies for creating markets for low-carbon materials and the right condition for electrification and increased use of biofuels will be essential for a successful transition towards carbon neutrality. The study focuses on Sweden as a reference case, as it is one of the most advanced countries in the decarbonisation of industries. The paper concludes that it may be technically feasible to deep decarbonise energy-intensive industries by 2045, given financial and political support.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Sweden

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