Enabling Green Transition in Heavy Industry
Reference: The Danish Energy Agency
Reference: The Danish Energy Agency
Contract period: 2021-22
With the Green Industry Analysis, the Danish Energy Agency demonstrates how the Danish heavy industry can reduce its carbon footprint. The industry team at Viegand Maagøe are behind the central examinations.
The project: Addressing the green transition of heavy industry
Some industries are easier to transition than others. One of the notoriously difficult sectors is the Danish heavy industry.
In their new Green Industry Analysis, the Danish Energy Agency attempts to address the difficulties. Viegand Maagøe has provided analyses and literature studies for the report.
Partner in Viegand Maagøe, Peter Maagøe Petersen, explains how it has been interesting to dive into one of the great challenges of the green transition:
“Heavy industry such as cement factories and brickyards has proven to be a Gordian knot. Working with the Danish Energy Agency over the years, we have mapped many businesses in terms of energy and resource consumption, and we are always left with 15-20 percent of the CO2 emissions, which we cannot get rid of,” he explains.
The findings in the Green Industry Analysis are divided into the sectors
- the manufacturing industry
- heavy internal transport
Technologically speaking, the energy consumption of the manufacturing industry can be converted entirely to upgraded biogas and, in most cases, also to electricity. Low and medium temperature processes can be converted completely to electricity, while high temperature processes are more difficult to electrify. Instead, the analysis suggests development tracks for partial electrification supplemented by pipeline gas, as well as a reorganisation of processes to enable further electrification.
Emissions from the refineries are primarily emitted when burning refinery gas which is a residue of their production activity. Conversion to electricity or pipeline gas is only meaningful if the refinery gas can be used elsewhere or reduced through conversion of production activity.
Heavy internal transport
From a technological view, heavier internal transport can be converted to run on biofuel, and it is currently the only solution that is fully applicable for all purposes. However, biofuels are also a limited resource. Other conversions have technological and economic barriers, and therefore the transition demands both intensive development of alternative technologies and future requirements for these technologies to be used in the industry.
The results: Insight into opportunities and barriers
The analysis sheds lights on the heavy industry in terms of energy usage and process related emissions. Moreover, it provides a run-through of technological opportunities for transition and reductions.
The report shows that technological solutions can be explored to transition big parts of the energy related emissions of the industry. The analysis focuses on approx. 15% of the total Danish emissions in 2030 across the following sectors:
- Manufacturing industry
- Internal transport in the industries agriculture, fishery, construction, and civil engineering
Moreover, the report identifies barriers to green transition which are primarily found in the expenses of a green industry along with ensuring adequate knowledge about existing and future transition opportunities. It is imperative to maintain a focus on fuels, product composition and manufacturing methods to reduce industrial emissions as efficiently as possible.
“The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as complicated as we initially thought. The main part of the processes can be electrified. And in almost all companies the rest of the processes can be converted to run on upgraded biogas. But there are a few places – such as cement production – where it will be necessary to think in new products,” Peter Maagøe Petersen explains.
In several industries, the development of new products is generally considered to hold a large potential for CO2 reductions.
The Green Industry Analysis originates from the Climate Agreement for Energy and Industry etc. of 22 June 2020. Here it was determined that the analysis should identify potentials and barriers for phasing out fossil fuels in industries with special focus on the parts of the companies’ process energy consumption where there are currently limited opportunities for fossil fuel phase-out.
The Green Industry Analysis originates from the Climate Agreement for energy and industry etc. of 22 June 2020. Here it was determined that the analysis should identify potentials and barriers for phasing out fossil fuels in industries with special focus on the parts of the companies’ process energy consumption where there are currently limited opportunities for fossil fuel phase-out.
Insights from the analysis will inform the Danish Energy Agency’s efforts to help Denmark achieve the necessary reductions – including the industrial sector.