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The CO2 reduction potential for the European industry via direct electrification of heat supply (power-to-heat)

Authors
/persons/resource/Silvia.Madeddu

Madeddu,  Silvia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Falko.Ueckerdt

Ueckerdt,  Falko
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/michaja.pehl

Pehl,  Michaja
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Peterseim,  Juergen
External Organizations;

Lord,  Michael
External Organizations;

Kumar,  Karthik Ajith
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Krüger,  Christoph
External Organizations;

/persons/resource/Gunnar.Luderer

Luderer,  Gunnar
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Citation

Madeddu, S., Ueckerdt, F., Pehl, M., Peterseim, J., Lord, M., Kumar, K. A., Krüger, C., Luderer, G. (2020 online): The CO2 reduction potential for the European industry via direct electrification of heat supply (power-to-heat). - Environmental Research Letters.
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abbd02


Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_24599
Abstract
The decarbonisation of industry is a bottleneck for EU's 2050 target of climate neutrality. Replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon electricity is at the core of this challenge; however, the aggregate electrification potential and resulting system-wide CO2 reductions for diverse industrial processes are unknown. Here, we present the results from a comprehensive bottom-up analysis of the energy use in eleven industrial sectors (accounting for 92% of Europe's industry CO2 emissions), and estimate the technological potential for industry electrification in three stages. 78% of the energy demand is electrifiable with technologies that are already established, while 99% electrification can be achieved with the addition of technologies currently under development. Such a deep electrification reduces CO2 emissions already based on the carbon intensity of today's electricity (~300 gCO2/kWhel). With an increasing decarbonisation of the power sector (IEA: 12 gCO2/kWhel in 2050), electrification could cut CO2 emissions by 78%, and almost entirely abate the energy-related CO2 emissions, reducing the industry bottleneck to only residual process emissions. Despite its decarbonisation potential, the extent to which direct electrification will be deployed in industry remains uncertain and depends on the relative cost of electric technologies compared to other low-carbon options.