Study launched on decarbonising Europe’s heavy industries by 2050

Industry representatives, regional experts, academics and EU officials held the first public meeting of the research group: “Infrastructure needs of an EU industrial transformation towards deep decarbonisation.” The initiative aims to identify what infrastructure will be needed to meet energy and carbon-intensive industrial areas’ new demands for electricity and hydrogen.

This initial workshop was held at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) House on 13 June, as part of the activities of EIT Climate-KIC’s Re-Industrialise flagship programme, which supports high-emitting regions efforts to transition to low-carbon innovation hotspots. The study is carried out by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (WI), with the support of the European Climate Foundation (ECF).

The event brought key stakeholders – including representatives from the ECF, the European Commission and energy-intensive industries, among others – together to agree on several hot spots (high-emitting regions where there is a need for decarbonisation technology) and conduct an initial exploration of what the needs of these regions would be in terms of infrastructure.

Further workshops will then be held to further engage stakeholders and refine the approach, leading to a final report which will be published by the end of the year. The planned report will detail the infrastructure to be deployed at a regional level to decarbonise industry and help reach the overall total decarbonisation goal by 2050 as set out in the Paris Agreement.

Investing in infrastructure to meet climate goals

Participants agreed that the transition to a greenhouse gas emission-free industry in Europe will require a vast effort of electrification, as highlighted by keynote speaker Cedric Philibert, Energy and Climate Change Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), who pointed out that the latest IEA projections focus more on electrification and less on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.

His presentation also detailed hydrogen and renewable energy sources, as well as the potential of combining biomass and hydrogen.

Frank Merten who co-heads the Wuppertal Institute’s research group on systems and infrastructures reminded the audience of the importance of the group’s work, as the infrastructure investments for both CCS and electrification would have to begin now for there to be any chance of reaching the Paris Agreement’s 2050 decarbonisation goal, due to the length of industrial cycles.

Identifying key areas

Specific industrial regions with high concentrations of industries like steel, chemicals and cement were identified and illustrated by Clemens Schneider, a senior expert at Wuppertal Institute. Not least among them is the triangle formed by Antwerp, Rotterdam and Cologne, which alone accounts for 40 per cent of the European petrochemical industry and by some accounts represents the highest concentration of heavy industrial plants.

Other regions mentioned were the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region in France and the Midlands in the United Kingdom, as well as the coal-mining region including the southern geography of Poland and northern regions of Czechia, where several primary steel production plants are located.

The workshop highlighted that individual regions will probably want to specialise more in renewable energy sources (RES) use or CCS, depending on their local conditions.

Crucially, the ‘Infrastructure needs of an EU industrial transformation towards deep decarbonisation’ initiative fits into a more global transitioning effort, summed up by Ada Marmion, Manager of the Re-Industrialise flagship at EIT Climate-KIC:

“This important study on infrastructure needs for Industry decarbonisation is, in fact, a piece of a larger puzzle. We at the EIT Climate-KIC also look at investment aspects to make this new infrastructure a reality. We also consider social impact and impact on employment, and consequences for future generations.”

 
Location
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC to work with Google on Impact Challenge

EIT Climate-KIC is delighted to announce that it will...

EIT Climate-KIC to work with Google on Impact Challenge
In Detail
EIT Climate-KIC’s case studies on innovative land use set the stage fo...

EIT Climate-KIC launches ‘Innovations in land use,’ a collection of case studies demonstrating the organisation’s innovation-led, systemic approach that’s poised to help Europe deliver...

EIT Climate-KIC’s case studies on innovative land use set the stage for transforming whole systems
In The News
What role can finance play in the green recovery? EIT Climate-KIC and UNEP Fin...

EIT Climate-KIC, in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative,...

What role can finance play in the green recovery? EIT Climate-KIC and UNEP Finance Initiative ask leading thinkers to weigh in
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supports European green recovery with €4 million for start-u...

EIT Climate-KIC is investing €4 million in nine climate...

EIT Climate-KIC supports European green recovery with €4 million for start-ups affected by COVID-19
Opinion
How public servants can engage unlikely allies to deliver climate policies
Juan Azcarate Deputy director of Energy and Climate Change, Madrid City Council
How public servants can engage unlikely allies to deliver climate policies
In The News
The City Finance Lab calls on urban leaders to help build back better

Organised by sustainability expert South Pole, the competition for...

The City Finance Lab calls on urban leaders to help build back better
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported cities – Leuven, Milan, Valencia and Vienna no...

Twelve cities are in the final stage of the...

EIT Climate-KIC supported cities – Leuven, Milan, Valencia and Vienna nominated as European Capital of Innovation 2020
Opinion
Going beyond investments in single-point solutions, an Opinion by Kirsten Dunlop
Kirsten Dunlop CEO, EIT Climate-KIC
Going beyond investments in single-point solutions, an Opinion by Kirsten Dunlop
In The News
The climate emergency demands bold policy innovations – can cities d...

While the challenges of climate change and a global...

The climate emergency demands bold policy innovations – can cities deliver? 
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC joins circular economy side event at UN High Level Political F...

“Bold leaders are needed to drive a collaborative approach...

EIT Climate-KIC joins circular economy side event at UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Silesian Metropolis join forces to transform Europe’s la...

EIT Climate-KIC and the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia...

EIT Climate-KIC and Silesian Metropolis join forces to transform Europe’s largest coal region in the face of the climate crisis
In The News
Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the...

Speaking online at the inaugural Conference of IS4CE—the International...

Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the Circular Economy Conference
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate...

Eleven climate innovation projects across Europe tackling COVID-19 related...

EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate job creation and support a post COVID-19 green recovery
In The News
CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum

On 25 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the Climate Policy...

CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum
In Detail
A net zero future offers significant opportunities for the European economy,...

EIT Climate-KIC’s views on the EU 2030 Climate Target Plan.  The recent announcements from the European Commission on the EU Recovery Plan from the...

A net zero future offers significant opportunities for the European economy, society and citizens
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability a...

The LOOP-Ports project, led by the Fundación Valenciaport  and funded by EIT Climate-KIC,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability award
In The News
EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward

On 24 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the 7th Green...

EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Manufacturing expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Manufacturing expert insights
Opinion
A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Cliona Howie Del Rio about systems thinking
A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Cliona Howie Del Rio about systems thinking
In Detail
Citizen activation is essential for Europe to meet its climate ambition

EIT Climate-KIC provides ideas for action under the European Climate Pact. The debate on how to achieve ambitious climate targets is often dominated by...

Citizen activation is essential for Europe to meet its climate ambition
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC shines at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference, the year’s la...

EIT Climate-KIC’s Director of Sustainable Land Use and member...

EIT Climate-KIC shines at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference, the year’s largest global digital conference on the environment
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks raises over €67 million to expand its c...

Climeworks, the world leader in capturing CO2 from air,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks raises over €67 million to expand its carbon dioxide removal capacities
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros raises €7 million for the development of h...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros Hyperloop has completed a financing...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros raises €7 million for the development of hyperloop in Europe
In our community
A just transformation for Rugeley, as the power station comes down
A just transformation for Rugeley, as the power station comes down
In Detail
Challenging paradigms as the gateway to innovation: New IIPP report for EIT ...

EIT Climate-KIC partner the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), which works on changing how public value is imagined, practiced and evaluated...

Challenging paradigms as the gateway to innovation: New IIPP report for EIT Climate-KIC’s Landscapes as Carbon Sinks Deep Demonstration
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
In Detail
Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach

The challenge-led system mapping approach responds to the need to improve the practitioner’s capacity to move towards system change by providing mechanisms by which...

Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to provide “systems transformation as...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate change
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’

EIT Climate-KIC, together with Edgeryders, ETH Zurich and IOTA,...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’