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
Netherlands
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
Glasgow City Region pioneering forest economy innovation to drive climate acti...

Scotland’s largest city region is actively tackling climate change...

Glasgow City Region pioneering forest economy innovation to drive climate action
In The News
Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe

EIT Climate-KIC and Built by Nature, announce an initiative...

Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches new Circularity Thinking training programme

EIT Climate-KIC is launching Circularity Thinking courses to tackle...

EIT Climate-KIC launches new Circularity Thinking training programme
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC announces four winners of EIT Community Booster

EIT Climate-KIC selected four cleantech start-ups to be part...

EIT Climate-KIC announces four winners of EIT Community Booster
In The News
Science reveals last paths to stop irreversible planetary damage

Climate change is going to get worse, but curbing global warming is...

Science reveals last paths to stop irreversible planetary damage
In The News
EIT Community presents New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards winners

Supported by the EIT Community, the New European Bauhaus...

EIT Community presents New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards winners
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC joins forces with the Government of Ireland to stimulate clima...

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of...

EIT Climate-KIC joins forces with the Government of Ireland to stimulate climate innovation in the agri-food sector
In The News
Climate Lab: EIT Climate-KIC co-initiates hotspot for Vienna’s climate ambit...

Climate Lab in Vienna will give climate actors an...

Climate Lab: EIT Climate-KIC co-initiates hotspot for Vienna’s climate ambitions
In The News
Seven takeaways from the latest IPCC report

On 28 February, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)...

Seven takeaways from the latest IPCC report
In The News
EIT launches new Global Outreach website

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

EIT launches new Global Outreach website
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon launch call for sustainable start-ups

Working on transformative, systemic innovation to accelerate a net-zero...

EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon launch call for sustainable start-ups
In The News
Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Awar...

Do you want to support innovative solutions that integrate...

Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Award
In The News
Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storag...

Brill Power, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, has launched the...

Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storage capacity
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop delivered a talk,...

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk
In The News
Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek mar...

To tackle complex climate challenges, we need a broader...

Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek maritime sector
In The News
EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Instit...

Unlocking the potential of higher education institutions for innovation...

EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Institutions
In The News
Dolomites forging climate resilience

The Italian Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are...

Dolomites forging climate resilience
In The News
People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan

The region’s climate action plan has been announced, with...

People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan
In The News
Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable co...

The built environment accounts for close to 40 per...

Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable construction in cities
In The News
The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate in...

Glasgow, 8 November – The California Governor’s Office of...

The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate innovation
In The News
COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global I...

A new digital Global Innovation Hub has been launched at...

COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global Innovation Hub
In The News
ClimateLaunchpad announces 2021 competition winners

EIT Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad – the world’s largest green business...

ClimateLaunchpad announces 2021 competition winners
In The News
EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended

EIT Climate-KIC has launched a call for ideas on...

EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended
In The News
Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures
In The News
Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience

Glasgow, which is hosting this year’s UN Climate Change...

Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience
In The News
Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability

Gipuzkoa, the smallest Spanish province located in the Basque...

Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC to host week-long celebration of climate innovators

The EIT Climate-KIC Week of Action will celebrate, recognise...

EIT Climate-KIC to host week-long celebration of climate innovators
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches new series of circular economy courses

As companies and practitioners around the world are looking...

EIT Climate-KIC launches new series of circular economy courses
In The News
NetZeroCities: the new project leading European cities’ transition to net-ze...

Starting in October 2021, the new project NetZeroCities will...

NetZeroCities: the new project leading European cities’ transition to net-zero emissions by 2030
In The News
In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President...

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined her...

In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President von der Leyen