About one-quarter of natural gas consumption in Germany is used for the supply of energy in industry, primarily for the production of heat. The switch from natural gas to electricity-based industrial heat is an important step toward reducing German industry’s dependence on expensive and unreliable fossil energy imports while promoting climate change mitigation at the same time.
The direct use of electricity using electric boilers and heat pumps is an efficient method for the climate-neutral generation of process heat, that conserves natural resources compared to the use of alternative fuels such as biomass or hydrogen. Heat pumps, in particular, use waste heat very efficiently and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions even with today's electricity mix. Furthermore, these climate-friendly technologies are suitable for system-serving electricity use, which promotes the expansion of renewable energies and creates flexibilities that are crucial for a climate-neutral electricity system.
However, despite all the advantages, the electrification of process heat is still associated with a number of hurdles. In order to enable a rapid market ramp-up, the disincentives of using electricity-based technologies compared to conventional natural gas-based applications need to be overcome. The main aim is to secure initial investments, rapidly remove existing regulatory barriers, and thus establish the electrification of process heat as an economic and ecological standard in the medium term.
This project, conducted in collaboration with FutureCamp, will develop a set of policy instruments to accelerate the market ramp-up of process heat electrification technologies.
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