Russia’s attack on Ukraine has intensified the need to rapidly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, and of natural gas in particular. In addition to short-term measures to save gas in response to the energy crisis, there is also a need to focus on a structural reduction in industrial consumption of natural gas.
The EU Commission’s REPowerEU plan calls on industry to reduce its natural gas consumption by around half by the year 2030. The Federal Climate Protection Act requires a reduction of around a third of industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
This study demonstrates the potential for the direct electrification (Power-2-Heat) of industrial process heat up to 500 degrees Celsius, as used for example in the paper, food and plastics industries, in pursuit of these targets.
By switching to electricity-based processes for industrial heat generation, both natural gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced. In addition, these processes support the integration of renewable energies as they offer flexible electricity consumption.
In order to facilitate the market ramp-up of these processes through a combination of subsidies and regulatory standards, a number of regulatory barriers must be removed. In our study, we show how this can be achieved.