Energy-intensive Industry

With wide system boundaries and building on earlier work, we developed a vision of a climate-neutral industry and strategies to realise it.


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Why industry (again)?

Because it is the currently the sector with the highest energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Dutch society. This is a follow-up to the Industry in Transition project, where we analysed how exogenic trends could open up decarbonsiation pathways for industry. In this work, we expand on that and try to put together a consistent vision for a climate-neutral industry, including strategies to transition to it.

Strategies for whom?

We developed strategies for several stakeholders: players from industry, closely related parties and facilitators like grid operators and the Government. Lastly, implicit are also strategies for the individual, whose behaviour will also influence this transition.

What key to change?

Working for two years on a pathway for the energy intensive industry towards climate neutrality, we have come to the conclusion that a fundamental change in our tax system should allow for an effective implementation of the solutions.

The vision in one paragraph?

An industry powered by weather (solar and wind) electricity, where for example refinery owners have become wind operators, self-driving vehicles have a huge impact on steel demand, a more plant-based diet has freed up agricultural land which is used as a feedstock for the chemical industry. And much more of course.

What happened to the story?

The story was widely distributed and used e.g. as input to the High Temperature paper that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the industry have drafted as an input for future policy making. The intention is to make the energy-intensive industry climate-neutral in the coming years with "carrots" and "sticks", because our work and that of others have painted an image that this is not only necessary, but more importantly, that it can be imagined that this is possible.

Next steps?

We plan to work with the 12 largest industrial CO2 emitters in the Netherlands to make the vision happen in the coming years. The first interactions with 2 of the 12 companies at board level was already quite rewarding for all involved.