Energy and carbon dioxide savings in industry

Industry currently accounts for nearly one-third of worldwide primary energy use and about one-quarter of carbon dioxide emissions of which 30% comes from the iron and steel industry, 27% from non-metallic minerals (mainly cement) and 16% from chemicals and petrochemicals production.27 Substantial opportunities exist for efficiency savings in all these areas. The application of appropriate control technologies, other best-available technologies (BAT) and more widespread combined heat and power (CHP) could bring 20-30% carbon dioxide emissions reduction along with substantial net saving in cost - such are known as no-regrets actions. Other potential decreases in carbon dioxide emissions can occur through the recycling of materials or waste (especially plastic waste), the use of waste as an energy source and switching to biomass feedstocks or to less carbon-intensive fuels.

Given appropriate incentives, substantial carbon dioxide savings can also be realised in the petrochemical industry with significant savings in cost. For instance, British Petroleum has set up a carbon emissions trading system within the company that encourages the elimination of waste and leaks from their operations and the application of technology to eliminate the venting of methane. In its first three years of operation, $US 600 million were saved and carbon emissions reduced to 10% below 1990 levels.28

Carbon capture and storage (CCS - see next section) is also an emerging option for industry. It is most suited for large sources of off-gases with high carbon dioxide concentrations such as blast furnaces (iron and steel), cement kilns, ammonia plants and also black liquor boilers or gasifiers (pulp and paper).

Industrial activity worldwide will increase substantially over the next few decades especially in developing countries where there is large demand for technology transfer that will enable the latest most efficient technologies to be employed. Because of this growth, in the absence of major actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, they are bound to rise. However, the opportunities for reductions are such that in the IEA BLUE Map scenario, emissions from industry in 2050 fall to 22% below the 2005 level. The necessary policy instruments and incentives to stimulate these reductions are discussed later in the chapter.

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