Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions Industry
Transitioning to net-zero emissions industry is one of the major challenges of our time but also an opportunity to demonstrate innovative clean energy technologies and new resource management practices.
We identify opportunities and challenges, assesses potential low carbon pathways, and develops tools and guidelines to streamline adoption of clean technologies and practices. Focusing on emerging economies around the world that are building their cities and infrastructure, we work with policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders to assist in the transition to the industries of tomorrow.
Net Zero Carbon Pathways
- Increasing material circularity, resource efficiency, byproduct synergy and waste reduction
- Electrification where it is beneficial
- Lower carbon fuel (such as renewable-based hydrogen and other bio-based fuels) use, system optimization
- Reindustrialization, which will vary across industrial sub-sectors and geographical locations.
LEGEND: Green: commercialized technologies; Yellow: emerging technologies coming close to commercialization;
Red: emerging technologies still under development
Circular Economy and Material Efficiency
Encouraging a more circular economy and improving material efficiency are two key strategies with significant carbon dioxide emissions reduction potential but with many barriers to adoption. These strategies require a transformation of the way we make and use products, such as the implementation of innovative product designs, repurposing of waste, the integration of new usage practices and the development of business models that valorize low carbon materials. In industry, this transformation can be achieved by substantially increasing the useful life of products and materials within key sectors, such as buildings and vehicles, and recycling the materials used to make them.
We develop methodologies and analysis to better account for the embodied emissions in material applications, such as buildings, cars, and electricity generation, and helps streamline the adoption of measures and solutions by working closely with policy makers and identifying applicable policy opportunities to accelerate adoption of circular economy and material efficiency strategies.
Industrial Energy Analysis
ETA researchers have extensive experience developing and applying analytical methods and approaches for analysis of energy use and related emissions in the industrial sector. Our deep understanding of industrial processes, energy efficiency, innovative technologies, management practices, and standards and policies can support both analytical efforts and on-the-ground technology and policy pilots around the world.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, ETA's industry team worked with the China Building Materials Academy, the China Cement Association, E3M Inc., and World Resources Institute to conduct energy and energy-related emissions assessments at 42 cement companies in China. This project developed and tailor-designed three tools for the Chinese cement industry’s energy and emission analysis, an online public database, identified 15% of energy-related CO2 emission reduction potential per year, and demonstrated co-processing of alternative fuels and raw materials at six cement facilities.
Expanding the work from the cement industry, we developed and deployed energy assessment and energy management training for key cross-cutting systems, including process heating and steam systems. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and Energy Foundation China, and working with a consortium of U.S. and Chinese collaborators, ETA's industry team conducted training workshops on industry system assessments for a number of Chinese industrial sectors, such as the cement, steel, alumina, pulp and paper, petrochemical, and chemical sectors.
In addition, our industry team has developed methodologies to compare energy use and energy intensity for the steel sector, and used them to analyze the steel industry in China, Germany, Mexico, and the United States.
Currently, our industry team is working on developing process-level energy analyses for the most energy-consuming industrial sectors in China, such as cement, chemicals, iron and steel, and petroleum refining.
India is pushing hard to electrify its automobile market, aiming to sell only electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. But what impact will that shift have on the country’s utilities and the grid? A new report by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that the prospective EV expansion will deliver economic benefits, help integrate renewable energy, and significantly reduce imports of foreign oil.
Experts from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will play leading managerial and technical roles in the recently established Net Zero World Action Center to bolster DOE’s Net Zero World Initiative (NZWI). The NZW Action Center brings together 10 DOE national laboratories, nine U.S. government agencies, and philanthropy organizations to promote net zero emission energy systems around the world that are inclusive, equitable, and resilient.
To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.