From cardboard boxes delivered to our doors to home appliances, nearly everything comes from industrial processes. Those processes use a lot of energy, and largely all the energy is provided by fossil fuels – approximately one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from industry. Electrification is a key route to industrial emissions reductions by replacing industrial fossil fuels with electric alternatives. Recent analysis using Energy Innovation’s Energy Policy Simulator showed that electrification could reduce industrial emissions while growing the economy and creating jobs – policies will be key to unlocking electrification’s full industrial sector decarbonization potential in coming decades.
The power and transportation sectors tend to dominate headlines when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, but we need to tackle a large and growing emissions source to hit our climate goals: industry. Industrial processes—such as steel, cement, and chemical production—are projected to be the United States’ largest source of emissions by 2030. Thermal batteries have the potential to cut industrial greenhouse gas emissions while lowering the cost of electricity for industrial heating by 50-63 percent, making it cost-competitive with natural gas equipment.
Industrial processes—such as steel, cement, and chemical production—are projected to be the United States’ largest source of emissions by 2030. Thermal batteries have the potential to cut industrial greenhouse gas emissions while lowering the cost of electricity for industrial heating by 50-63 percent, making it cost-competitive with natural gas equipment.
Manufacturing is directly responsible for a quarter of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions (or a third, when including emissions from the electricity purchased by industry). This memo identifies key policy options that would reduce industrial GHG emissions, boost U.S. GDP and jobs, and have the potential to secure bipartisan federal support in 2023 and 2024.
The U.S. Energy Policy Simulator identifies policies capable of closing the emissions gap between what the Inflation Reduction Act could achieve and the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution of 50 to 52 percent emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2030. The modeling finds additional federal and state actions can close the gap, while creating 2.7 million jobs, adding $700 billion to the economy, and avoiding $1.7 trillion in climate damages between 2023 and 2030.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the most significant climate legislation in United States history. Energy Innovation prepared a series of research notes to detail the IRA’s power, transportation, and building sector provisions. The reports provide state and federal implementation roadmaps to unlock the IRA’s economic, public health, and climate benefits.
New Energy Policy Simulator modeling finds shifting from fossil fuel combustion to industrial heat pumps for low-temperature industrial process heat would reduce industry emissions by 5 percent in 2030 and 16 percent in 2050, while adding $42 billion to the economy in 2030 and $8 billion in 2050, and creating 275,000 jobs in 2030 and around 75,000 jobs in 2050. This report provides federal policy recommendations to accelerate the deployment of industrial heat pumps in the U.S., including financial support for research and development and efficiency standards.
Once expanded to industry (e.g. aluminum, cement, and steel), the China emissions trading system (ETS) will cover more greenhouse gas emissions than any other single climate policy in the world, leaving little doubt about the importance of the China ETS for a stable climate. This three-part report series provides design guidance to strengthen the China ETS, maximize its emissions-reduction potential and economic benefits, as well as guidance for cooperation with the European Union.
New modeling using the Louisiana Energy Policy Simulator finds the state’s economy-wide emissions will increase 30 percent by 2050 compared to 2020 under business-as-usual, not including proposed industrial facilities. But ambitious climate policies across Louisiana’s buildings, power, industrial, land use, and transportation sectors could reduce emissions 97 percent by 2050, create 111,000 new job-years in 2030, and avoid approximately 2,300 premature deaths by 2050.
Energy Policy Simulator modeling finds the Build Back Better Act’s fee on methane emissions is responsible for 60 percent of the Act’s reduction of industrial greenhouse gas emissions from 2023 to 2050 and would boost the economy, creating more than 70,000 jobs by 2050 and increasing gross domestic product by more than $250 billion from 2023 to 2050.
EI’s Jeff Rissman explains how seven policies to achieve industry decarbonization by 2050 will also increase U.S. GDP 3.3% and create more than 5 million additional jobs by 2050.
Achieving climate stabilization requires we fully decarbonize global industry, and reaching net zero industrial emissions by 2050–2070 is necessary to limit global warming to 2°C, as industry generated 33% of global anthropogenic emissions in 2014. This research paper outlines the technical measures and policies to boost technological deployment and make net zero industry a reality.
Cement manufacturing produces 5.6% of global CO2 emissions. This research finds that capturing 80% of cement’s process emissions (and no thermal emissions) by 2050 can make cement carbon-neutral, as natural carbonation offsets remaining emissions. If thermal fuel supply were fully decarbonized by 2050, a 53% process emissions capture rate achieves carbon-neutral cement. Higher capture rates than these would provide net negative CO2 emissions and the possibility that simply making concrete could reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations.