Industrial decarbonisation

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Industrial decarbonisation

Industrial processes depend on natural resources and energy to turn raw materials into the products and services we use in our everyday lives. And so this key driver of the global economy offers an opportunity for decarbonisation, which is why we work with industrial clients, from textiles to mining.

How we can help

Industry provides the products used in our everyday lives, and is a key driver of the global economy – but currently consumes extensive natural resources and energy. In 2021, industry was responsible for almost 40% of global final energy consumption, and is the second largest CO2 emitting sector after power generation (IEA, 2021).

We work directly with the leading industrial companies in sectors as diverse as ICT, textiles, cement, steel, mining, food and chemicals to help them understand their challenges and set Net Zero strategies. However, we also recognise the need for global industry-wide action to embrace innovation and enable the transition to Net Zero through demand reduction, decarbonised energy supply, and uptake of industry 4.0 technologies, and we work with governments, non-governmental and industrial sector groups to stimulate and support industrial clean technology innovations. 

Our strength is providing the interface between Governments, industrial companies, sector organisations, innovators and technology suppliers to catalyse policy into action. We work in partnership to help design and deliver influential programmes to accelerate innovation, demonstration and deployment of technologies and approaches to significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency. Industry is risk averse, and the stakes are high when processes are changed. It is essential to showcase what can be achieved – including demonstrations of step-change improvements in processes that have operated the same way for years, or even decades.

Example projects and programmes

The Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator

The Carbon Trust, with support from partners, has managed the £20m BEIS-funded Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) since 2017. The IEEA programme supports industrial scale demonstrations of novel technologies in the UK with the potential to reduce energy consumption, maximise resource efficiency and cut carbon emissions. It has provided an opportunity for UK energy efficiency and low carbon technology developers to bring their innovations to market, and to prove their technology works at scale in a real-world environment. We designed the programme as a competition in collaboration with the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and have recruited 24 collaborations over three competitive rounds with the outcome of the final one to be announced soon. We monitor the projects on behalf of BEIS, overseeing the development and deployment of pioneering technologies on industrial sites. We also provide commercialisation advice to the innovators and technical and implementation support to the project teams. 

The Carbon Trust bring an experienced team with extensive experience managing low-carbon deployment programmes and a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the sector, in order to deliver robust and efficient programme management, to deliver the programme flexibly and with a sense of shared ownership for UK Government and the industry participants. We have facilitated grant offers for 24 projects to date, worth nearly £12m, with more to be awarded in early 2023. Industry-wide adoption of the innovative technologies supported through the first two phases of the IEEA programme could lead to 40.5TWh of energy saved by 2031, which is the equivalent of 10MtCO₂e cumulative carbon savings over ten years.

ASEAN Low Carbon Energy Programme

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Low Carbon Energy Programme (ASEAN LCEP) was a £15m aid programme funded through the UK Government’s Prosperity Programming. The programme seeks to help ASEAN harness the benefits from the deployment of low carbon energy through energy efficiency and green finance. To achieve this, the programme offered bespoke support through policy advice, capacity building, technical assistance and market development.

Under the programme we have supported the Governments of Southeast Asia to benchmark, measure and manage industrial energy use from plant level to national strategies. For example, we supported Malaysia’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) and the Energy Commission (ST) to regulate thermal energy consumption as part of their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act by developing a Demand Side Management study on improving the efficiency of thermal energy use in Malaysia with a particular focus on Industrial boilers. We have also designed monitoring, reporting and verification frameworks to support industry and advised on implementing an industrial energy efficiency benchmarking policy in the industrial sector in Thailand supported by the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), and produced a baselining and benchmarking study and verification framework for the rubber sector in Vietnam.