Fraunhofer-ISI: Innovations needed for decarbonization of industrial sector

On behalf of the EU Commission, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI carried out the study “Industrial Innovation: Pathways to deep decarbonisation of Industry” on the contribution of individual technologies to the decarbonisation of industry. The results are not surprising for us: The study showed that a 95 percent reduction in emissions is possible by 2050. However, innovative CO2-neutral technologies and a comprehensive technical change are existential.

Industry produces ⅕ of European greenhouse gas emissions

The industrial sector is responsible for about 20 percent of EU-wide greenhouse gas emissions. If the Paris climate targets are to be achieved, it must reduce its emissions almost completely by 2050. With a view to the EU Commission’s long-term strategy, which aims to achieve a climate-neutral European economy by 2050, Fraunhofer-ISI examined what contribution individual technologies can make to decarbonizing industry and how this could be achieved by 2050.

Solution: Strict decarbonization through energy efficiency and expansion of renewables

The Institute regards mandatory and comprehensive measures as necessary for the decarbonisation of the industrial sector. These measures include not only improved energy efficiency, but also the rapid expansion of renewable energies. Furthermore, according to Fraunhofer-ISI, the entire value chain must be fundamentally changed: from raw materials produced with low CO2 emissions, efficient use of materials and a comprehensive closed-loop economy to the separation and storage of existing CO2 emissions.

Transformation through innovation

As the study shows, the necessary ambitious transformation is not possible with the technologies available today and the existing regulatory framework. In the next 12 years, new technologies must therefore be ready for the market and the regulatory framework must be adapted. In order to accelerate the development of CO2-neutral manufacturing processes, the EU Commission is preparing the Innovation Fund (IF), which will promote research and development for the decarbonisation of industry from 2021.

With our Accelerator Program and other projects, we are also doing our part to promote innovation, support solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus accelerate decarbonization.

Author: Editorial team

 
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