Electricity

3 Key Manufacturing Sectors to Target for Reaching Paris Agreement's Goal

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According to IPCC, the industry sector accounts for about a quarter of the world’s total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (after allocating electricity-related emission to end use sectors). This is by far greater than GHG emissions from the Building and Transportation sector, yet these two sectors often get more attention than the industry sector.

AFOLU: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Figure 1. The share of GHG emissions by economic sector (IPCC 2014)

AFOLU: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use
Figure 1. The share of GHG emissions by economic sector (IPCC 2014)

Unlike building and transportation sector, the manufacturing sector is more complex which involves tens of industry subsectors that are vastly different from each other with regards to the production technologies and systems they use. It looks like this complexity drives many people and organizations away from the industry sector. However, without seriously tackling the energy use and GHG emissions in the industry sector, we will absolutely fail to meet the goals of Paris Climate Agreement.

Within the industry sector, there are many industry subsectors. Figure 2 below shows a high-level classification of industry subsector. Among these, there are only 3 industry subsectors that account for over 62% of total final energy use in industry sector worldwide. These three sectors are:

  1. Iron and steel industry
  2. Chemical and petrochemical industry
  3. Non-metallic minerals industry, which is mainly the cement industry, but also includes glass, lime and other smaller subsectors

In terms of GHG emissions, these three manufacturing subsectors, i.e. iron and steel industry, chemical and petrochemical industry, and cement industry account for even larger share, over 65% of total industry sector GHG emissions. This is because of high levels of non-energy related GHG emissions (or process emissions) from these three subsectors particularly the cement industry. Worldwide, around 63% of total GHG emissions from the cement industry is process-related emissions (from chemical reaction during calcination process), which are not included in the Figure 2 below.

Figure 2. The share of different industry subsector from total industry use in the world in 2014 (IEA 2017a)

Figure 2. The share of different industry subsector from total industry use in the world in 2014 (IEA 2017a)

What makes the matter worse is the high share of fossil fuels, especially coal used in the industry sector. Coal accounts for over 75% of the final energy used in the steel industry worldwide with another 10% of energy coming from natural gas and oil (IEA 2017a). In the cement industry worldwide, coal account for over 60% final energy use and natural gas and oil account for another 15% of total energy use (IEA 2018).

The other point to keep in mind is that with world’s population increasing from 7.6 billion in 2018 to around 10 billion people in 2050 with majority of population increase to happen in developing economies, the absolute demand for cement, steel, and chemicals is expected to increase significantly by 2050.

While many people are hoping that we will clean the electricity grid and then electrify almost everything, thereby addressing the climate change issue, this is far more complex in manufacturing sector compared with the building and transportation sector. First, as mentioned above, industry sector with many subsectors which are quite different technologically will need many different types of electrification technologies. Second, around 74% of the final energy used in industry sector is fuel from which almost 48% is used for high temperature heat (above 400 Degrees Celsius) most of which is used in the steel and cement industry among others (Figure 3).  Electrifying this high temperature heat demand has proved to be difficult in these 3 industry subsectors.

Figure 3. Share of energy use by economic sector (left) and breakdown of heat demand in industry (right) (IEA 2017b)

Figure 3. Share of energy use by economic sector (left) and breakdown of heat demand in industry (right) (IEA 2017b)

In summary, without decarbonizing the iron and steel, chemical and petrochemical, and cement industry, it is impossible to reach the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals and peak the total GHG emissions early enough to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Therefore, we need more focused attention by public and private sectors as well as NGOs and philanthropists to gather and allocate resources to reduce GHG emissions in these 3 industry subsectors. The time is running out with regards to climate change mitigation timeline and peaking world’s GHG emissions. We need to focus on areas where we can get huge savings and gigaton scale GHG emissions reduction.  If we don’t, scientists have given us some clear dire warnings!

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Also read our related blog posts:

See the list of some of our related publications for the iron and steel, cement, and chemical industry from this link.

Sources:
IEA/WBCSD. 2018. Technology Roadmap-Low-Carbon Transition in the Cement Industry.
IEA. 2017a. Global Iron & Steel Technology Roadmap.
IEA. 2017b. Renewable Energy for Industry.
IPCC. 2014: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.

 


Infographic: Deep Electrification of Manufacturing Industries

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Over 50% of final energy demand globally is for heating. Around half of that is for heating demands in the industry sector. When talking about electrification, the focus has mostly been on the transportation and to some extend building sectors. The industry sector has often been ignored when considering deep electrification. Even if we electrify the heat demand for the entire transportation sector and building sector in the world, that only covers 30% and 25% of world’s final energy use, respectively.

The infographic below highlights some general aspects of electrification in the industry sector. There is a substantial need for more research and analysis on electrification potential in different industry subsectors and electrification technology R&D for the manufacturing sector.

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To download the high resolution image file (JPEG) of the infographic, click here.

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Is Trump's Steel Trade War Good for the Climate?

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President Trump just suggested to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports. While there are mix reactions to this announcement and many say it can lead to a trade war, I thought to look at it from climate change point of view. Is a U.S. tariff on steel imports good for the climate? The answer is it depends on where we are importing steel from. I will discuss this in more details below. According to USGS, U.S. imported around 36 million ton of steel in 2017, which equals to about 43% of total steel production in the U.S. that year.

Iron and steel production is an energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) intensive manufacturing process. Two types of steel production dominate the industry: blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF) and electric arc furnace (EAF) production. BF/BOF production uses iron ore to produce steel. The reduction of iron ore to iron in a BF is the most energy-intensive process within the steel industry. EAF production re-melts mainly scrap to produce steel. BF/BOF production is more energy intensive and emits more GHG than EAF production.

A few years ago, when I was working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, I led a study to compare the CO2 intensity of steel production in four major steel producing countries: China, Germany, Mexico, and the U.S. We defined a similar boundary for the steel industry in these countries and adjusted the CO2 intensity based on net import of fuel and intermediary products (e.g. net imported pig iron, direct-reduced iron (DRI), pellets, lime, oxygen, ingots, blooms, billets, and slabs). The result of our study is presented in the graph below. More results and scenario analysis can be found in the report we published (see link at the bottom). Our analysis used 2010 data because that was the latest year for which the data were available for all four countries at the time of the study.

Figure. CO2 intensity of the iron and steel industry in China, Germany, Mexico, and the U.S. in 2010 (Hasanbeigi et al. 2016)

Figure. CO2 intensity of the iron and steel industry in China, Germany, Mexico, and the U.S. in 2010 (Hasanbeigi et al. 2016)

As can be seen from the Figure above, China has the highest and Mexico has the lowest total steel industry CO2 intensity. The total CO2 intensity of the Chinese steel industry is almost twice that of the Mexican steel industry. Two main reasons for low total CO2 intensity in Mexico’s steel industry are: a) Mexico has the largest share of EAF steel production among the four countries studied (69% in 2010), and b) Mexico’s steel industry consumes a larger share of natural gas compared to that in other countries studied. This results in a lower average emissions factor for fuels in Mexico. Another interesting point to note is that the total CO2 intensity of the German steel industry is 2% lower than that of the U.S. which is remarkable given that, in 2010, Germany had a lower share of EAF steel production (30% of total production) than the U.S. (61% of total production). However, it should be noted that the U.S. steel industry would have had lower CO2 intensity if we had not adjusted for net import of intermediary products to the steel industry, but that would have not been an accurate comparison. 

Our analysis also showed that the CO2 intensity of BF/BOF steel production alone in the U.S. is significantly higher than that in other three countries. This could be because of various reasons such as older BF/BOF plants and lower penetration of some major energy efficiency technologies such as coke dry quenching (CDQ) and top-pressure recovery turbine (TRT) in blast furnaces, etc.

Some of the key factors influencing the CO2 intensities of the steel industry are: share of EAF from total steel production, the age of steel manufacturing facilities in each country, the level of penetration of energy-efficient technologies, the scale of production equipment, the fuel shares in the iron and steel industry, the steel product mix in each country, the CO2 emissions factor of electricity grid, etc.

Figure below shows the Top 10 countries from which U.S. imported steel in 2014.

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Even though our aforementioned study did not include all the countries from which U.S. imports steel, many of them are known for having low energy and carbon intensive steel industry and/or having high EAF steel production share, which helps to reduce the CO2 intensity of their entire steel industry. Figure below shows the share of EAF steel production (one of the key factors influencing overall CO2 intensity of the steel industry in a country) in top 10 counties from which U.S. imports steel.

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It worth mentioning that U.S. also exported around 11 million ton of steel in 2017, around 90% of which went to Canada and Mexico. In fact, even though Canada and Mexico are among top countries from which U.S. imports steel, U.S. export more steel to Canada and Mexico than imports from them. Therefore, imposing steel import tariffs for these two countries does not seem to be effective.

To sum up, the U.S. tariff on steel imports can be good for the climate if it is based on carbon footprint of the steel imported and not just a blanket tariff. In fact, state of California recently passed a Buy Clean regulation, which calls for the state to create rules for the procurement of infrastructure materials (including steel) purchased with state funds that take into account pollution levels during production. It was one of the rare cases where both environmentalist and industry advocates agreed and backed the regulation. This could be an example of environmental- and climate-friendly procurement and trade tariffs that can benefit both industry and the environment and incentivize high polluting companies that are out-of-state or-country to clean up their production in order to be able to trade with these states or countries.

Needless to say, an import tariff on steel could result in a major trade war that will include other industrial sectors and products.

More details of our steel industry CO2 intensity comparison analysis and results are presented in the report that is published on LBNL’s website and can be downloaded from this Link.

Don't forget to Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to get the latest about our new blog posts, projects, and publications.

Also read our related blog posts:

Some of our related publications are:

  • Hasanbeigi, Ali; Arens, Marlene; Rojas-Cardenas, Jose; Price, Lynn; Triolo, Ryan. (2016). Comparison of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity of Steel Industry in China, Germany, Mexico, and the United States. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Volume 113, October 2016, Pages 127–139
  • Zhang, Qi; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn; Lu, Hongyou; Arens, Marlen (2016).  A Bottom-up Energy Efficiency Improvement Roadmap for China’s Iron and Steel Industry up to 2050. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL- 1006356
  • Morrow, William; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Sathaye, Jayant; Xu, Tengfang. 2014. Assessment of Energy Efficiency Improvement and CO2 Emission Reduction Potentials in India’s Cement and Iron & Steel Industries. Journal of Cleaner Production. Volume 65, 15 February 2014, Pages 131–141
  • Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn, Aden, Nathaniel; Zhang Chunxia; Li Xiuping; Shangguan Fangqin. 2014. Comparison of Iron and Steel Production Energy Use and Energy Intensity in China and the U.S. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 65, 15 February 2014, Pages 108–119
  • Hasanbeigi, Ali; Morrow, William; Sathaye, Jayant; Masanet, Eric; Xu, Tengfang. (2013). A Bottom-Up Model to Estimate the Energy Efficiency Improvement and CO2 Emission Reduction Potentials in the Chinese Iron and Steel Industry. Energy, Volume 50, 1 February 2013, Pages 315-325
  • Hasanbeigi, Ali; Arens, Marlene; Price, Lynn; (2013). Emerging Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions Reduction Technologies for the Iron and Steel Industry. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory BNL-6106E.

References

  • Hasanbeigi, Ali; Arens, Marlene; Rojas-Cardenas, Jose; Price, Lynn; Triolo, Ryan. (2015). Comparison of Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity of the International Iron and Steel Industry: Case Studies from China, Germany, Mexico, and the United States
  • Hasanbeigi, Ali; Arens, Marlene; Rojas-Cardenas, Jose; Price, Lynn; Triolo, Ryan. (2016). Comparison of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity of Steel Industry in China, Germany, Mexico, and the United States. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Volume 113, October 2016, Pages 127–139
  • USGS, 2018 and 2014. Iron and Steel
  • Buy Clean California. http://buycleancalifornia.org

Hurricanes Maria, Irma, Harvey: How to Keep out the Flood Water by Pumping Less

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First, I should say that my heart goes to all people who are affected by Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and all islands in the Caribbean. At times like this, we shall all come together to help the people in need.

 

Whether or not we like it or believe in it, climate change is causing global warming. That in term is causing an increase in severe weather and natural disasters. We are all witnessing the worst in a century hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, and droughts all over the world. This is not a coincident. Scientists have been yelling and warning us about this for years now. It’s time to listen and act before it is too late. According to NASA, storms feed off of latent heat, which is why scientists think global warming is strengthening storms. Extra heat in the atmosphere or ocean nourishes storms. While we cannot pin point the extend of effect by climate change on recent strong hurricanes, it is certainly one of the key factors knowing that, according to UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”

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When hurricane Harvey hit Houston, the fourth most populous city in the US, large areas of the city got flooded. Same thing happened in many cities in Florida and Caribbean Islands when hurricane Irma and Maria devastated cities there. I saw on TV that people were using pumps is some areas to drain the water from their property and streets. Apparently, it is a common practice in Miami even after a heavy rain.

We all believe that “prevention is better than cure.” The same thing is true with global warming and climate change and preventing the consequences of them including hurricanes and flooding. In general, by improving energy efficiency, we can reduce burning fossil fuels and thereby reduce greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions which cause global warming and climate change. In this article, as an example, I focus on pumps and pumping systems and how their impact on climate change can be reduced.

In a series of reports we recently published on Energy Efficiency and GHG Emissions Reduction Potential in Industrial Motor Systems in the U.S. covering 30 U.S. States (Available from this Link), we estimated the energy use by industrial pump systems in 30 different states in the U.S., separately. Our analysis shows that industrial pump systems in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, which were flooded by recent hurricanes, together consumed over 37,000 GWh of electricity in 2015. That is about the electricity use by 3.5 million U.S. households. Industrial pump systems in the entire U.S. consumed over 147,000 GWh in 2015, which accounts for about 20% of total electricity use in the U.S. manufacturing in that year. In other words, the electricity use by industrial pump systems in the U.S. is equal to electricity use by 13.5 million U.S. households. In terms of GHG emissions, industrial pump systems alone are responsible for over 163 Billion lb of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year in the U.S.

In the same reports, we quantified energy saving and GHG emissions reduction potentials and cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency measures for industrial pump systems in each state studied including Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. Our analyses shows that up to 35% of the electricity use in the industrial pump systems can be saved by implementing commercially available energy efficiency and system optimization measures and technologies. Most importantly, over half of this energy saving potential is cost-effective. This means that to save a kWh of electricity will cost less than the average unit prices of electricity for industry in each of the 30 states studied. In other words, investing in energy efficiency in pump systems will result in millions of dollars in savings for companies, utilities, and tax payers. This will also result in creation of thousands of jobs for local communities in each state. In addition, the electricity savings will subsequently result in reduction in GHG emissions and other air pollutions from power plants. The combined GHG reduction potential from energy efficiency in industrial pump systems in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana is over 11 Billion lb of CO2 emissions per year.

These efficiency improvements will have absolutely no negative impact on production or services served by the pump systems. These are just commercially available system optimization measures which will result in both energy and cost savings as well as GHG emissions reduction.

Above, I just gave you an example of industrial pump systems. If you add other motor systems such as fan systems, compressor systems, etc. and also motor systems in other sectors (buildings, power sector, agriculture sector, etc.), the absolute energy saving, cost savings, and GHG emissions reductions will be up to 5 times higher than what was mentioned above for the industrial pump systems.

In addition to the industrial pump systems reports mentioned above, we have also published separate reports to quantify energy use, energy saving, and GHG emissions reduction potentials and cost-effectiveness of efficiency technologies and measures in industrial fan systems and industrial compressed air systems in 30 different states in the U.S. 

See Reports: U.S. Industrial Motor Systems Energy Efficiency Reports Covering 30 States >>

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Available Now: Reports on Electricity Saving Potentials in U.S. Industrial Motor Systems

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In the U.S., industrial electric motor systems account for over 70% of manufacturing electricity consumption. Motors are used to drive pumps, fans, compressed air systems, material handling, processing systems and more. Industrial motor systems represent a largely untapped cost-effective source for industrial energy efficiency savings that could be realized with existing commercialized technologies. A major barrier to effective policy making for government and utilities in the U.S. related to energy efficiency improvement in industrial motor systems is the lack of information and data on the magnitude and cost-effectiveness of these energy savings potential in each state in the U.S. and a comprehensive strategy and roadmap.

Global Efficiency Intelligence, LLC has been working on an initiative to study and analyze the industrial motor systems in different states in the United States. We have 30 States from different regions in the U.S. that are included in this initiative. All top 20 U.S. states in terms of industrial energy consumption are included in this initiative. We work with various public and private stakeholders on this project. This initiative focuses on industrial pumps, fans, and compressed air systems which together account for over 80% of electricity use in industrial motor systems in the U.S. We conduct various analyses at the state-level such as analyzing the energy use by each motor system type and system size at manufacturing subsector level (e.g. chemical, food, textile, steel, machinery, pulp and paper, etc.), analyzing energy saving potentials and cost by technology and system size for each state, analyzing barriers and drivers to energy efficiency and system optimization in industrial motor systems in each state, and analyzing policy making and market implications for each state.

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Infographic: The Profile of Energy Use in Industrial Motor Systems

According to International Energy Agency, around half of the electricity used globally is consumed in electric motor systems. Industrial motor systems account for around 70% of manufacturing electricity consumption in different countries. The inforgraphic below is prepared by Global Efficiency Intelligence, LLC to summarize some key information on energy use in motor systems worldwide.

Global Efficiency Intelligence, LLC is working on Global Motor Systems Efficiency Initiative and the U.S. Motor Systems Efficiency Initiative (covers 30 states in the U.S.) to analyze the energy use in industrial motor systems and energy efficiency potentials in these systems at manufacturing subsectors level in different countries or states in the U.S. For more information, click on the links above to see our projects page.

Available Now: U.S. Industrial Motor Systems Energy Efficiency Reports >>

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