Three electrification scenarios to decarbonise the Dutch heavy industry

Panel: 4. Technology, products and system optimisation

Toon van Harmelen, TNO, The Netherlands
Vincent Kamphuis, TNO, The Netherlands
Mathieu Baas, TNO, The Netherlands
Robert de Kler, TNO, The Netherlands
Clemens Schneider, Wuppertal Institute, Germany
Yvonne van Delft, ECN, The Netherlands


Recently, renewable electrification is mentioned as a promising option to reach deep decarbonisation of industrial production (Energy 115 (2016) 1623-1631). For the Netherlands, these scenarios are merely conceptual ideas. The aim of the present study is to quantitatively assess deep decarbonisation scenarios through electrification of the production of basic materials and transportation fuels in the Netherlands in 2050. This to explore the technical feasibility, required feedstock and energy potentials and pro’s and con’s of different electrification pathways for the Dutch energy intensive industry.

The study focuses on steel, minerals (cement and glass), basic chemical industry (olefins, chlorine and ammonia), paper & pulp and food industry and in addition to that the refining and transport processes (passenger, freight, navigation and aviation). Next to the current situation, 3 deep decarbonisation pathways have been developed: A. All electric, B. Big on hydrogen en C. Competition; all of these what-if scenario’s have equal demand scenario’s (from PBL) and their own specific set of technologies to reach near zero CO2 emissions in 2050. For each scenario, we explore the required renewable (wind) energy potentials. Furthermore, different sources of CO2 (fossil or bio-based), process emissions, the end-of-life of products (with fixed carbon getting released or recycled) and indirect CO2 emissions of wind are calculated to assess the total net system CO2 emissions. About three quarter of the current Dutch CO2 emissions is covered in this study, including international bunkers and export of oil based products.

In all three pathways, it is technically feasible to reach nearly zero CO2 emission levels through electrification of the heavy industrial production and transport, even with maintaining the current Dutch export position in polymers. The scenarios, however, differ with respect to relative stakeholder power, type of technological options and TRL.


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