Beneath the Thirteen Moons

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S GHG emissions. Including emissions from the electricity used for things like motors, ovens, space heating and cooling, lighting, etc. Of the total of CO2e that industry emitted in , only one quarter were indirect emissions. The main sources of direct emissions from industry are:.

Industry Matters: Smarter Energy Use is Key for US Competitiveness, Jobs, and Climate Efforts

Chemical reactions that occur when raw materials are transformed into products e. The lesson here is that transitioning the grid to renewables and other low-carbon power sources is helpful in addressing industrial emissions, but it can only do so much. Successfully cutting carbon in this sector will require significant onsite action at these facilities.

Though the industrial sector has not been a primary focus of energy and climate policy, industrial GHG emissions have decreased in the US since , with some sub-sectors dropping dramatically over that period of time. Arguably, however, the most significant driver of industrial sector GHG reduction has been the structural shift in the US economy toward services and away from production of manufactured goods.

This is by no means a positive trend from a global GHG emission standpoint. Manufacturers in these countries tend to use less energy efficient technologies and are subject to less stringent pollution standards, so global emissions end up higher than they would have been if manufacturing had stayed in the US. Regardless of what has been driving it, the decades-long trend of decreasing industrial emissions in the US may be reaching its end.

As the impacts of energy consumption and climate change become harder to ignore, public policy and consumer demand worldwide are curving inexorably toward efficient, low-emissions processes and products.


Washington should acknowledge this trend in global markets and pursue policies and investments that will help US manufacturers stay ahead of it. If we fail to heed the international and domestic warning signs discussed below, American industry could find itself racing to catch up to the world economy instead of leading it.

Even though the US has announced its withdrawal, the Paris Climate Agreement will still put significant downward pressure on GHG emissions—including emissions from industry. Every other nation on the planet remains in the Agreement or, in the case of Nicaragua and Syria, plans to join. And a number of our biggest international economic competitors have laid out emission reduction strategies specifically for the industrial sector, including China see Appendix A , Japan, and the EU.

National policies that put a price on carbon are already impacting many U. S manufacturers. Over 40 countries use some form of carbon-pricing mechanism, either an emission-trading system or a carbon tax. Technology investment is another good indicator of where the sector is headed. Clean energy is expected to be one of largest markets of the 21st century.

With countries around the world racing to develop, deploy, and export these technologies, US manufacturers face serious competition for these lucrative markets. In particular, the US is falling behind in some of the most cutting-edge and important clean energy technologies for industry. The government of the United Arab Emirates strongly backed this particular project, noting that it now gives domestic industries and workers a leg-up on what could be a growing export market for industrial carbon capture and low-carbon steel. Regardless of current inaction at the national level, American states, cities, and businesses are adopting explicit emission reduction targets, clean energy goals, and other policies that will shape their investment and procurement decisions.

Many of these activities could create opportunities for some domestic manufacturers, as well as challenges for those who fail to keep up. In what may have the most direct and immediate impact on major manufacturing sectors, California recently adopted a first-of-a kind procurement requirement called Buy Clean California.

Why It’s So Hard to Capture CO2 From the Air

The law requires state-funded infrastructure projects, such as highways and bridges, to use building materials including steel, insulation, and glass that meet low carbon intensity standards. Numerous US manufacturers have made commitments to purchase clean energy and reduce GHG emissions, which will have significant impacts on their operations and domestic supply chains.

Energy Technology 2017

International and domestic actions to reduce emissions and energy consumption show a clear and escalating pattern, and one that will certainly have an impact on markets for manufactured goods. By taking steps now to maximize efficiency and clean energy use, US manufacturers can increase their ability to remain competitive as global business priorities evolve.

With a clear and focused national strategy, the federal government could support this shift among American manufacturers and the workers they employ. Any strategy to reduce GHG emissions and capture energy savings from industry must recognize several factors that are unique to the sector:.

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What follows is a summary of what we view as the most important pathways to do so, which are grounded in a recognition of the unique industrial sectoral factors delineated above. Co-generation systems, commonly referred to as combined heat and power CHP , are among several industrial efficiency technologies and energy management measures that are fully commercialized and deployed across the country but significantly under-utilized. CHP systems generate electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source— predominantly natural gas, though biomass and other fuels are also used.

CHP systems are installed at nearly 4, sites in the US with a total capacity of DOE estimates that there is another GW of technical potential for CHP at industrial facilities for on-site use and the export of excess electricity back to the grid, which would nearly triple our current capacity. Beyond CHP, there are a range of commercially available technologies and measures that manufacturers can deploy to reduce energy cost and GHG emissions.

These include advanced electric motor systems, high efficiency boilers, mechanical insulation, energy-efficient lamps and lighting controls, and sensors and controls that improve process performance. We have evidence that implementing these industrial efficiency end use approaches yields significant results. Despite their sizeable economic and environmental benefits, a number of barriers keep CHP and other industrial efficiency measures from reaching their deployment potential.

Common challenges include: the dominant utility business model, which often positions CHP and end-use efficiency as a source of revenue erosion; internal competition for capital investment within companies, where the scale and payback of investment in CHP and end-use efficiency often competes unfavorably with investments that are smaller and yield payback more quickly; and a lack of awareness and knowledge about the technical and economic potential of CHP and end-use efficiency. If these and other barriers can be overcome, the energy savings, GHG emission, and economic impacts of deploying these technologies are demonstrable.

As noted above there exists a multiplicity of sub-sectors within U. S manufacturing. This fact, in turn, requires innovation in a diverse range of advanced manufacturing technologies that can be applied across the entire sector to achieve emission reductions. Importantly, advanced manufacturing innovation must also encompass material as well as energy efficiency in product design and production, which includes the light-weighting of materials, the reduction of material waste, and re-use of materials, all of which can achieve substantial reductions in energy use and GHG emissions.

We briefly summarize four advanced manufacturing technologies below, which are illustrative of the energy saving and by extension GHG emission reduction opportunities and challenges in U. Process heating operations supply thermal energy that transform materials into myriad commodities and end- use consumer products, using energy obtained from steam, electricity and fuels. Process heating systems include furnaces, heat exchanges, kilns, and evaporators. These systems are used extensively by EIMs, but also in a range of other manufacturing sub-sectors.

AM techniques can be applied across the manufacturing sector, but show particularly strong energy savings for sub-sectors that rely on the complex use of materials and components parts — and where the weight of the end product has enormous cost, competitiveness and life cycle energy implication -- such as automotive and aviation manufacturing.

The technologies and practices involved in Smart Manufacturing can interact at every level of the manufacturing sector, from equipment to plants to supply chains.


WBG technologies allow semiconductor applications at higher frequencies, temperatures and voltages, which in turn enable the production of smaller, lighter and higher efficiency power electronics. These technologies can realize very large energy savings for motor-driven systems across the manufacturing sector, and could also accelerate the motorization of specific equipment such as large compressors; in addition, WBG semiconductors can provide energy savings in a variety of applications in the building, transportation and power industry sectors.

These summaries of a handful of AM technologies underline the importance of continued innovation. The most ambitious example of this approach for AM is Manufacturing USA, a public-private collaboration consisting of linked Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, each of which has a unique technology concentration while contributing to the advancement of the US manufacturing sector as a whole.

Energy and CO2 emissions - UIC - International union of railways

There are currently fifteen Institutes established or planned, with the shared goals of increasing US manufacturing competitiveness through new technologies and innovation; reducing GHG emissions and improving energy productivity; stimulating regional economic growth; and developing a skilled workforce in each of the technologies of focus. Almost all industrial processes have been designed around the availability, low cost, and energy density of carbon-heavy fossil fuels.

Decarbonizing the industrial sector will require strategically replacing fossil fuels for certain processes through increasing the use of clean fuel sources and electrification. The most important part of the value chain to focus such efforts on is industrial process heat, the largest source of fossil fuel use in the industrial sector.

To transition to clean process heat, three considerations are worth emphasizing: 1 current conversion processes that transform raw materials into thermal energy in EIM subsectors require very high temperatures; 2 thermal heat cannot effectively be delivered over long distances; and 3 many process operations must be run continuously. Therefore, substitutes for fossil energy used for industrial heat processes must be dispatchable, able to achieve minimum temperature thresholds depending on the operation , and located at or very close to the point of consumption.

Substitutes for fossil energy used for industrial heat processes must be dispatchable, able to achieve minimum temperature thresholds depending on the operation , and located at or very close to the point of consumption. There are select clean energy sources, albeit at different levels of commercialization, that could meet these criteria. Given their size and operational flexibility, small modular nuclear reactors SMRs , show particularly strong promise as a supplier of industrial process heat.

Picking the winners we need

However, other SMR technologies under development that use different types of coolants e. It has been estimated that one-third of projected US industrial energy demand in could be met by about SMRs with a capacity rating of MWt. Solar thermal and to a far lesser extent geothermal energy sources could also play a role in meeting industrial energy demand. Both solar thermal and geothermal hold an important advantage over SMRs as potential clean heat sources: they are commercialized and deployed.

But they are also at a disadvantage: the geographical mismatch between the best resources for the technologies and location of US manufacturing. For example, currently operating CSP plants are concentrated in the Southwest, where the best solar resources exist, whereas U. S manufacturing is concentrated in Midwestern, Eastern and Gulf Coast states. Another pathway for decarbonizing industrial energy use is through greater electrification of industrial process and power generation operations, linked with continuing efforts to shift the power sector to clean energy sources.

But there are barriers to electrification as well, none greater than the high cost of using electricity compared to direct fossil fuel use to generate process heat. More fundamentally, however, we need new technological and economic analysis to develop a better understanding of which industrial sector technologies would be the most promising and cost-effective to electrify.