Decarbonising Industry: Towards a Cleaner Economy


Decarbonising Industry: Towards a Cleaner Economy

Blog on ‘Decarbonising Industry: Towards a Cleaner Economy’ posted by Professor Geoffrey P. Hammond and Dr Samuel J. G. Cooper on the University of Bath’s website, 13 February 2018.

Professor Geoffrey P. Hammond is the Co-Director of the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP), Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, and was Founder Director of its Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment. Dr Samuel J.G. Cooper is a Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering


The Climate Change Challenge

Human development is underpinned by energy sources of various kinds that heat, power and transport its citizens in their everyday lives. But, while energy supplies and technologies underscore continued economic development, they also give rise to unwanted side-effects, such as the prospect of global warming due to an enhanced greenhouse effect induced by fossil fuel combustion. The British Government has introduced a bold, legally binding target of reducing the nation’s COemissions overall by 80% before 2050 in comparison to a 1990 baseline in their 2008 Climate Change Act. Achieving this carbon reduction target will require a challenging transition in Britain’s systems for producing, delivering and using energy that is not only low carbon, but also secure and affordable; resolving the so-called energy policy ‘trilemma’.

Reducing industrial energy demand and improving resource efficiency could make a substantial contribution towards the UK Government’s 2050 goal of achieving 80% decarbonisation, whilst simultaneously improving productivity and creating employment opportunities. In this context, the British Government released its Clean Growth Strategy in October 2017, although it has a number of identifiable weaknesses. The associated technology roadmaps exhibit quite large uncertainties, and decarbonisation over the long-term will depend critically on the adoption of a small number of key technologies, alongside the decarbonisation of electricity supply. ‘Circular economy’ interventions have the potential to make significant energy savings that are complementary to other energy efficiency measures. But the task for both industrial and policy decision-makers will still be challenging.

A complete version of the blog is available to read via the University of Bath’s website.
Find out more about CIE-MAP.
A brief overview of the End Use Energy Demand Centres (EUED) Centres.