Energy transition: Mission (im)possible for industry?

By Occo Roelofsen, Arnout de Pee, Eveline Speelman, and Maaike Witteveen

Dutch industrial companies have a key role to play in repositioning the Netherlands to thrive in a low-carbon future. Despite technological challenges and the pressure of global competition, it is possible for them to lower their greenhouse-gas emissions in line with European goals.

Carbon dioxide emissions from industry could drop by 60 percent in 2040 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050, as a result of creating, refining, and applying new processes, technologies, and feedstocks on a large scale. Although subject to uncertainty, we estimate that the cost of implementing the menu of the six most promising decarbonization options amounts to €21 billion to €23 billion by 2040, and about €55 billion by 2050.

Such an industrial energy transition would both benefit from lower prices for electricity generated from renewables, as well as help spur the integration of renewables into the national energy system. The report recommends that key players from industry join with the public sector, utilities, and transmission and distribution companies to come up with an integrated master plan for the industrial energy transition and optimize design of the emerging energy system.

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