NEFI Study Shows Paths to Climate-Neutral Industry in Austria

OrganizationsOther ♦ Published: June 11, 2023; 12:27 ♦ (Vindobona)

A recent study by the innovation network NEFI - New Energy for Industry has provided important impetus for a climate-neutral future for Austrian industry. In 2021, the domestic manufacturing industry was responsible for more than one-third of the total CO2 emissions in Austria. The NEFI experts have now developed three scenarios that show concrete ways to transform the industrial energy system.

The energy transition in the industry requires the commitment of all stakeholders, according to NEFI Network Coordinator Wolfgang Hribernik. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Alfred T. Palmer / Public Domain

The NEFI study divides the manufacturing industry into thirteen subsectors and presents three scenarios for a climate-neutral future. The "Business-As-Usual" scenario serves as a reference and describes a continuation of current trends. The "Pathway of Industry" scenario was developed in cooperation with industrial lead companies and shows realistic perspectives as well as techno-economic and regulatory hurdles. The ambitious "Zero Emissions" scenario presents a transformation path to complete climate neutrality for the industry by 2050.

The study places particular focus on the increased use of renewable energy, electrification, increased energy efficiency, and CO2 capture as key technological levers for industry transformation. In particular, electrification based on renewable electricity plays a key role.

The results of the study show that a climate-neutral industry in Austria is possible, but requires increased efforts in research, development, and demonstration of new technologies. Collaboration with industry players and overcoming regulatory hurdles are equally essential. The NEFI experts emphasize the importance of expanding the energy infrastructure to sustainably meet the high energy demand of the industry.

A concrete example project, OxySteel, illustrates the potential for energy savings and CO2 reduction in steel production. An innovative process design could save up to 12 GWh of energy per year. This shows the great leverage effect of such projects.

The NEFI study provides an important roadmap for Austrian industry on the way to climate neutrality. The results underline the need for comprehensive cooperation between all stakeholders, increased investment in research and development, and rapid implementation of new technologies. Only through joint efforts and the expansion of the energy infrastructure can Austrian industry successfully shape its climate-neutral future.

NEFI decarbonization scenarios are available for download here.

About NEFI

NEFI stands for "New Energy for Industry" and is an innovation network in Austria. The NEFI project aims to show ways to a climate-neutral future of industrial production. It is a collaboration between various partners from industry, research institutions, and universities.

NEFI develops scenarios and strategies to promote the use of renewable energy and sustainable technologies in the industry. Through research, development, and demonstration of new technologies, concrete ways to transform the industrial energy system will be identified. NEFI works closely with industrial lead companies to develop realistic perspectives and technical solutions for a climate-neutral industry.

The NEFI innovation network plays an important role in shaping the energy transition in industry and demonstrates how the Austrian industry can actively contribute to a sustainable and climate-neutral future.