The Scope for Electricity & Carbon Saving in the EU through the use of EPM Technologies

Electromagnetic processing of materials (EPM) provides significant opportunities for saving primary energy and reducing carbon emissions in industrial thermal processes. The use of electricity for industrial thermal processes has a current market share of around 10% in Europe and is divided in numerous different applications and industrial branches, where today the share between fossil fuel and electricity used as the end energy carrier is absolute different. All applications and processes play a different role and offer different potentials in terms of saving of primary energy and reducing of greenhouse gas emission. Potentially, electricity can replace up to 100% of other energy carriers currently used for process heat. As the average primary energy factor (PEF) gradually decreases from 2.5 currently, to 1 for a 100% renewable electricity system, the benefits of EPM will gradually increase. The CO2-emission factor will decrease as well which means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, as the electricity system is decarbonising rapidly, EPM technologies will increase with time. A very important background and basic for this analysis is the forecast of the future energy supply.

The paper demonstrates the features, benefits and advantages of processes and technologies for electromagnetic processing of materials (EPM). For the time horizon from now to the year 2050 a transition scenario is developed and described. In this scenario the industrial processes are gradually switched from the actual situation to a situation with 100% electrically operated industrial processes. The scenario will take into account both the most energy intensive industrial thermal processes, which could be replaced by electrothermal technologies and offer obviously the biggest future potential in terms of saving of primary energy and reducing of carbon emissions but also lower energy intensive heating processes, which are used in many different industrial branches and require a more detailed investigation.

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Highlights

  • Discusses the features and advantages of electromagnetic processing of materials (EPM).
  • EPM provides significant opportunities to save energy and reduce carbon emissions in industrial thermal processes.
  • Describes a scenario in which industrial processes are gradually switched to 100% electrical operation.
  • Suggests that the most energy intensive industrial thermal processes could be replaced by electrothermal technologies.

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