In the coming decades, renewable energy production will grow almost beyond comprehension. Already we see massive investment and cost reduction in renewable energy production from solar and wind, replacing gas and coal-fired power plants. At the same time, industry needs to restructure major parts of its key energy-intensive processes to meet emission reduction targets, while maintaining its position in globally competing supply chains. To make sure that the future energy system is robust and supports all stakeholders, is what we call system integration.
Following the Paris Climate Agreement and the goals set for the reduction of CO2 emissions, the near future will see a rapid shift away from fossil feedstocks – in fuels as well as chemicals. As a result, we are on the brink of a major restructuring of the energy system. This regards generating and distributing electrical power on the one hand and the nature of the energy-intensive industry on the other.
Reshaping the future energy system
Our program System Integration contributes to the energy transition from the perspective of the process industry. We are convinced that to reach the 2050 targets of up to 95% emission reduction, it is imperative to completely re-imagine and re-invent production chains, tuned to the transitions in the energy system.
Scaling up for an industrial environment
This entails identifying and developing the key enabling technologies for carbon-neutral industries. This way the potential relevance and understanding how they can be implemented in an industrial environment, is established. It also requires an analysis of the context governing this implementation:
- The context of the current industrial environment
- The context of the future energy system
- The context of the envisioned energy-industry value chain
All this will lay the foundation for technology development towards actual demonstration at industrially relevant scales, in which this program takes a leading role. A striking example of the latter is in the field of hydrogen, where we operate the Hydrohub Innovation Program to achieve affordable large-scale water electrolysis in an industrial setting.
The Netherlands can be guiding
At ISPT, we think the Netherlands can be internationally guiding in developing and reshaping future energy systems. The Netherlands has an exceptionally large industrial sector compared to other countries: industry is responsible for around 40% of the total national energy consumption and the corresponding CO2 emissions.
At the same time, a large part of the Dutch industry consists of large international companies operating in a global playing field. The Netherlands has developed an effective ecosystem for industry-oriented innovation that covers industries of all sizes and all sectors. This is reflected in the extensive network of our program System Integration.