Making the process industry more sustainable

IEA recognises the importance of hydrogen and ammonia for future industry


The International Energy Agency (IEA) presented their report on ‘Renewable Energy for Industry’ where they examine a variety of current and future options to reduce the long-term greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector.

Their main finding is that the recent rapid cost reductions in solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind power may enable new options for greening the industry, either directly from electricity or through the production of hydrogen (H)-rich chemicals and fuels.

Simultaneously, electrification offers new flexibility options to better integrate large shares of variable renewables into grids. Hydrogen and ammonia could serve as energy carriers for other uses, notably in industrial furnaces and balancing power plants. Drop-in hydrocarbon fuels and many chemicals could also be produced associating green hydrogen and recycled carbon from fumes or the air.

Overall, a combination of direct process electrification and use of storable hydrogen-rich chemicals and fuels manufactured from electricity may offer the greatest potential for renewables uptake by various industries. Ammonia has many potential uses that can significantly contribute to the increase of sustainability within industry as well as society.