Event highlights – Cheaper than electrification: how solar heat will replace oil and gas in the EU industrial sector

Event highlights – Cheaper than electrification: how solar heat will replace oil and gas in the EU industrial sector

Industry accounts for more than one-third of global energy demand, and 74% of its energy needs come from process heat, making its decarbonisation crucial for the EU’s carbon neutrality goals. Renewable heating and cooling solutions like solar thermal could play an important role in industry decarbonisation already today, as the technology has been constantly evolving and new applications like large-scale solar heat plants for industries are becoming a growing reality.

To address the key role of solar heat for industrial process (SHIP) systems in industry decarbonisation, Solar Heat Europe organised a side event for the EU Industry Days 2021. The event took place on March 9th, 2021, and it was organised in cooperation with key partners including IRENA, IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme, AEE Intec, and companies specialised in the topic, such as Absolicon, NewHeat, TVP Solar, and Solrico.

While Central and Northern European countries have a consolidated experience with SHIP systems, the reality in Southern regions is not the same. The objective of the event was to discuss the opportunities and benefits of SHIP for Southern member states, by presenting two case studies from Greece and Italy. Other topics on the agenda were new innovative business models (ESCOs), and costs of commercial SHIP plants in Europe in comparison with other world regions.

Only by using an intelligent mix of different renewable energy technologies the challenging goal of decarbonizing the European Industry will be reached,” said Christoph Brunner, CEO of AEE Intec and chair of the RHC-ETIP working group on industry.

Guglielmo Cioni, Vice-President of TVP Solar and board member of Solar Heat Europe added that “Industries can decarbonise and reduce costs today with solar thermal, without waiting for a large renewable electricity generation and distribution infrastructure” and encouraged businesses to opt for solar thermal.

The topic of the event sparked the interest of many stakeholders, and the audience of over 100 people got involved in the open discussion with the panellists.

The recording of the event can be accessed at the following link.

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