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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Industrial energy use and carbon emissions reduction: a UK perspective

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Progress in reducing industrial energy demand and carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions is evaluated with a focus is on the situation in the United Kingdom (UK), although the lessons learned are applicable across much of the industrialized world. The UK industrial sector is complex, because it may be viewed as consisting of some 350 separate combinations of subsectors, devices and technologies. Various energy analysis and carbon accounting techniques applicable to industry are described and assessed. The contributions of the energy‐intensive (EI) and nonenergy‐intensive (NEI) industrial subsectors over recent decades are evaluated with the aid of decomposition analysis. An observed drop in aggregate energy intensity over this timescale was driven by different effects: energy efficiency improvements; structural change; and fuel switching. Finally, detailed case studies drawn from the Cement subsector and that associated with Food and Drink are examined; representing the EI and NEI subsectors, respectively. Currently available technologies will lead to further, short‐term energy and CO2 emissions savings in manufacturing, but the prospects for the commercial exploitation of innovative technologies by mid‐21st century are far more speculative. There are a number of nontechnological barriers to the take‐up of such technologies going forward. Consequently, the transition pathways to a low carbon future in UK industry by 2050 will exhibit large uncertainties. The attainment of significant falls in carbon emissions over this period depends critically on the adoption of a limited number of key technologies [e.g., carbon capture and storage (CCS), energy efficiency techniques, and bioenergy], alongside a decarbonization of the electricity supply. WIREs Energy Environ 2016, 5:684–714. doi: 10.1002/wene.212 This article is categorized under: Energy Efficiency > Science and Materials Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy Energy Efficiency > Climate and Environment
Top–down and bottom–up model schematic. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright)
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Logistic curve forecast of average UK cement kiln capacity.
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Distribution of CO2 point sources and CCS cluster regions in the UK.
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Fuel split for heating of UK cement kilns in 2010.
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Decomposition of UK cement kiln energy use 1973–2010 (the effects of changes in structure, output and SEC are separated).
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Energy flows through the food and drink subsector in 2006.
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Primary energy intensity, percentage of costs represented by energy and water, and energy use per site (represented by the area of the data points). Sources: 2007 data adapted from a range of statistical sources.
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Primary energy demand for subsectors of food and drink. Totals shown are for 2002–2006 disregarding the highest and lowest energy demands over this period.
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Primary energy intensity, percentage of costs represented by energy and water, and mean primary energy use per enterprise (represented by the area of the data point). Sources: 2007 subsector data adapted from a range of statistical sources.
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Greenhouse gas emissions from UK manufacturing, 2007.
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Energy efficiency gap between theory and practice.
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