Exploring pathways to 100% renewable energy in European industry

Rasmus Magni Johannsen*, Brian Vad Mathiesen, Katerina Kermeli, Wina Crijns‑Graus, Poul Alberg Østergaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Industry poses one of the biggest challenges in the renewable energy transition. In this paper, fossil fuels in the European industrial sector are replaced by renewable energy using a novel tool, IndustryPLAN, a planning tool for the assessment of national industrial sectors. In a bottom-up approach, each industry sub-sector is addressed with energy efficiency and fossil fuel replacement measures based on best available and innovative technologies, and in a top-down approach, the fuel and electricity consumption per country is analysed and decarbonised. The results indicate that: 1. Known technologies can decarbonise most of the industrial sector; 2. Costs and efficiencies are improved by energy savings and electrification; 3. Limiting bioenergy consumption is a critical challenge, emphasising the key role of energy savings and electrification, and the alternative of using hydrogen or hydrogen-based electrofuels will make the transition more expensive and induce energy losses. A full transition to renewable energy and a decarbonised industry sector may be possible before 2050, however, this requires that all investments are sustainable from 2030 onwards and that grid electricity is fully decarbonised. This paper presents several pathways toward 100% renewable energy supply in the European industrial sector and discusses the implications of the outlined scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126687
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


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