The UK government recently announced an investment of £315 million — around $403 million — to help energy-intensive businesses in the heavy industry reduce their energy bills and lower their carbon emissions.Called the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), this investment is part of legislation passed over the summer to get government carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, which includes heavy industry emissions. The government says that the fund will support efficiency measures that help energy-intensive businesses cut their bills and reduce carbon emissions. Currently eight industrial sectors emit approximately two-thirds of the UK’s industrial carbon emissions: cement, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, glass, iron and steel, oil refining, and pulp and paper, according to the government. Ministers want to fund proven low-carbon industrial processes — and explore new options.
By drastically improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings, companies could save as much as £1 billion ($1.28 billion) a year on energy bills by 2030, according to the UK government. The new fund is expected to shrink industrial emissions by around 2 million metric tons between 2028 and 2032.
“The UK is already cutting emissions faster than any other major economy and we’re the first to legislate to end our contribution to climate change entirely,” said business, energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng. “Eliminating emissions from industry is key to achieving this, but doing so does not have to mean compromising our business success.”
Heavy industry businesses in some sectors have already taken steps to lower energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprints. The UK government highlighted the following examples:
- Nestlé is using high-temperature heat pumps for heating and cooling during the chocolate manufacturing process, which cuts energy costs by nearly £150,000 ($192,000) annually.
- Brick manufacturer Ibstock Bricks is using brick-building robots to help make repetitive manufacturing processes more efficient, cutting emissions output for every brick produced in half.
- Construction and materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain is saving £165,000 (around $210,000) annually in energy costs by becoming more responsive to demand and powering down factories during peak energy periods.
- Heat reduction programs in the ceramics sector have lowered the heat used to glaze tableware by 5%, contributing to a 25% reduction in their carbon footprint.
The first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund is set to launch in spring 2020 and open up for applications in summer 2020, with the second phase starting in 2021, according to the government.
Source: Environment + Energy Leader