Capturing Swedish Industry Transition towards Carbon Neutrality in a National Energy System Model

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Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Environmental Engineering, Energy Systems, Teknik och teknologier, Naturresursteknik, Energisystem, Mechanical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Maskinteknik, Energiteknik
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 7 Affordable and clean energySDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructureSDG 13 Climate action
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by


Industry is responsible for approximately 30 % of the total emissions of greenhouse gases, both globally and in Sweden. Given the climate targets set out in the Paris agreement, the industry is facing a challenging future, requiring effective policies to aid the transition. Energy system optimisation models are commonly used for analysing the impact from different policies and for assessing the transition to a climate-neutral energy system. In the past, the primary focus of the models has been on the stationary energy sector, and less on the industry. This thesis work, therefore, aims to improve energy system optimisation models as a tool for decision support and policy analysis about the industry. An improved modelling structure of the industry sector is developed and a wide range of future technology options that can support the transition to a climate-neutral industry is identified. The improved model is then applied in different scenario analysis, assessing how the Swedish industry can meet net-zero CO2-emission under resource limitations.

The methodology applied is energy system analysis with a focus on the process of modelling, an iterative process of i) model conceptualisation, ii) model computation and iii) model result interpretation. Two different models for the evaluation of the Swedish industry are developed and used; a TIMES based model (cost-minimisation) and a small linear optimisation model (resource optimisation).

An outcome from developing the model structure was that the following important aspects need to be represented in the model to capture the transition to a climate-neutral industry sector; i) synergies between different types of industrial processes, ii) setup of process chains based on important tradeable materials, iii) detailed technology representation. When identifying and analysing future technologies, it was concluded that there are plenty of technology options for Swedish industry to become fossil-free. Technology options were identified that enable all studied site categories (representing approximately 92 % of the CO2 emissions from Swedish industry in 2015) to reach net-zero CO2-emissions via either electrification (direct electric heating or via power to gas) or biofuels usage. CCS options were implemented for iron and steel industry, chemical industry, cement- and limestone industry and aluminium industry, and for most of the industrial energy conversion technologies. Although technology options for deep reductions in CO2 emissions exist, many of them require further development to enable full-scale implementation, as concluded in paper III.

The scenario analysis performed in paper I and paper II gives insights into key resources and technologies enabling the industry to reach net-zero CO2 emissions. About resources, biomass is seemingly the most cost-efficient option for reaching ambitious climate targets, e.g. according to the findings in paper II biomass is consistently preferred over electrified alternatives. However, the availability of biomass is limited, and increased electrification of technologies is unavoidable to achieve sustainable use of it (as seen in paper I and paper II). Finally, there is not one key enabling technology but rather key groups of enabling technologies that create cross-technology synergies, providing different benefits depending on resource availability and the overall needs of the system in different scenarios.


Erik Sandberg

Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap
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Andrea Toffolo

Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap
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Anna Krook-Riekkola

Luleå tekniska universitet; Samhällsvetenskap; Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap
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Åsa Lindman

Luleå tekniska universitet; Samhällsvetenskap
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Isabela Butnar

UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources
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