Energy efficiency and GHG emissions: prospective scenarios for the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry

This study analyses the savings potential of energy consumption and GHG emissions from cost-effective technological improvements in the chemical and petrochemical industry up to 2050. The analysis follows a bottom-up approach; that is, it is based on information at facility level of existing plants with their production characteristics, best available and innovative technologies. The analysis includes 26 basic chemical compounds that cover 75 % of the total energy use (including energy used as feedstock) and more than 90 % of GHG emissions of the chemical sector in 2013. The bottom-up approach includes an annual cost-effectiveness analysis of the uptake of best available and innovative technologies in each facility up to 2050. The projections and assumptions used are in accordance with the reference scenario of the European Commission. In absolute terms, from 2013-2050 the total energy consumption increases by 39.2 % and the GHG emissions' decrease by 14.7 %; these values include the effect (and depend on) a demand increase of 45.6 %. In 2050, without any technological improvement, the GHG emissions and energy consumption would be 36 % and 4 % higher, respectively. The minor effect of technological improvements on energy savings can be partly explained by the fact that 73.5 % of the total energy consumed in the manufacturing of the products covered in this study is incorporated in the final products, and most of new technologies have an impact on the direct energy use, but not on the non-energy use.