Companies and governments have made considerable progress in the past decade toward decarbonization. Recently, much of these efforts have focused on electricity, with significant strides made to drive energy efficiency and the adoption of renewables. Yet, as more countries and corporations set ambitious decarbonization targets and seek to rebuild after COVID-19, they must deploy a broader arsenal of solutions.
The next notable frontier will be the decarbonization of heat, often known as ‘green thermal’. This is where greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by adopting increasingly low-carbon sources. Given that industrial heat makes up two-thirds of industrial energy demand, decarbonization presents a huge opportunity. There are barriers that businesses must be aware of though.
A wide array of new low-emission technologies like hydrogen and biogas exist today, but few have been deployed broadly across industries. These limitations not only impact the cost of heat generated by these technologies but the difficulty and risks associated with their deployment.
While challenges vary by technology, centralized manufacturing, few installers, and limited technical expertise can make these technologies difficult to evaluate and implement.