With the help of technology-resolved analyses, the NEFI_Lab decarbonisation scenarios provide impulses for where in the Austrian industrial landscape projects should be placed and what strategies and measures could be taken for the decarbonisation of the industrial energy system. Following scenario paths are examined:
The trend scenario “BAU” is characterised by an extensive extrapolation of current trends and technologies in the observation period until 2050. Subsequently, the development of CO₂ emissions and the total industrial energy demand per sector are derived from this.
The „POI“ scenario is the result of a closely coordinated dialog with representatives of leading companies in the industrial sub-sectors and maps a regularly updated self-assessment of industry up to the year 2030. With the help of “Best Available Technologies” and “Breakthrough Technologies” available in the short to medium term, this assessment is subsequently extrapolated to 2050. The industry perspective depicted in the “POI” scenario in comparison with the desired decarbonisation path (scenario “ZEM”) facilitates the identification and quantification of those techno-economic and regulatory obstacles that must be overcome to be able to implement the industrial energy transition in Austria.
The “ZEM” scenario represents comprehensive and ambitious measures, by which a complete decarbonisation of the industrial energy system is possible by 2050. With the help of “backcasting”, a possible transformation path for the Austrian industry is shown, whereby not only technological, but also socio-economic and infrastructural parameters are included.
The primary steel production presented in Figure 2 is an example of the scenario results arising from the close coordination with the industrial stakeholders. While in the “ZEM” scenario the traditional blast furnace route of the integrated steel work is gradually replaced by a direct reduction process based on hydrogen and electric arc furnaces, it is expected in the “POI” scenario, following intensive exchange with industrial stakeholders, that the energy infrastructure required for full operation with renewable hydrogen (H2) will not yet be fully available in 2050 with the framework conditions foreseeable today and will thus be reduced increasingly by methane (CH4).
In addition to identifying potential technology gaps, the results of the NEFI_Lab decarbonisation scenarios can help to map and evaluate the influence of technologies and techno-economic or regulatory framework conditions on the ideas and projects arising from the innovation process, thus making a further significant contribution along the path to decarbonisation of the Austrian industrial landscape.