NEFI Industry Dialogue Sessions – Direct interviews to design the szenario development of NEFI

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by Oxana Schmidt

In the past quarter, rounds of interviews were held with representatives from various industrial sectors on the overall picture of the industrial energy system in Austria. The results of the individual interviews show first approaches for the decarbonisation of industry “Made in Austria”.

In the framework of the NEFI Scenario Workshop two rounds of the NEFI Industry Dialogue Sessions have been held over the past months. The COVID-19 measures resulted in a new and meanwhile successful model for the implementation of the Industry Scenario Workshop, whereby future technology options for the respective industrial sector were discussed with participants from the various industrial companies via video conference. The results of the NEFI Industry Dialogue Sessions are integrated in the scenario development at NEFI. Based on these scenarios the decarbonisation of industry „Made in Austria“ is highlighted, presenting the measures that need to be taken to achieve full decarbonisation of the industry.

In terms of content, the talks focused on a status quo survey of the process landscape and the decarbonisation and integration of renewable energies in the company locations. As a result, future developments in the form of new technologies and energy-efficient processes were discussed and potential for optimisation identified. Particularly exciting is the fact that these cross-sectoral discussions revealed a trend towards hydrogen and increased electrification. This was followed by questions about supply and security of supply with H2 and electricity from renewables. The qualitative approach of the interview rounds provided extremely positive feedback from the interviewees.

The interim results show that industry expectations and assessments overlap with the objectives of NEFI-New Energy for Industry. These concern, for example, the formation of a strong network to enable direct exchange on achieving climate targets and to generate research projects in these areas. The third round of the NEFI Industry Dialogue Sessions was held during August, with a focus on the industrial sectors vehicle construction, wood processing, and textile production.

All participants* in the NEFI Industry Dialogue Sessions will be invited to a joint workshop after the one-on-one interviews, which is expected to take place towards the end of this year. There the results of the individual talks will be presented and discussed together. The aim of this workshop is to enable an exchange of ideas not only within the sector but also across sectors for all industry participants.