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Energy efficient process industries: Furthering Europe’s ambitious environmental targets

Greater energy efficiency in Europe’s process industries will not only contribute to the EU’s long-term competitiveness but will also play a prominent role in Europe’s quest to meet its highly ambitious environmental objectives.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies
Energy icon Energy

Over 450 000 enterprises and around 6.8 million jobs are dependent on Europe’s process industries, which range from chemicals, engineering, minerals and ore, non-ferrous metals, steel and water. Consequently, the process industries, which generate more than EUR 1.6 billion in annual turnover and represent 20 % of the EU’s total industrial production, are absolutely vital to Europe’s economy and long-term industrial competitiveness. However, these vital industries have had to face the key challenge of reducing their high dependency on resources. Although energy efficiency in industry across the EU has gradually improved (by an average of 1.8 % per year up until 2009), there is still much work that could and should be done to encourage the uptake of cleaner technologies, more efficient methods and better industrial procedures to reduce the industrial processing industries’ environmental impact. Achieving a better environmental footprint for the process industries is now even more pressing due to the EU’s target to cut its emissions to at least 40 % of 1990 levels as a part of its comprehensive 2030 climate and energy framework. On Friday 22 April 2016, the EU also formally signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (COP21) that was agreed in December last year, formally committing the Union to fully embracing the transition to a low-carbon economy and society. This CORDIS Results Pack showcases some of the EU-funded projects that have taken up the challenge of developing the novel methods and enabling technologies that will increase energy efficiency in industrial processes. Examples include the implementation of more sustainable and less-resource dependent manufacturing methods, the design and optimisation of new and accurate computational frameworks and software, and the cultivation of better international cooperation.