The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its “Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap” a comprehensive report identifying four key pathways to reduce industrial emissions in American manufacturing, on September 7th. The roadmap emphasizes the urgency of dramatically cutting carbon emissions and pollution from the industrial sector and presents a staged research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) agenda for industry and government. DOE also announced a $104 million funding opportunity to advance industrial decarbonization technologies. These announcements are in addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($62 billion) and the Inflation Reduction Act ($10 billion for clean energy manufacturing tax credits and $5.8 billion for industrial facilities). It also seeks to increase the protection of fenceline communities with new monitoring and screening near industrial facilities.

The industrial sector is among the most difficult to decarbonize. In 2021, the industrial sector accounted for one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions, more than the annual emissions of 631 million gasoline-fueled passenger vehicles. DOE’s Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap focuses on five energy-intensive sectors where industrial decarbonization efforts can have the greatest impact. The roadmap outlines a plan with four pathways to reduce emissions across these sectors. These key sectors, iron and steel; cement and concrete; food and beverage; chemical manufacturing; and petroleum refining account for over 50% of the energy-related CO2 emissions in the industrial sector. The four pathways include:

  • Energy efficiency: The most cost-effective option for near-term reductions of greenhouse gas emissions includes smart manufacturing and advanced data analytics to increase energy productivity in manufacturing processes.
  • Industrial electrification: Leveraging advancements in low-carbon electricity from both grid and onsite renewable generation sources will be critical to decarbonization efforts. Examples include electrification of process heat using induction or heat pumps.
  • Low carbon fuels, feedstocks, and energy sources (LCFFES): LCFFES efforts involve substituting low-and no-carbon fuel and feedstocks, including using green hydrogen, biofuels, and bio feedstocks.
  • Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS): CCUS decarbonization efforts include permanent geologic storage as well as developing processes to use captured CO2 to manufacture new materials.Energy efficiency: The most cost-effective option for near-term reductions of greenhouse gas emission includes smart manufacturing and advanced data analytics to increase energy productivity in manufacturing processes.

The roadmap also provides recommendations for RD&D investment opportunities and near- and long-term actions the industry and the government can take to achieve deep decarbonization, including:

  • Advance early-stage RD&D: Further applied science necessary for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Invest in multiple process strategies: Continue parallel pathways of electrification, efficiency, low carbon fuels, CCUS, and alternative approaches.
  • Scale through demonstrations: Support demonstration testbeds to accelerate and de-risk deployment.
  • Address process heating: Most industrial emissions come from fuel combustion for heat.
  • Integrate solutions: Focus on systems impact of carbon reduction technologies on the supply chain.
  • Conduct modeling/systems analyses: Expand the use of lifecycles and techno-economic analyses.

Concept papers are due by 5:00pm ET on October 12, 2022; full applications are due December 20, 2022, by 5:00pm ET. To apply to this FOA, applicants must register with and submit application materials through EERE Exchange.

The full DOE roadmap can be read here.