Materials are the building blocks of society

Industry energy consumption represents almost 40% of current global total final consumption and is still dominated by fossil fuels, in particular coal. It is the second largest emitting sector after power generation. As the global economy and population grow, so does demand for materials and goods, increasing the importance of understanding which technologies and strategies can support the sustainable manufacture, use and disposal of indispensable commodities.

Key findings

Direct CO2 emissions from industry in the Net Zero Scenario, 2000-2030


Emissions continue to rise – more efforts are needed to reduce emissions intensity in order to get on track with the Net Zero Scenari

Industrial activity in 2021 was directly responsible for emitting 9.4 Gt of CO2, accounting for a quarter of global emissions (not including indirect emissions from electricity used for industrial processes). In the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, industrial emissions fall to about 7 Gt CO2 by 2030 – despite expected industrial production growth. Modest improvements have already been made in energy efficiency and in renewable energy uptake, and some positive policy and innovation steps have also been taken.

Progress is occurring far too slowly, however. Greater material and energy efficiency, more rapid uptake of renewable fuels, and faster development and deployment of low-carbon production processes – including carbon capture and storage and hydrogen – are all critical requirements. Governments can accelerate progress, including by reducing risks associated with developing new technologies and adopting mandatory CO2 emission reduction and energy efficiency policies.
Our work

The IETS TCP focuses on energy use in a broad range of industry sectors with significant potential for emissions and cost savings. The IETS TCP work programme ranges from aspects relating to development of processes and energy technologies, to overall system analysis and energy efficiency in industry sectors.

Through multi-disciplinary international collaborative research and knowledge exchange, as well as market and policy recommendations, the SHC TCP works to increase the deployment rate of solar heating and cooling systems by breaking down the technical and non-technical barriers to increase deployment.

The SolarPACES TCP supports collaboration to advance development and deployment of concentrating solar thermal technologies. From a system perspective, concentrating solar power (CSP) offers significant advantages. With built-in thermal storage, CSP can improve the flexibility and stability of power systems, provide dispatchable electricity and help integrating more variable renewables.