Renewables for industryProject Renewable Energy for Process Heat Opportunity Study
This report provides an overview of the Renewable Energy for Process Heat Opportunity Study project.
The A2EP & Climate-KIC Renewable Energy for Process Heat Opportunity Study commenced in February 2019 and was completed in May 2020. The recipients of ARENA funding for this project were Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity Limited (A2EP) and Climate-KIC Australia Limited. The project partners were Sustainability Victoria and Office of Environment and Heritage NSW (OEH NSW). ARENA provided $428,956 in funding towards the total project value of $851,269.
Process heating accounts for the largest share of fossil fuel use in Australian manufacturing1 and historically, alternative renewable process heat technologies have been commercially uncompetitive. During the course of the Renewable Energy for Process Heat Opportunity Study 10 pre-feasibility and four full feasibility studies were undertaken. These studies evaluated the technical and commercial feasibility of applying renewable energy, or electric technologies supplied by renewable energy, to displace fossil-fuelled process heating in manufacturing.
The Opportunity Study established that renewably powered alternatives to fossil-fuelled process heating are technically feasible and close to, if not actually, commercially viable, particularly if businesses are willing to accept paybacks of 4+ years or existing equipment is at its end of life and requires replacement. Greenfield sites are expected to be more commercially attractive.
Before this program commenced there was little understanding in Australian industry of the potential of renewably powered process heating solutions. However, the strong response to the second round of the program, which commenced in late 2019, and other feedback received, indicates Australian industry is increasingly aware of and interested in exploring the potential of renewable alternatives to fossil-fuelled process heating. The primary drivers of uptake are likely to be a business’s desire to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, with improving energy security and productivity also major considerations.