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IDRIC Policy Team
Electrification is among the critical routes to industrial decarbonisation. For many processes, sites and sectors electrification represents the most effective route, while for others it may even constitute the only feasible route at present.
While industrial electrification may seem like a straightforward option due to the ubiquity of electricity supply, industrial sites looking to switch from fossil fuels to electricity face numerous financial and non-financial barriers to investment in electricity technologies for their operations.
In February 2023, a dedicated IDRIC Policy Roundtable brought together 30 experts from industry, academia and governments in Birmingham to discuss what is holding back industrial electrification and what policy action is needed to ensure all industrial sites and sectors can decarbonise in time to meet the UK’s net zero targets while maintaining industrial competitiveness.
The discussion covered financial as well as non-financial barriers and highlighted the importance of policy clarity and ability for managing risks when making investment decisions at the scale needed, in the timescales necessary for Net Zero.
Potential solutions discussed included measures to reduce electricity costs for energy intensive industries (arising from wholesale prices, indirect policy and network costs), Capex support, measures to reward demand flexibility while ensuring certainty of supply, support for R&D, market creation and prevention of carbon leakage.
Furthermore, the discussion stressed the urgent need to invest in, and speed up planning and consenting processes for, expansion and capacity improvements to critical grid infrastructure. Finally, the potential for place-based approaches and cross-sector collaboration were explored, which highlighted the particular role of electrification as a critical route to decarbonisation for remote and dispersed industrial sites.
For further information, please contact the IDRIC Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.