Roadmap for zero carbon
The Kaya equation
Reducing energy and carbon intensity
Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption are growing at four different rates:
the evolution of the world population
the evolution of world GDP per capita
the evolution of energy intensity (ratio of energy consumption to GDP)
the evolution of the carbon intensity of energy
If we want to give every human being the opportunity to achieve a standard of living equivalent to that of the most developed countries, the Kaya equation encourages us to work on the energy intensity (the E-factor) and the carbon intensity of the energy (the C-factor).
“Minimum achievable energy”
All transformation needs energy. Therefore, it is not possible to reduce the energy intensity to zero. For each activity there is a minimum E-factor. What we at Dametis call the “Minimum Achievable Energy” (MAE) : to achieve it, we virtualise your factories and define the ideal virtual factory, activity by activity.
“Globally, from 1990 to 2017, energy intensity fell by about 35%, from 0.190 to 0.123 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per thousand US dollars (purchasing power parity), with large geographical disparities. Thanks to technological progress, there is still plenty of room for improvement”.
The economy at the service of the environment
As a reminder, the environmental cost of a finished product depends on the energy required for the transformation – an aspect which Dametis works on – but also on the raw materials used and the entire life cycle. We believe that the economy must serve the environment, and it is this environmental economy that must lead suppliers and other stakeholders in the value chain to offer decarbonised solutions.
“There are many possible combinations of the four components of the Kaya identity… but the two technology-driven factors, energy and carbon intensity, are going to have to take the lead role.”
For the environmental impact of an industrial site to be zero, one of the factors must be equal to zero. Only the carbon intensity (factor C) can be reduced to zero. This reduction can be achieved by the decentralisation of energy production, the development of renewable energies and the growth of information systems that enable the balance of this new energy system. This involves significant investment and depends on the regulatory frameworks in each country.
Reducing carbon intensity only makes sense when energy intensity has been optimised to the maximum: there is no point in designing an energy system on the basis of consumption that has to be reduced.
Five steps to shaping the zero-carbon energy factory
The Lego theory
Comparing any factory that goes zero-carbon energy – it’s possible. A plant and its utilities and processes can be broken down into blocks that can be standardised and compared with those of other plants. Each block (producer and/or consumer) is modelled and assigned an energy efficiency score relative to an equivalent virtual ideal block.
Put another way : if we gave two children a set of Lego, they would not be likely to build the same thing. However, the basic “bricks” used are the same. The same logic applies to industry : no two factories are exactly the same, but they are all composed of elements that we find from one factory to another. These elements, which we call “blocks”, can be modelled and are comparable.
To establish a complete mapping, the blocks can be divided into sub-blocks, and so on. Each block is comparable to the ideal virtual block. This methodology makes it possible to standardise the scoring of energy and environmental performance.
Example : A motor used for pumping water can be modelled and compared when it is used in plant A to circulate cooling water, and in plant B when it is used to clean machines with hot water.