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Energy-efficient industrial clusters

In our work with industrial clusters, our goal is to make energy consumption more efficient in areas where multiple companies are in the same place.

At SINTEF, we work closely with existing industrial clusters in order to facilitate a greater number of and more efficient industrial clusters. The goal is that the co-location of these clusters can contribute to a better use of excess energy, thereby enabling companies to operate in a way that is both more energy efficient and profitable.

Each industrial process experiences loss in the form of excess energy that cannot be used in the core process. This is mainly heat, which is normally released into the air but could instead be used to meet another energy need in the same company or in another company in the same area. Our aim is to further develop existing industrial clusters as well as work with potential future clusters that consist of a combination of companies that will facilitate the best possible utilisation of resources.

Through the research centre FME HighEFF, we work closely with, for example, Mo Industrial Park, which is home to several energy-intensive industries, such as Elkem, Celsa, etc. Excess heat from these industries is used for district heating in Mo i Rana.

Studying established industrial clusters is important for multiple reasons

An important aspect of this work is the further development of existing clusters in order to achieve an even better use of resources and improved profitability, as well as create more jobs. However, it can be at least equally important to study successfully established clusters in order to learn what works as well as which challenges have arisen over time, be they technological, legal or formal. This work can be used as a basis for new energy-efficient industrial clusters to succeed in other places.

We work with the following topics:

  • Interactions between actors who have excess energy and who have unmet energy needs
  • Energy mapping of industrial processes and industrial clusters
  • Energy storage
  • Technological development of concepts and solutions for the increased use of excess energy, such as heat, gas and pressure
  • Skills development for business activities within all relevant areas for the use of excess energy

Our typical projects include:

  • Providing guidance to industries, clusters and the public sector on ways to reduce specific energy use
  • Testing and developing concepts and technologies for increased energy efficiency and value creation, including theoretical studies and practical experiments (from concept to pilot)
  • Implementing skills development projects for future challenges and problems

Who do we do this for?

  • The public sector
  • Industrial actors (national and international) within the various sectors that have significant energy needs as well as the potential for energy savings:
    • Energy, oil and gas
    • The metal industry
    • The food industry
    • Data processing centres

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