Industrial energy transition: Optimization-based framework for sustainable design of utility systems

Julia Jimenez-Romero, PhD, University of Manchester
Changing the way in which industry generates and uses energy is one of the most effective but also most challenging ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. High-energy consumption, combined with heavy reliance on fossil fuels, has resulted in industry being one of the largest CO₂ emitters. Most process industries rely on utility systems to meet their heat and power requirements. If emissions are to be reduced and driven to zero, fundamental changes in the design and operation of such systems are required. Shifting to low-carbon source/technology is imperative, but to date, the efforts to do so are often siloed. Along with viable solutions, the energy transition requires a strategy to shift current systems to sustainable ones within legislative and financial constraints. This research project focuses on the development of an optimisation-based tool that incorporates multiple energy sources and technologies to provide cost-effective pathways and guidelines for economic and energy-efficient transition to low-carbon technologies and/or fuel switching in industrial utility systems.