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Europe Could Cut Emissions 60% by Electrifying Fossil-Intensive Industries

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Europe could reduce emissions in its transport, buildings, and electrical sectors 60% by 2050 by converting fossil-intensive industries to run on electricity, according to a report earlier this month by Norwegian utility Statkraft and power management company Eaton Corporation.

“The report adds to the focus on industrial heating as a source of pollution damaging the atmosphere,” and “draws attention to lesser-noticed parts of the economy whose carbon dioxide output are a big part of the global total,” Bloomberg reports. “It suggests that reaching net-zero emissions that European Union leaders are targeting will be impossible without overhauling the way cement and steel are made.”

Bloomberg says those same industries are considering replacing coal with hydrogen, “both as a fuel and for their chemical processes.”

The net result of the transition will be a 75% increase in electricity demand through 2050, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated. “Policy-makers will have to support the reinforcement and extension of the grid to handle higher power volumes and more renewables, and the deployment of batteries and other sources of flexibility to balance the system,” said BNEF Head of Analysis Albert Cheung.

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