One of the biggest issues facing the industry is how to integrate environmentally green concepts without going bankrupt in the process. Beyond Zero Emissions (GBE), took in this task, since it realised that changing the way industry thinks requires incentive, and incentive to a capitalistic sector comes in only one form; money. The only ways to integrate environmentally friendly zero emission processes is if they provide profit to the company.

In their latest report, titled, “Electrifying Industry” GBE took the focus on the manufacturing industry that produces life-enriching products made from various materials. The production process requires heat to melt metals, form plastics and design glass and ceramics. The energy and heat required to fabricate various products is enormous and the industry, especially in Australia,  produces 42 million tons of carbon dioxide per annum, which is comparable to the CO2 emissions of the entire car fleet.

According to the report, GBE shows us that renewable energy solutions would eliminate 8% of all Australian CO2 emissions as well as revive the manufacturing sector. GBE goes on to show that they can prove that the conversion from fossil fuels to electricity is cost-efficient and beneficial, and a former chief scientist Alan Finkel termed “almost magical efficiency of electricity when applied to real-world tasks.”

Here are a number of viable solutions provided by GBE.

Heat pumps

This technology produces a more efficient thermal energy, several times better than fossil fuels, and provide anywhere from 300% to 700% savings in energy consumption. These heat pumps generate water or steam up to 160°C, which makes them a perfect substitute to centralised oil or gas boiler systems.

Electrical induction

EI is used modern stoves. This technology can melt metals, as well as be used for heat treatment purposes. A standard EI system will be 50% more efficient than any gas burning furnace, for melting a ton of aluminium.

Microwave

The microwave is a perfect solution for the brick-making industry, and brick makers could double their production capacity when automating their brick making process together with microwave emitters.

Electrolysis

Steel manufacturing can be made with Hydrogen, and this is a proven emission-free process. This is actually one area that Australia could lead the world. A rich iron ore industry that would become the globally cheapest zero emission steel fabricator.

Installation and maintenance

Essentially, the ROI on installing an efficient electricity-based system will be recovered within 2 years, according to BGE, and the maintenance costs are much cheaper than those of fossil fuel systems.

Energy source prices

While solar and wind-powered energy, sources start to deliver cheaper electricity, the prices of electricity start to compete heavily with the oil and gas industry. Efficient solar arrays can be placed on industrial rooves, and connecting entire industrial sectors to large solar arrays in Australia is not as hard as many consider. Producing your own electricity as well as connecting to private farms is a perfect way to reduce overheads significantly while going down to zero emission levels.

Renewable energy sources

Liberty One-Steel is a leader in this sector and has already built their own renewable power stations, which provides electricity that costs them a minuscule fraction of the previous energy costs.

The Australian dilemma

GBE claims that with all these initiatives, Australia is still far behind other countries and we cannot allow or afford to let the overseas competitors beat us at this double profitable process. It’s true that you can take the horse to the trough, but you cannot make it drink. Well, the horses of the industry will need to drink fast before they find out that the rest of the world has dried the trough.

We need to electrify Australia today and remain a viable industry that can compete with the rest of the world, as well reduce our energy costs to become more profitable, reduce product prices, and lead to a zero-emission society.