Load Shedding | Electrifying the production of heat - a game changer for reducing carbon emission

Discover our series of articles introduced by our members on loadshedding | Article #3 Manergy  

Electricity gets the bulk of the attention in clean-energy discourse, but half of global final energy consumption comes in the form not of electricity, but of heat. When it comes to reaching net zero emissions, heat is half the problem.

Roughly half of heat is used for space and water heating, which I have covered on other pods. The other half — a quarter of all energy humans use — is found in high-temperature industrial processes, everything from manufacturing dog food to making steel or cement.

The vast bulk of industrial heat today is provided by fossil fuels, usually natural gas, or specialized forms of coal. Conventional wisdom has had it that these sectors are “difficult to decarbonise” because alternatives are either more expensive or nowhere to be found.

A lot has changed in the last few years. Most notably, renewable energy has gotten extremely cheap, which makes it an attractive source of heat. However, it is variable, while industrial processes cannot afford to start and stop. Enter the thermal battery, a way to store clean and/or available electricity as heat until it is needed.

The link with the current load-shedding crisis in South Africa? Industries have the unique opportunity to think holistically to tackle simultaneously three issues:

#1 Secure the supply of power while progressively becoming green,


#2 Access 24/7 low carbon and hight temperature heat,


#3 Decarbonise their sites for the world to become carbon neutral by 2050.


Later will be too late … Ask ourselves the next best question now. 


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