Financing and realising energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in industry

Efficiency & renewable energy potential

Our challenge: Fossil fuels dominate

Fossil fuels, including natural gas, coal, fuel oil and others, supply:

  • >85% of industrial process heating

Biomass is the only significant renewable source supplying process heating (about 10%). 

Are there economical industrial energy efficiency opportunities?


Yes, energy efficiency offers myriad opportunities for a significant return on investment!

If EU industry invested in all economic energy efficiency measures (<5 yr simple payback), the average savings potential (MTOE) compared with business as usual is:

  • 5% of industrial final energy consumption by 2030 and 10.3% by 2050. (4)


The table shows business as usual consumption through 2030 and two economic energy savings scenarios for the same period. Every industrial sector has promising opportunities!

SectorBAU consumption (MTOE/yr)Economic potential <2yr payback (MTOE)Economic potential <5yr payback (MTOE)
Pulp and paper 37.3 1.1 (2.9%) 1.4 (3.8%)
Chemical  66.4 2.6 (4%) 3.2 (4.9%)
Food & beverage 26.4 1.4 (5.2%) 1.7 (6.5%)
Machinery 19.8 2.0 (10.5%) 2.5 (13.3%)

 MTOE: Million tonnes of oil equivalent




Renewable energy potential

There is high economical and technical potential for renewable systems to supply industrial thermal processes.

The temperature requirements of the industrial process is an important consideration when determining which renewable systems are appropriate: 

  • Solar thermal with tracking systems can supply up to 250°C (3)
  • Biogas systems with steam boilers can provide heat recovery up to 380°C
  • Biomass systems can supply process heating up to 2000°C.


Impact summary

Energy efficiency and renewables together could supply 60% of industrial process heating energy. That is nearly the combined electricity consumption of France, Germany and Spain!(8) 


While fossil fuels dominate the supply of process heating energy in Europe today, the potential for economical energy efficiency is:

  • 8-10% industrial final energy consumption savings by 2050 (payback <5 yrs) 

  • 154-192 terawatt hour (TWh) energy savings (4)

And the renewable energy technical potential using state-of-the-art solar thermal, biogas, and biomass systems in industry is:

  • Up to 50% of total process heating energy3,7 


Advantages of efficiency and renewable investments


Is your company considering an energy efficiency or renewable energy project? These projects can contribute value, and reduce risks and costs by:

  • Enhancing process reliability

  • Improving energy security

  • Reducing energy and maintenance costs

  • Mitigated risks, such CO2 footprint reduction 

 Contact TrustEE for technical advise and refinancing options...









1. "Status of process heating in Europe: Sectors, processes, distribution, systems, and sources". 2017. TrustEE project report. 

2. "Conventional and process heat efficiency and sustainability (PHES) production: Technologies, system layouts, and renewable energy resources". 2017. TrustEE project report.

3. "Process heat collectors: State of the art and available medium temperature collectors". 2016. Horta, Pedro. Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, International Energy Agency.  

4. "Study on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving Potential in Industry and on Possible Policy Mechanisms". 1 December 2015. ICF International under contract to the European Commission DG Energy.

5. "Accelerating Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium Enterprises". 2015. International Energy Agency, Policy Pathway Series.

6. Definition of small and medium enterprises: European Commission

7. Potential for Solar Heat in Industrial Processes. Vannoni C. et. al. International Energy Agency Solar Heating & Cooling Programme Task 33 and SolarPACES Task IV. 2008. 

8. Wikipedia, List of countries by electricity consumption, accessed Feb 2018. Data based on the World Factbook.