Technology Roadmap: Cement
Release Date: December 2009
Recognising the urgency of identifying technology to reduce the CO2 intensity of cement production, the IEA has worked together with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) to develop a technology roadmap for cement. This is currently the only industry-specific roadmap; others focus on specific technologies. This joint effort shows willingness to build on progress already made, as well as the industry’s understanding that further progress lies ahead.
CO2 emissions from cement production currently represent about 5% of anthropogenic global CO2 emissions. The cement roadmap outlines a possible transition path for the industry to make continued contributions towards a halving of global CO2 emissions by 2050. As part of this contribution, this roadmap estimates that the cement industry could reduce their emissions 18% from current levels by 2050. A reduction of global emissions does not imply a linear reduction by the same percentage in all industries. This roadmap should be understood as a deep analysis of potentials and challenges in one industry.
The vision for such reductions is ambitious, yet the changes required must be practical, realistic and achievable. This roadmap is a first step. It is only attainable with a supportive policy framework, and appropriate financial resources invested over the long term. The roadmap outlines these policies, estimates financial requirements, and describes technical changes, along with recommendations to support research and development (R&D) and future investment decision-making.
Four distinct ”reduction levers” are available to the cement sector to reduce CO2 emissions:
- Thermal and electric efficiency: deployment of existing state-of-the-art technologies in new cement plants, and retrofit of energy efficiency equipment where economically viable.
- Alternative fuels: use of less carbon-intensive fossil fuels and more alternative (fossil) fuels and biomass fuels in the cement production process.
- Clinker substitution: substituting carbon-intensive clinker, an intermediate in cement manufacture, with other, lower-carbon materials with cementitious properties.
- Carbon capture and storage (CCS): capturing and storing CO2 emissions from cement production.
Cement is a key material for building society’s infrastructure. Demand reduction and/or substitution are not realistic options given growth in developing countries, increasing urbanisation and climate change adaptation needs.
- Existing options to reduce emissions in the sector, while helpful, are not sufficient to counteract growth in demand. New products and technologies are needed, including CCS and new cement types.
- These new technologies will require a step change in RD&D efforts; the roadmap provides a vision for what is needed between today and 2050.
- CCS is a particularly important technology for the cement sector, required to deliver up to half of the emissions reductions needed by 2050. This will require advancement of demonstration projects in the cement sector over the next decade, to learn in parallel with other sectors how to best apply CCS technology at the necessary scale.
- The high cost of reducing CO2 emissions in the sector will require markets with long-term stability and resultant confidence in the pricing of CO2 by those markets.
- International collaboration and public-private partnerships must be encouraged to help speed up research, design, development and deployment of necessary new technologies.
References for the analysis in this report can be found here: Cement Roadmap - References
- Technology Roadmap: Cement – Chinese (report | foldout)
- Technology Roadmap: Cement – English (report | foldout)
- Technology Roadmap: Cement in India (report)
- Tracking Industrial Efficiency and CO2 Emissions (2007)
- Chemical and Petrochemical Sector (2009)
- All Technology roadmaps
- Energy Technology Perspectives 2012
- Energy Technology Perspectives 2014
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development – Cement Sustainability Initiative