Materials are the building blocks of society

Materials are the building blocks of society, making up the infrastructure, equipment and goods that enable people and businesses to go about their daily routines. Energy is critical to the production of materials. As the global economy and population grow, so does demand for materials, increasing the importance of understanding which technologies and strategies can support the sustainable manufacture, use and disposal of these indispensable commodities.

Key findings

Industry direct CO2 emissions in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030


Direct industrial CO2 emissions declined modestly in 2018, but need to fall faster

Direct industrial CO2 emissions, including process emissions, declined 0.6% to 8.5 GtCO2 in 2018 (24% of global emissions), similar to the trend of relatively flat emissions in the past several years. The modest decline occurred largely in non-energy-intensive industries. To align with the SDS, industry emissions must fall by 1.2% annually to 7.4 GtCO2 by 2030 – despite expected industrial production growth. Greater energy efficiency, the uptake of renewable fuels, and research and deployment of low-carbon process routes including CCS are all critical. Governments can accelerate progress by providing innovation funding and adopting mandatory CO2 emissions reduction and energy efficiency policies.
Our work

The IETS TCP focuses on energy use in a broad range of industry sectors with significant potential for emissions and cost savings. The IETS TCP work programme ranges from aspects relating to development of processes and energy technologies, to overall system analysis and energy efficiency in industry sectors.

Through multi-disciplinary international collaborative research and knowledge exchange, as well as market and policy recommendations, the SHC TCP works to increase the deployment rate of solar heating and cooling systems by breaking down the technical and non-technical barriers to increase deployment.

The SolarPACES TCP supports collaboration to advance development and deployment of concentrating solar thermal technologies. From a system perspective, concentrating solar power (CSP) offers significant advantages. With built-in thermal storage, CSP can improve the flexibility and stability of power systems, provide dispatchable electricity and help integrating more variable renewables.