RTC Responds to DOE’s Industrial Decarbonization Request for Information

Last week, the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) submitted a response to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office’s Request for Information, providing information about how renewable thermal technologies can enable emissions reductions in the industrial sector that will be critical to achieving the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. It is imperative to start technology development, demonstration, and deployment now to maximize emissions reductions as quickly as possible. A wide range of renewable technologies will be needed to address industrial energy users’ various thermal needs, including biomass, biogas (including landfill gas), renewable natural gas (RNG or biomethane), geothermal, beneficial electrification, green hydrogen, and solar thermal. The RTC is already assessing these renewable technologies through its activities and recent reports. A 2021 report made to the RTC, Electrifying U.S. Industry: A Technology- and Process-Based Approach to Decarbonization, analyzes the current state of industrial electrification needs, the technologies available, and the electrification potential for thirteen industrial subsectors. A state-level industrial electrification report will be released this spring. The RTC previously completed six case studies on the industrial application of biomass, biogas, renewable natural gas, waste-to-energy, and geothermal. These case studies examined the ability of these technologies to reduce emissions across a range of sectors—from food and consumer goods to automotive and manufacturing. The RTC also prepared a Solar Thermal Technology Assessment, that considers solar thermal’s technical potential to meet industrial needs as well as the market, technical, and policy barriers that impact deployment. This Technology Assessment confirmed that solar thermal technologies and systems can meet a significant percentage of industrial heat requirements, making solar thermal an important decarbonization solution. Finally, the RTC is in the process of developing a green hydrogen technology assessment that will analyze the potential of green hydrogen in the short-term (by 2030) and the long-term (2050), identify major technical, market, and policy barriers, risks and unintended consequences on climate, sustainable forest and land management, freshwater, and biodiversity, as well as implications for local communities, related workforce, and people with disabilities, and provide recommendations for large corporate and institutional buyers. To learn more about the RTC and its work, contact Blaine Collison at Blaine@dgardiner.com.