Industry flexibility

While the industrial electricity demand has been modeled as baseload in the 3 main scenarios (Central, Electrification, Clean Molecules), this sensitivity introduces a possible investment in flexibility for some key industrial demands.

Where the annual production of intermediate and final products remains stable in all scenarios, the TIMES-Be model can invest in additional capacity for certain production units. Additional capacity comes at a cost, but allows to produce more during periods of low electricity prices (or costs) and less during periods of higher electricity prices. The optimizes for these investments and searches for the overall least system cost.

Following industrial sectors/processes, technically possible to provide flexibility, are included in this sensitivity analysis:

  • Chlorine production using the membrane cell process
  • Steel production
    • Electric arc furnaces
    • Molten iron electrolysis
  • Cupper production
  • Zinc production
  • Chemical sector: Electrical cracking furnaces 
Key messages
  • Allowing the TIMES-Be model to invest in additional capacity for some key electrified industry processes provides an additional form of flexibility by 2050.
  • New nuclear capacity need decreases with 2,5 GW in comparison with the Electrification scenario to a total capacity of 3,5 GW in 2050. The additional industrial flexibility decreases the need for controllable load in a more cost-effective way.
  • While the new nuclear capacity in 2050 is lower, the capacity of onshore and offshore wind is slightly higher. Largest difference however is the PV capacity. The PV capacity is 6,4 GW higher than the Electrification scenario and amounts to 45,9 GW in 2050.
  • The annual costs of this sensitivity scenario are more than 1 billion euro lower than the Electrification scenario. For a cost comparison, see the graph in our “Key conclusions”.

Power graphs

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