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Global Futures Report 2013 - Industry

29 n Heat Storage Heat storage integrated with solar heating and cooling was also seen as a coming trend, including both daily and seasonal stor- age. Coupled with low-energy buildings and passive solar gains, heat storage allows much higher shares of renewables for heating. Experts pointed to new storage technologies like phase-change materials and chemical storage. Said one expert: “phase-change materials have more potential but will take longer to develop, so we could see more chemical storage … The main advantage of phase-change is that it is more compact, and could also be used for seasonal storage.” Thermal storage components can be integrated into new building designs or retrofitted in existing buildings.41 n Building-Integrated Solar PV A number of solar PV experts expressed the view that as solar PV reaches grid parity, building construction practices will make much greater use of so-called “building integrated” PV (BIPV). (See solar PV in Chapter 6 for more discussion of grid parity.) In 2010, an estimated 1.2 GW of the solar PV added was classified as building- integrated, or about 7% of the global solar PV market. The idea of BIPV encompasses several practices, first among them the use of solar PV-integrated building materials. Experts said that future BIPV roofing materials will evolve to higher efficiencies (to 14% from 8% today), increased reliability, and greater durability.42 One expert also pointed to the aesthetic issue of building-integrated PV, particularly for commercial buildings. “Solar PV will be seen as a cost of decoration, a cost of making buildings look good, like any other decorative façade material,” said this expert. Another expert envisioned that “solar glass” would become a com- mon form of architectural glass, commonly available in architectural glass catalogs and routinely specified by architects. Since architec- tural glass shipping costs are relatively high, the integration of BIPV into architectural glass would become a local practice throughout the world. That is, local building materials companies would buy thin-film PV and integrate it on a roll-to-roll basis into building materials. Other common BIPV practices anticipated by experts include solar PV as a standard option integrated into prefabricated homes, and built-in solar PV connections and wiring when homes are first built to reduce “balance of system” costs.43 Industry Integration of renewable energy into industry has been mostly limited to biomass heat and power in forest and food processing industries, using waste biomass residues. However, some industry experts claimed that industrial process heat applications were booming in other industries in some countries, citing Brazil and India. Experts in China also claimed that China was on the verge of a revolution in the use of renewable energy for industry.44 Much of industrial energy demand is for low-temperature heat, which can be supplied from renewable sources. Most low-tempera- ture heat is today produced from medium-temperature heat, lead- ing to losses. So substitution with renewables can save even more energy than the actual renewables input. Conventional solar ther- mal heating, biomass, and solar thermal power (CSP) will be three important sources of industrial process heat in the future, experts said. Solar thermal can supply low temperature heat, biomass can supply low- and medium-temperature heat, and CSP can supply heat at all levels but especially high-value, high-temperature heat.45 Many experts and scenarios note the potential for dedicated CSP plants coupled with industrial facilities, particularly water desalina- tion plants. Said one expert of renewables integrated with industry: “… there is a long road to build trust in the technology through ensuring reliability. This will be a learning process. There are many new projects now, but most are still experimental. There is a lot of research, but much of it is confidential and not public.”46 A report by UNIDO (2010), Renewable Energy in Industrial Applications: An Assessment of the 2050 Potential, was one of the first to comprehensively address the issue. The report notes that renewables play a relatively small role in industry today, but it finds that over 20% of all final energy use and feedstock in industry in 2050 could come from renewables. This includes contributions from biomass, solar thermal, and heat pumps by 2050 that together rep- resent almost half of today’s level of industrial energy use from all sources.47 The UNIDO report emphasizes future biomass use in energy-inten- sive industries such as pulp/paper, wood, cement, chemicals, and petrochemicals. The report projects that half of all solar thermal heat will be used in the food industry, with the remainder spread among other industries. The report also notes the potential for solar process cooling, primarily in the food and tobacco industries. The GEA (2012) “Efficiency” scenario echoes UNIDO’s projection, and shows a similar long-term share of at least 45% of manufacturing energy from renewables. The IEA WEO (2010) concludes that, “over- all, there is significant potential to increase the use of renewables in industry.”48 The chemical industry also sees the potential to integrate solid biomass and liquid biofuels as industrial feedstocks. For example, Dow Chemical said, “while oil and natural gas will continue to be the predominant chemical feedstocks for the foreseeable future, much of the organic chemistry practiced today can be achieved using ethanol, seed oils and other biological sources such as algae.” Huntsman noted: “the global push for renewable fuels is creating new sources of feedstocks for the chemical industry.… Increasingly, we believe our feedstocks for making differentiated chemicals will come from bio-based sources … [including] co-product glycerin from biodiesel manufacture, biodiesel itself, vegetable oils, and bio-ethanol. In addition, we are evaluating feedstocks from the agriculture industry to make new and novel bio-based products.”49 02

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