The centres are joining the Transitioning Industrial Clusters towards Net Zero initiative which builds cross-industry and cross-cluster partnerships to better implement low-carbon technologies.
Four industrial clusters in the Netherlands, Belgium and the US will work with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to help accelerate the reduction of their carbon emissions.
The clusters announced at WEF’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that they would take part in the Transitioning Industrial Clusters towards Net Zero initiative.
The World Economic Forum is collaborating with Accenture and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on the project, launched at Cop26 in November 2021. It aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industrial sectors, while maximising job creation and economic competitiveness.
Industrial clusters are geographic regions where industrial companies are concentrated, making them an attractive target for impactful emissions reduction strategies. Since industrial assets are located in close proximity to each other, sharing of infrastructure (such as CO2 and hydrogen pipelines or renewable energy assets), financial and operational risks, and natural and human resources becomes possible.
The clusters joining the initiative are:
Brightlands Circular Space, Brightlands Circular Space together with Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Chemelot and the Chemelot Circular Hub in Geleen, Netherlands It will help accelerate the energy transition and circular economy.
H2Houston Hub, formed through the Centre for Houston’s Future and encompassing more than 100 organisations and companies. It will leverage the Houston area’s position as the US’s largest hydrogen producer and consumer, and use innovation and scale to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen and emissions.
“Sharing infrastructure, maximising synergies and expanding use of circularity principles across industries will be critical in reducing emissions”
Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance, with approximately 100 corporate, governmental and community organisation members, will lead the region’s campaign to establish a clean hydrogen hub in the state of Ohio and the Ohio River Valley.
Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Europe’s second-largest port. It will drive the circular economy and energy transition.
The approach focuses on building cross-industry and cross-cluster partnerships to better implement low-carbon technologies – as in the case of the regionally developed Basque Hydrogen Corridor – and on accessing public funding frameworks and blended-finance options for clusters’ decarbonisation projects.
Under the initiative, WEF seeks to connect private and public stakeholders to assess how to meet individual and collective decarbonisation goals, as well as foster new enabling policies and provides guidance and support for local community engagement.
This also provides opportunities to deploy and scale new green technologies, such as hydrogen and the capture, utilisation, and storage of carbon for industrial applications, enabling a systemic approach to emissions reduction.
These four large industrial emissions centres, involving oil and gas extraction and processing, shipping, heavy-duty transportation, chemicals and other sectors, currently account for CO2 emissions of 296 million metric tonnes per year – greater than the annual emissions of Poland. They employ more than 470,000 people and represent an annual gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of $135bn.
“Sharing infrastructure, maximising synergies and expanding use of circularity principles across industries will be critical in reducing emissions, while maintaining industrial competitiveness and creating opportunities for employment in these industrial heartlands,” said Melissa Stark, a managing director and global lead for renewables and energy transition services, Accenture.
“We are keen to help rapidly expand this programme and urge industrial clusters in those regions committed to net zero to join us.