Planet – Energy consumption
Optimising energy mix, minimising carbon footprint
*Figures based on purchased energy vectors for energy use expressed in primary energy
A significant proportion of the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry is energy intensive. High energy needs are intrinsic to the products made by the companies in the sector. Energy is thus a major contributor to production costs, and optimising energy efficiency remains a priority for companies.
The main energy sources used by the industry are electricity (57%) and natural gas (36%), with steam accounting for another 5% of purchased energy. The use of petroleum as fuel (1%) has virtually ceased and coal has been phased out completely. The chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry has also invested heavily in combined heat and power installations and now accounts for 40% (about 1000 MWe) of total electrical cogeneration capacity in Belgium.
Energy efficiency improvements have been achieved thanks to the introduction of more integrated production processes, involving exchanges of steam. This not only happens on site, but also between companies.