Defossilisation of the industrial sector - A techno-economic bottom-up approach to determining CO₂ abatement costs

Research output: Contribution to book/conference proceedings/anthology/reportConference contributionContributedpeer-review


This paper presents an approach to determining carbon dioxide (CO₂ ) abatement cost curves for industries based on techno-economic data and input-output analyses of conventional and low-carbon industrial production systems. Therefore, it outlines the determination of the fabrication costs and CO₂ intensities of products by means of the example goods primary steel, methanol, and ammonia. By bringing together future marginal abatement costs of CO₂ emissions from several industries, comparing the differences in specific production costs and CO₂ intensities of the conventional means of production and the low-carbon alternative, a marginal abatement cost curve can be constructed to derive potential transformation paths for the industrial sector and facilitate the adoption of low-carbon technologies. Moreover, marginal abatement cost curves constitute a tool to derive future CO₂ prices in a cap-and-trade system on the basis of fundamental data. The results show that even when incorporating learning curves of low-carbon technologies, none of the low-carbon production systems examined is likely to become cost-competitive with the conventional means without considering a CO₂ price. Moreover, the results suggest that, regardless of the scenario and year under investigation, the abatement costs of ammonia production are the lowest among the goods considered, and methanol entails the highest abatement costs of CO₂ emissions, while the abatement costs of primary steel are between those of ammonia and methanol. The method presented can be expanded to the industrial production of other goods. Further research could derive a merit order curve for the industrial sector to propose defossilisation paths under a diminishing sectoral CO₂ budget over time.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 18th International Conference on the European Energy Market (EEM)
PublisherIEEE Xplore
Number of pages12
ISBN (electronic)978-1-6654-0896-7
ISBN (print)978-1-6654-0897-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

SeriesInternational Conference on the European Energy Market, EEM


Title18th International Conference on the European Energy Market
Abbreviated titleEEM 2022
Conference number18
Duration13 - 15 September 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85141155107
Mendeley 42707343-d664-3593-a228-821ea366bc38
ORCID /0000-0002-0660-3908/work/142239984
ORCID /0000-0001-7170-3596/work/142241635



  • CO2 intensity, Electrification, Industrial production costs, Low-carbon production, Marginal abatement cost curves