In brief

In brief

  • This paper explores the need for action in delivering Europe's industrial decarbonization, and the associated value to be unlocked.
  • “Industrials” goes beyond “heavy industry”. Our broader perspective accounts for both providers and consumers of energy and fossil stock.
  • Done right and at the proper time we should be able to generate >€200bn a year by 2030 through European industrial decarbonization.

Generating over €200bn yearly by 2030 through European industrial decarbonization

A new research study from Accenture, “Energizing Industry – Generating >€200bn a year by 2030 through European industrial decarbonization” explores how European industrials—companies from the utilities, chemicals, cement, metals and energy sectors—can best support the urgent need to limit global warming during the 21st century to 2° Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

Successfully navigating the current energy transition from fossil-fuels to clean, renewable energy—will require concerted and cooperative efforts on the part of companies, regulators, governments and investors. To examine the implications of the energy transition for European industrials and to better understand progress to date, Accenture Research constructed a study group of 30 companies across the relevant sectors. We conducted analyses of patents and investments, and of press and broader documentation using natural language processing.

We also developed a comprehensive modeling exercise to identify the value to be unlocked by pursuing decarbonization, and the optimal value-generating pathway by industry, along with our recommendations.

Our research and analysis found that massive value can be unlocked through decarbonizing the heavy industries in Europe. Despite the uncertainty about future prices for CO2 emissions and green electricity, we determined that the annual net value of industrial decarbonization is set to more than double between 2020 and 2030, stabilizing between 2030 and 2040 (based on current technology landscape, although we expect continued technological innovation to further expand growth).

Industrial decarbonization in Europe is a significant opportunity for both energy producers and energy consumers. The question of how industrials can seize upon this opportunity should be an item at the top of the CEO agenda. As our research demonstrates, there has never been more public support nor more urgency for an energy transition. The time to act is now.

We would like to thank Accenture's Karin Walczyk, Evan Roberts, Daniel Handschuh, Philipp Sommerhuber, Christian Knoll and Peter Clements for their contributions to this publication.

Götz Erhardt

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Resources, Europe

Björn Bernhardt

Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Energy, Europe

Matt Hammond

Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Europe

Lasse Kari

Senior Principal – Accenture Research, Energy


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