Decarbonisation Technology - November 2022

construction permits, emission control systems with filter media, waste disposal, and more all contribute to operational costs for fossil fuel systems and tip the scales in favour of electric. Some companies may not be feeling the full extent of the carbon policies to date due to extensive free allocations that are offered to prevent carbon drift. While these allocations do provide a safety net for emission- intensive facilities, they are designed to give

Figure 3 DirectConnect MV steam generator

fired heating is replaced or decoupled from the process, additional heat energy would need to be sourced using other technologies, presenting yet another opportunity for DirectConnect MV steam generators and process heaters. Cost efficiency While the value of electric resistance technology is apparent in many ways, an often-quoted challenge to its adoption is the cost of electricity compared to conventional fuels. While electricity is typically a more expensive energy source, this is only one aspect of operational costs and myopic when factoring in true cost of ownership. This is especially true when considering the cost of carbon globally. In regions that have existing legislation, whether it be a fixed carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, the cost of emissions is only getting more expensive. In Europe, for example, pricing through the EU-ETS has been on a steady rise for years, with prices easily pushing beyond 80 USD/tCO 2 . To put that into perspective, this would cost over 37k USD for every 1 MMBTU of boiler capacity per year. Assuming an average electricity rate of 0.08 USD/kWh, this would offset almost 470,000 kWh of electricity costs per year for every 1 MMBTU of burner size. In other parts of the world that are not as far along in their carbon policies, the cost of emissions is still present. Facility air permits,

companies enough time to find better solutions to decarbonise their processes before facing substantial penalties while being aware that their coverage reduces year over year to meet global emission targets. This falling ceiling will become more obvious to facilities over the next few years. Those companies that see where the industry is headed and are beginning to plan their sustainability journeys now will be in a much better position once the allocations dry up altogether. With companies across the globe developing and executing their sustainability strategies, there are a lot of factors to consider, but it is important to acknowledge that technology is changing to adapt to current challenges. In this way, the advances made in electric resistance technology are continuing to expand to meet the needs of a changing industry. When evaluating the versatility of this technology as well as its true cost of ownership, it is apparent that the energy sector, and oil and gas in particular, can make significant decarbonisation gains utilising the latest in electric resistance heating systems to replace conventional fossil fuel-based combustion systems.

James Lewis


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