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ECN publication
The MATTER project : integrated energy and materials systems engineering for GHG emission mitigation
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-4-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--01-017 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
179 Download PDF  

In industrialized regions like OECD Europe, today the production and processing of a limited number of bulk materials represents the lion?s share of industrial energy consumption and emis-sions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the sector. Most current studies of future options to reduce GHG emissions fail to encompass the options, limitations and interactions between commonly addressedenergy system changes and innovative ways to meet the future demands for material goods. Although approaches like Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Material Flow Analysis (MFA) are developed and applied with this very goal in mind, it is argued here that only a fully interlinked and dynamic systems approach, covering energy and material flows can reveal the merits of options like new material processes, substitution, recycling and re-use and changes in product design. To this end a new model is built, drawing upon widely adopted energy systems models like MARKAL, but integrating material flows and the specific challenges posed by the dynamics of materials and products. The resulting MATTER model draws upon a series of in-depth studies of key groups of materials (metals, organic chemicals and building materials) and product groups (packaging, buildings, road vehicles). These in-depth studies address current situation and trends and new possibilities and trends in a detailed way, accounting for the specific conditions and practices of the sectors involved. As such they provide valuable overviews in their own right. At the same time, more generalized and stylized information is extracted for specification of the MATTER model. Together, the sector studies and the overall integrated model analyses give complementary insights in longer-term prospects for GHG emission mitigation associated directly and indirectly with production, consumption and waste management of materials as induced by the demand for goods and services in OECD Europe in the next 50 years. The first analyses indicate good prospects for materials oriented policies, integrated with more common energy system adjustments, to reduce GHG emissions: costs to meet a given emission target can be significantly lowered if materials options are included in the assessment.

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