TIMES model industry sector update

Scottish TIMES is a whole system energy model of Scotland. It models all key areas of the energy system, from generation, transportation and end use, and all key sectors of the economy. It is used by the Scottish Government as an analytical tool to support the development of climate change and energy-related policies and plans.

The industrial sector is a key sector within TIMES as many of its outputs are used by other modelled sectors and are therefore inherently linked. Inaccuracies in the industrial sector data could potentially have large implications for the rest of the model, under- or over-estimating costs and emissions.  

The aim of this project was to update and improve the current assumptions in Scottish TIMES relating to the industrial sector. The project reviewed and updated key data related to variables such as cost and process efficiency and checked them against the latest sector, industry, or academic research to ensure they are up to date and that they provide an accurate representation of the technologies and processes within the sector.

This, therefore, provides an accurate set of data on how much each sector contributes to Scottish greenhouse gas emissions, having reviewed the following sectors: carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS), hydrogen, biofuels, petroleum refining, chemicals, cement, food and drink, iron and steel, paper products, non-ferrous metals, non-metallic minerals and other industries.

The review has led to updating of a range of parameters such as capital and operating cost, process efficiency, expected operational life and technology availability date for the industrial processes across sectors where such data was available. This included data for new and emerging technologies such as CCUS and hydrogen, along with traditional industrial sectors such as oil refining and chemicals. As TIMES is a cost optimised model that selects the lowest cost technology option, updating these parameters could have significant implications on which technologies are selected and how they are operated under different decarbonisation scenarios.

The review also identified several new processes for inclusion, such as hydrogen above ground storage, and recommended the removal of others such as hydrogen salt cavern storage, as these are not available in Scotland. The review updated data for industrial processes that are common across a range of sectors, such as motor drive, low and high temperature heating, drying and refrigeration.