Optimizing the integration of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and flexibility solutions in a multi-network pharmaceutical industry

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Francesco Ghionda
Alessandro Sartori
Zijie Liu
Md Shahriar Mahbub
Francesco Pilati
Matteo Brunelli
Diego Viesi


In the contemporary landscape, roughly one-fourth of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions stem from industrial energy usage. In the industrial sector, improving the efficient and flexible coupling among different energy demands (electricity, heating, and cooling) and exploiting the integration of Renewable Energy Sources (RESs) and waste heat can lead to a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions, these are also the goals of the EU founded Horizon Europe FLEXIndustries project.

This study aims to establish a cost-optimized decarbonization strategy for an energy-intensive industry, focusing on an Italian pharmaceutical company. It delves into the exploration of potential pathways and diverse energy mix configurations. The approach undertaken involves coupling a customized energy system simulation framework, specifically designed for the industrial site, with a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MOEA). The study, conducted with a focus on the year 2024, involves a comparative analysis of three distinct scenarios. Within the intricate and challenging constraints of the industrial demo site, 13 technologies were investigated. The outcomes of each scenario identify a set of 500 Pareto optimal solutions, obtained through 40,000 simulations. These results shed light on the compelling potential of hybrid solutions, showcasing the feasibility of achieving substantial decarbonization with only moderate increases in costs. The availability of land for RES technologies, along with the existence of a biomass supply chain in the region, emerge as pivotal determinants.

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How to Cite
Ghionda, F., Sartori, A., Liu, Z., Mahbub, M. S., Pilati, F., Brunelli, M., & Viesi, D. (2024). Optimizing the integration of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and flexibility solutions in a multi-network pharmaceutical industry. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 41, 87–107. https://doi.org/10.54337/ijsepm.8167


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