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Transitioning or tinkering at a net-zero economy? Introducing an assessment framework for industrial cluster decarbonisation in the United Kingdom

Ogwumike, Chris; Akponeware, Anderson; Oyewole, Adepeju; Dawood, Huda; Pinedo-Cuenca, Ruben; Ling-Chin, Janie; Roskilly, Anthony Paul; Dawood, Nashwan


Chris Ogwumike

Anderson Akponeware

Adepeju Oyewole

Huda Dawood

Ruben Pinedo-Cuenca

Nashwan Dawood


Decarbonising industrial clusters globally is crucial in combating climate change and is integral to the United Kingdom's ambition of achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. The absence of holistic frameworks that provide a nuanced understanding of the broad spectrum of mitigation options for decarbonising industrial clusters, coupled with a deficiency in real-world empirical evaluations, present a substantial barrier in realising set targets for reducing CO2 emissions. The increasing fragmentations in industrial decarbonisation frameworks further exacerbates the challenge of identifying the necessary and sufficient actions for achieving optimal industrial decarbonisation and net-zero transitioning. This paper proposes an assessment framework for industrial cluster decarbonisation and aims to address the existing gaps, particularly in the assessment of social, economic, and environmental impact of any deployed technology. Focusing on a wide range of technologies, sectoral strategies, and regional dynamics, the proposed framework is driven by specific key performance indicators and a comprehensive human and data-driven analytical approach that reflects descriptive, diagnostic, and prescriptive insights on the Teesside industrial cluster in the United Kingdom. Following the validation of the proposed assessment framework, empirical findings from 30 in-depth semi-structured interviews, two workshops, focus group meetings and the literature on industrial decarbonisation reveal that the framework recognises the complex interplay of technology and decision-making in the transition to net-zero of industrial clusters. The article concludes that the proposed assessment framework can assist stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers in assessing the impacts of energy transition, which is critical to policy design and decision-making while also contributing to achieving sustainable decarbonisation goals.


Ogwumike, C., Akponeware, A., Oyewole, A., Dawood, H., Pinedo-Cuenca, R., Ling-Chin, J., …Dawood, N. (2024). Transitioning or tinkering at a net-zero economy? Introducing an assessment framework for industrial cluster decarbonisation in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 110, Article 103459.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 31, 2024
Online Publication Date Feb 9, 2024
Publication Date 2024-04
Deposit Date Mar 12, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2024
Journal Energy Research & Social Science
Print ISSN 2214-6296
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 110
Article Number 103459
Public URL


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