Industrial energy efficiency offers huge potential, says UNIDO

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The potential for energy efficiency in the industrial sector is substantial, according to Li Yong, director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
 
In an article for the Global Sustain Yearbook 2017, Li said that widespread adoption of energy efficiency measures could reduce energy use in the industrial sector by more than 25%.
 
Today, the sector accounts for almost 40% of the world's total energy consumption and industry's demand for energy is expected to increase further over the next two decades, at a rate of 1.3% annually. Industry is also the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for nearly one third of total global emissions.
Industrial energy efficiency doesn't just reduce overall energy consumption -- thereby reducing many countries' dependence on energy imports -- and decrease pollution. It also encourages development and creates jobs, Li explained.
 
Within industrial organisations, Energy Management Systems (EMS) have emerged as a proven best practice methodology to ensure sustainable energy efficiency and continually improve industrial performance, he said.
 
An EMS is a series of processes that enable people at all levels of an organisation to use data to maintain and improve energy performance, while enhancing operational efficiencies, decreasing energy intensity and reducing environmental impacts.
 
"For companies in developing countries that are new to it, energy management can yield energy savings of 5-15% in the first one to two years of implementation," Li wrote. "EMS are so effective in achieving significant and sustainable reductions in energy consumption that many governments require large energy end users to implement them. Most countries in Europe have already made energy management central to their energy efficiency programmes."
 
Li went on to highlight the sort of policies and mechanisms that governments can introduce to promote the adoption of energy management, such as:
 
- Mandatory minimum energy performance standards for industrial equipment
 
- Support for green manufacturing, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) innovation competitions, and incubators and accelerators for innovation
 
- Making the most of Big Data and the Internet of Things to drive productivity and innovation
 
"Industrial companies and innovative entrepreneurs working in collaboration with the UNIDO industrial energy efficiency programme have experienced multiple benefits beyond pure energy cost savings, including increased productivity and competitiveness, reduced exposure to volatile energy prices and greater operational reliability," Li concluded.
 
Find out how AVReporter Energy Management Software supports energy efficiency programmes. CLICK HERE.
 
UNIDO for industrial energy efficiency
 

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