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10 actions for improving industrial energy efficiency while reducing costs and emissions

December 4, 2022  By Anthony Capkun



December 4, 2022 – “The industrial energy efficiency playbook”—a new report from ABB’s Energy Efficiency Movement—shows that improving industrial energy efficiency “is the fastest and most effective way for a company to reduce its energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions”.

“Energy efficiency is a win-win for companies and the climate,” said Kevin Lane, International Energy Agency (IEA), adding that it stands out as the “business-focused opportunity with the best near-term prospects for emission reductions.”

“The 10 actions contained in this report are known cost-effective resources, and can be employed at scale rapidly to help companies convert climate ambition into action,” Lane added.

The 10 actions that businesses can adopt to improve their energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and lower emissions are:

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1. Audit operations for energy efficiency
2. Right-size industrial assets and processes
3. Bring connectivity to physical assets
4. Install high-efficiency motors
5. Use variable speed drives
6. Electrify industrial fleets
7. Use efficient, well-maintained heat exchangers
8. Switch gas boilers to heat pumps
9. Deploy smart building management systems
10. Move data to the cloud

The report’s contributors’ recommendations range from carrying out energy audits to right-sizing industrial machines that are often too big for the job at hand, which wastes energy. Moving data from onsite servers into the cloud could help save around 90% of the energy consumed by IT systems.

Further actions involve installing sensors and real-time digital energy monitoring to reveal the presence of “ghost assets”. Using smart building solutions to control power systems, lighting, blinds and heating, and HVAC will also save energy in industrial facilities.

“If the more than 300 million industrial electric motor-driven systems currently in operation were replaced with optimized, high-efficiency motors, global electricity consumption could be reduced by up to 10%,” write the authors.

“There are energy efficiency solutions available that can help industry mitigate climate change and drive down energy costs, without compromising performance and productivity,” said Tarak Mehta, president, ABB’s Motion business. “So, rather than turning the lights off and halting production to save money, this important new report explains practical steps executives can take to reduce energy use and their bills while maintaining current operations.”

“This list is by no means exhaustive and should be viewed as an inventory of short- and medium-term opportunities for industry, as well as an invitation to discuss and document the solutions, use cases and best practices in energy efficiency,” continue the authors. “Readers are invited to engage with #energyefficiencymovement to share their energy challenges and discuss ideas and lessons learned.”

DOWNLOAD REPORT (PDF) – ABB 10 actions industrial energy efficiency Playbook

The Energy Efficiency Movement, explains ABB, is a global forum of nearly 200 organizations sharing best practices to create “a more energy-efficient world”.


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