Conserving energy in industry

The implementation of simple, straightforward energy-saving measures is highly effective, and these measures usually have short payback periods. To make such efforts sustainable, pre-requisites include training personnel in energy-conservation techniques, keeping management well-informed about these programmes and establishing energy-auditing procedures. The designation of energy managers in the major energy-consuming industries should also be part of this strategy.

The first step in the energy-conservation process is an energy audit, since planning and accurate measurements are the key to successful energy management. Energy audits generate easy-to-implement, low-cost improvements that often pay for the audit immediately, increase awareness of conservation opportunities and form a basis for informed action. It is recommended that auditing programmes be initiated or strengthened to attain these benefits.

Heat recovery from industrial processes is an excellent energy-conservation practice. Recognizing that heavy losses are incurred in process industries owing to throttling flows from pumps and compressors, it is recommended that variable-speed drives be used in lieu of throttling, wherever possible. Payback periods for such substitutions have been demonstrated to be very short.

It is recommended that co-generation - the joint production of heat and power for industrial and community needs using various fuels (including biomass) - be promoted and utilized as an effective technology to improve energy efficiency. Typically, losses can be reduced from 60 to 20% by co-generation, compared with a conventional condensing cycle. It is further recommended that, through appropriate legislation, co-generation be given economically viable conditions for power exchange with the public utility.

The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), representing business investors, financial institutions and corporations promotes 10 principles of environmental management to its corporate members. The fourth principle states: "We will conserve energy and improve the energy efficiency of our internal operations and of the goods and services we sell. We will make every effort to use environmentally safe and sustainable energy sources."
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 15: Life on Land