Multiple benefits of energy efficiency

Industry investing in energy efficiency generates up to 50 percent more added value on top of energy savings.

The IEA book ”Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency” dives deeper into the benefits of cleantech technologies contributing to industries and society. IEA has done a lot of work here: two years, four workshops and 300 specialists involved. Having been happy to be a part of this project, here are are my top three highlights.

Number 1 – ”Productivity gains generate 40 to 50 percent more added value on top of energy savings”. This is easy to believe based on my own experiences with our customers. With ABB energy saving tools it is easy to estimate savings through high efficiency motors and speed control. Multiple benefits (non-energy benefits) are harder to estimate – we have witnessed this a lot with customers highlighting these. IEA is now giving numbers and determining various additional benefits of energy efficiency.

Number 2 – ”Projects with an estimated payback of three to four years can actually have a one year payback period when other benefits are evaluated”. This is good news! We have learnt that in different industries payback times need to be very short in order for the investments to get approved. With an approach of multiple benefits it is easier to meet these tough targets.

Number 3 – ”Expand the scope of LCA (Lifecycle Cost Assessment) frameworks”. This idea is linked to our R&D agenda as well. When I started to work with Energy Efficiency (EE) research 10 years ago we had a very narrow focus – to have nice EE features in drives. Today, we have systems and EE is a part of optimal reliability and preventive maintenance – they all are indispensable components of EE. With services assessing further energy saving potential in your facility enables timely decision-making. With the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), it is becoming increasingly easy to connect industrial devices to the cloud. This enables significantly faster implementation of new, energy-efficient solutions.

What other benefits have you gained through energy efficiency?

Categories and Tags
About the author

Jukka Tolvanen

Born in 1969 in Joensuu, Finland, Jukka Tolvanen studied electrical engineering at the University of Technology in Helsinki, where he received his master's degree in 1996. Tolvanen joined ABB Drives as a trainee in 1993 and full time employee in 1996. He has had several managerial positions in R&D, sourcing, sales and product management and marketing. Currently Tolvanen enjoys his time studying energy efficiency full-time. Jukka blogs about energy efficiency related matters in English and in Finnish.
Comment on this article