Learn from Danish success stories by downloading the Energy Policy Toolkit on Energy Efficiency in Industries
Industrial energy efficiency is a clear-cut strategic topic, yet still resides in the periphery of governmental energy strategies. A shift of mind is required, away from words such as ‘costs’ and ‘quick fixes’ and towards a vocabulary of long-term value and a systematic approach to the investments.
The fact of the matter is that industries are massive consumers of energy. On a global scale, industrial energy consumption accounts for a fourth of all energy consumed, leaving massive potential to reap value through cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Coupled with the fact that the cheapest and most environmental-friendly form of energy is the one not used, it leaves room to seize significant gains through strategic, long-term planning.
The list of benefits is long. There is the environmental side of human health and resources, the macroeconomic factors such as job creation and economic growth as well as the microeconomic aspects of company bottom lines and competitiveness.
Despite this, energy efficiency still lacks strategic focus in many industries, which calls for governmental actions to initiative energy saving instruments. Process-wise, these instruments should be developed in collaboration with various stakeholders, including formulation of voluntary agreement schemes in close dialogue with industrial experts to understand new agendas, challenges and methods for integrating energy efficiency measures.
Use the carrot – and the stick
A new energy policy toolkit presents Danish success stories in disseminating energy efficiency measures in industries using a combination of measures with a carrot and stick approach to stimulate energy efficiency measures.
Acknowledging that analyses of energy efficiency in production processes and utility systems can be both time-consuming and complex, these analyses must therefore be carefully planned and certified energy management schemes, such as ISO50001, which can serve as foundation to systemise energy efficiency activities.
Furthermore, surveys and platforms for data sharing are essential to obtain information about energy savings potentials and can be used to prioritise activities. Concrete advice about solutions and energy savings measures can be facilitated through broad information campaigns as well as through efforts specifically targeted specifically towards specific companies.
Responsible authorities should also identify and encourage new methods and technologies regularly. These can be promoted though demonstration projects and the good example should be used to inspire and disseminate knowledge about energy efficiency measures.