Almost a third of the energy consumed globally is concentrated in the industrial sector. A very high value that, with the current levels of awareness and environmental demand, presents a huge scope for improvements in terms of energy efficiency: promoting a paradigm shift, the conquest of a more sustainable world that respects the environment.
In the industrial sector we can find a world of infrastructures, practices and elements that can be improved. We must therefore focus on energy efficiency in industry.
For this third of global energy consumption to be more efficient and greener, there is a single concept that sums up all the necessary changes: innovation.
The correct application of all technological advances in all parts of the process can represent an advantage, it is an added value so that, little by little and from industry to industry, there is a progressive change with repercussions on the common good.
What do we mean by energy efficiency and why is it necessary?
Energy efficiency is the attempt to use less energy without sacrificing human daily activities.
In other words, it is the realization of an efficient saving of the energy we consume on a daily basis. Energy efficiency is the “art” of optimizing the energy consumption that occurs in the different business processes within a company.
The implementation of systems and methodologies that allow measuring and optimizing energy efficiency, manage to reduce this consumption, providing two differentiating values.
Differential value compared to competing companies.
Society is undergoing a significant shift in awareness of environmental protection. Not only is a quality product or service required, but also that it is developed with sustainable processes that do not directly influence environmental degradation.
More and more companies embrace this cause and associate their brand image with this concept of sustainability, in which the reduction of energy consumption and their certifications play a fundamental role.
Measuring and reducing consumption and therefore costs.
Energy is a cost that affects all products, services and businesses without exception.
Specifically in industry, energy costs are very high, in some cases reaching the level of personnel, suppliers and raw materials, so investing in reducing energy consumption is undoubtedly profitable and necessary to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Read also » 5 Reasons to invest in Industrial Automation
Keys to energy efficiency in industry
1. Energy as a service: guaranteed savings and decarbonisation
The basis of all industrial energy efficiency measures is Energy as a service. It is a service-based energy business model.
That is, the product itself is not paid, but the customer pays a fixed monthly energy service that allows him to save while he is with the company and to offer him the best technologies.
2. Sustainable lighting with low consumption
By replacing the traditional lighting system with other efficient lighting measures, it is possible to reduce energy consumption in this field by 80%. Sometimes, when the measurements are reflected in the energy bill, no further arguments are needed.
We recommend that you start by considering LED technology as your first alternative, a lighting system with greater savings potential, combined with an automatic system that allows you to program routines and control lighting when not in use.
Combining the two options, the company will be able to drastically reduce the electricity bill and enter the energy transition, in fact, as indicated by the Paris Agreement, companies that do not reduce their CO2 emissions by 45% in 2030 will be penalized.
3. Change in energy sources
Renewable energy and specifically solar energy.
Investment in renewable energy by the industry considers different options, but at the end of the day, photovoltaics is the most accessible both economically and in terms of energy potential.
Therefore, achieving energy independence is the first step towards achieving energy efficiency in each sector, as it reduces the energy consumption of electricity companies, and when using renewable sources, it is possible to manage their own energy and reduce monthly bills.
4. First need: optimization of industrial processes
The main energy consumption of the industry is not due to lighting, as it occurs in a company in the tertiary sector. The highest energy consumption affects industrial, operational and production processes. The machinery needs a lot of electricity.
That’s why its optimization is essential to try to reduce this consumption as much as possible without decreasing the industry’s productivity level. Conclusion: obtain greater energy performance.
What are the advantages of energy efficiency in industry?
Bearing in mind the four keys to energy efficiency in industry, we can make a final review of what are their advantages:
- Increase in productivity: energy efficiency consists of maintaining productivity while reducing the energy consumed to carry out the same industrial processes. In fact, if executed correctly, the objective is that, with the improvement of the performance, the productivity increases, ending with the unnecessary expenses.
- Social commitment and corporate image: In addition to its introduction of the energy transition and the commitment to the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the corporate image gives great impetus to the business, as the customer increasingly values more sustainable companies.
- Continuing to compete in the market: a company that spends less on the electricity bill means that it can invest in production, increase staff, better technologies, etc., and thus become more competitive. But it is even more important to consider that, in order to continue to compete in the market, it is necessary to meet the UN’s CO2 emission reduction targets, avoiding financial penalties.
- Save time and money: energy efficiency also includes energy management that allows you to monitor all processes and solutions applied so that they reach their highest potential at all times and don’t waste money or time with delayed repairs or reduced efficiency.
Where is the future of Energy Efficiency going?
The future of energy efficiency depends on the technological trends that are already beginning to be applied in this field. For example, “IoT” technology is making it possible to design small devices that capture signals in the field, and at low cost through very efficient protocols, generating large volumes of data within what is called “Big Data“.
“Cloud Computing”, which has, among other things, the capacity for self-growth and self-provision of services, undoubtedly has a lot to contribute in this area. The trends and tools of “Business Analytics” or the introduction of “Machine Learning” algorithms that allow dynamic and continuous learning of business processes, based on patterns and correlations of historical data, thus allowing more accurate predictions and analysis of information and anticipated.
Another very interesting trend is called the “Digital Twin“. A Digital Twin is a virtual replica of an object or system. These virtual replicas are used to run simulations before changes to real objects are created and implemented, in order to gather data to predict how they will perform.
*This article was developed in partnership with Selectra.