Using energy more efficiently brings benefits on several fronts: it makes the energy go further, curbs emissions of carbon dioxide and saves money.
The International Energy Agency estimates that energy efficiency measures can deliver half of the cuts in emissions that are needed over the next 25 years to slow global warming, compared with business-as-usual. These facts emerge from a survey, “Trends in global energy efficiency 2011”, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit as part of a global overview of trends in energy efficiency published by ABB.
The survey aims to raise awareness about the importance of using energy more efficiently and the opportunities that exist for industry and power utilities. The report, based on a global survey of about 350 senior executives, says industrial companies and power utilities are among the biggest users of energy and are therefore among the most sensitive to the need to be efficient.
The global data shows substantial improvements in energy efficiency in energy-intensive industries, including power generation, over the last 20 years. The spread of efficient processes and technologies are responsible for these energy productivity gains. Significant potential for using energy more efficiently still exists, particularly in emerging economies.
In the Energy Efficiency report on South Africa, the voluntary Energy Efficiency Accord is highlighted as the main measure to promote energy savings in the industry sector. The accord was signed by the Minister of Energy and Minerals along with the CEOs of 24 major energy users and seven industrial associations.
As a member of the Energy Efficiency Accord, ABB South Africa has won an eta Award for energy savings at its Longmeadow, Johannesburg, head office, manufacturing and logistics centre. The building integrates ABB’s energy-efficient technologies and systems as well as green building features.
ABB approached energy efficiency in a holistic way at its Longmeadow building. Its integrated, intelligent building system controls — for instance, all lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) in the building — dramatically reduce electricity consumption. Through its extensive power and automation technologies ABB has shaved energy significantly in many industry and commercial sectors from marine propulsion systems, desalination plants and mining to new buildings in megacities throughout the world.
ABB has invested in companies working in power solutions for energy-intensive data centres, electrical vehicle charging infrastructures, smart grid communications, wave power generation, cyber security for utilities and wind farm efficiency.
This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as an advertorial feature