Concern about the risk of climate change is growing. It requires action by governments, industry and consumers to reduce carbon emissions.
Countries worldwide continue to seek higher standards of living for their people and require greater amounts of energy. In developing countries with fast-paced economic growth, the need to improve standards of living is urgent, making the demand for energy even greater.
Electricity demand, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), will grow 76% by 2030. This requires the addition of nearly 5 000 gigawatts of new power plants.
A clear link has been established between energy efficiency and mitigating climate change. The 2010 World Energy Outlook, published by the IEA, shows that energy efficiency can deliver more than 70% of projected CO² emission reductions by 2020. The combination of energy-efficiency measures and renewable power generation could deliver almost 70% of the required emissions reduction over the next two decades.
Power and automation technology group ABB has identified energy efficiency and lowering negative impact on the environment as key drivers for its business. Its large portfolio of products and services helps customers in the utility and industry sectors to save energy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
ABB’s advanced control and optimisation of integrated systems, electrical power grids, buildings and industrial processes saves energy and reduces emissions. High-voltage direct current technology makes large savings through a more even distribution of loads and a more efficient use of primary resources. Smart grids could reduce CO² emissions by 0.9 gigatonnes to 2.2 gigatonnes a year by 2050, according to the IEA.
Electric motor applications consume two-thirds of the electricity industry and one-quarter of all the electricity used in the world. Drives, which reduce energy consumption, control less than 10% of the motors. ABB’s high-efficiency motors and variable-speed drives contribute to large emission reductions. ABB welcomes the European Union’s introduction of minimum efficiency levels for LV motors, as the new requirements are in line with ABB’s focus.
As about half of ABB’s own energy consumption comes from its buildings, the company has an objective to improve energy efficiency in buildings by 2.5% a year. During 2010, building energy-saving programmes were developed in ABB’s top 20 countries, representing more than 80% of ABB’s real estate.
In South Africa, ABB has an industrial energy-efficiency consulting business, which undertakes efficiency audits backed with supporting products, systems and service. ABB South Africa’s head office, manufacturing and logistics building at Longmeadow, Johannesburg, has won an eta award for its energy efficiency.
This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as an advertorial.