Industrial Sector Draws Half of World’s Energy – An Enormous Efficiency Opportunity By Reed Brown
The industrial sector represents approximately 50 percent of global energy consumption. That means there is a significant opportunity to save energy by making the sector more energy-efficient. But, there are also barriers making these efforts more challenging due to the nature of industrial work that need to be overcome, such as high temperature needs, high capital costs, and long lifetimes for equipment. Fortunately, the public and private sectors are both taking charge and are making progress on long-term goals of reducing energy consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as we learned in today’s panel on EE’s Role in Decarbonizing the Industrial Sector.
Within the federal government, programs and partnerships run by the ENERGY STAR program at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Advanced Manufacturing Office at the Department of Energy (DOE) are helping companies understand their respective energy consumption, set energy and carbon reduction goals, and facilitate information transfer about best practices among industry peers. Examples of these programs include the Better Plants initiative at DOE and the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, which have both helped companies achieve substantial savings.
Within the private sector, businesses also recognize the benefits of investing on energy efficiency and decarbonization. While a rise in corporate sustainability goals is certainly a driver behind these decisions to invest, the most important reason remains that it makes financial sense and positively impacts the bottom line. These investments not only save money, but can also improve competitiveness and brand reputation. Similarly, investors have also started to focus on decarbonization and have been active in encouraging businesses to set sustainability goals to reduce the potential risks associated with climate change.