Energy efficiency gained importance worldwide in the 1970s during the oil shock due to the issue of energy security.
What we have seen since then is a rapid increase in interest in energy efficiency throughout the world, whether in the context of large corporations, government agencies, or even day-to-day in domestic activities.
Today energy efficiency is considered one of the principal strategies in future energy scenarios for achieving the goal of reducing emissions of gases that cause global warming.
There is also an awareness that the efficient use of energy has great potential for growth in all consumer areas, and that the cleanest and cheapest energy is the energy that will never be needed.
See below for a number of reasons why you should invest in energy efficiency:
1. Reduction of costs
Whatever the activity you're involved in, the issues connected to the need for reducing costs are a priority. The efficient use of energy is a great ally for cost reduction, and contrary to what many people think does not depend exclusively on major investment in new solutions and technologies. In the majority of cases, the significant gains in energy efficiency result from simple actions connected to habits, that is, trying to do the same thing in a more efficient way.
A study by the consultancy ICF International indicates the existence of quite significant technical reduction potentials, for example:
- Food and drink industry, 26%
- Chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry, 25%
- Petroleum industry, 25%
- Steel industry, 24%
- Paper and cellulose industry, 19%
2. Reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases
Another important reason to seek the efficient use of energy is the health of our planet. Currently only 14% of the energy consumed in the world is from renewable sources, i.e., around 86% of what we consume originates from sources that generate greenhouse gases (oil and coal).
In this way, all efforts directed to the efficient use of energy therefore also reduce the generation of greenhouse gases, greatly assisting with the health of the planet and ourselves.
3. Reduction of investments in the generation and distribution of energy
On the other hand, when we can be more efficient in energy consumption, investments in generation and distribution are reduced. This virtuous cycle implies a fall in the cost of energy and provides service to a greater number of consumers without expanding the system.
4. Mitigation of consequences arising from fluctuations in energy prices
From the moment we manage to reduce the impact of energy bills on the total costs of the company, we are also less exposed to fluctuations in energy prices, and consequently financial planning becomes more predictable.
5. Survival of Corporations
If you are still not convinced of the importance of energy efficiency in your business, remember that the world is changing at a speed never seen before. For a corporation to survive and prosper in today's world, the efficient use of energy is fundamental and irreversible.
The same study quoted above by the ICF indicates the following actions as the two greatest opportunities for obtaining a gain in energy:
- The deployment of integrated control systems, that is, integrated networks where information from meters and sensors is used to adapt the process to optimized conditions, based on artificial intelligence, mathematics ("rules-based") and logical models of industrial process. A neural network is an example of an integrated control system.
- Distributed metering systems that are used to measure the amount of energy consumed by equipment, or parts of a process. These metering systems should be connected to a central control system, generate information and trends stored in a historian system.
From what we saw above the survival of a corporation is impossible in such a competitive world without due care regarding the use of energy, so we have to do our part and not delegate this task.