Energy efficiency in industry and utilities

Securing a competitive advantage

Industry accounts for around one-third of the world’s energy demand; this continues to grow as the world has seven billion people and increasing living standards. At the same time, many countries face a future of constraints from restricted access to energy to increased environmental regulations.

Efforts to measure, manage, and continuously improve energy efficiency save cash in the short term. In the longer term, such efforts enhance competitiveness, foster innovation, and pave the way for companies to meet environmental and other sustainability commitments. In other words, investments in improving industrial energy efficiency are critical not only for short-term profitability, but for long-term financial performance as well.

Although renewable energy continues to gain ground, thermal power plants will remain a key part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future. In 2009, the world’s average energy efficiency at thermal power plants was 35 percent. If the world’s most energy intensive countries improved their energy efficiency to 45 percent, global fossil fuel consumption for power generation could be reduced by up to 30 percent.

ABB has a number of technologies to improve energy efficiency in both supply and demand side – from generation, transmission and distribution to discrete and process automation.

Did you know?

  • The installed base of ABB drives alone saved more than 220 million megawatt-hours of electricity in 2009, equal to the annual power consumption of 54 million EU households.

Case studies

Grosskraftwerk Mannheim AG (GKM), Germany

GKM installed two ABB medium-voltage drives and a Resibloc dry-type transformer to control two boiler feed pumps at its 1,675 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant at Mannheim, Germany. Pump energy consumption was cut by 25 percent, increasing revenues by $800,000 a year. In addition, the solution reduced annual CO2 emissions by 10,200 metric tons.

Power Grid Company, Bangladesh

ABB installed FACTS technologies in eight substations owned by the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh, reducing electrical losses by 34 MW. The cost of achieving those savings was less than 15 percent of the investment needed to build a conventional fossil-fuel power plant with a similar power capacity, producing a payback time of just 18 months.

Cementos Cruz Azul, Mexico

A Mexican cement plant is saving 5,300 MWh of electricity and $260,000 annually since replacing the existing damper fan control of two fixed-speed fans with ABB drives. In addition, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 2,650 metric tons per year and the investment has had a payback time of about six months.

ArcelorMittal, France

An industrial energy efficiency appraisal conducted by ABB at ArcelorMittal’s steel mill in France identified 53 energy-saving opportunities yielding annual savings of about $13.9 million. Gas savings were estimated to be as much as $8.3 million and electricity savings as much as $6 million per year. “We are very pleased with the results, as ABB has defined very clearly where energy can be saved and how to achieve it. The work is really appreciated: it is better than just an audit” - Jeroen van Lishout, energy manager, ArcelorMittal, Europe.

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