Saturday, 4 January 2014

Intelligent manufacturing: Targeting better energy efficiency

As policy makers, business and society tackle the complex challenges around climate change, industry is increasingly coming under the spotlight. Manufacturing activities account for around one-third of the world’s total final energy demand; as populations continue expanding and living standards continue rising, industrial demand for energy is set to grow further. Targeting better industrial energy efficiency—first and foremost the efficiency of the manufacturing processes at the core of industry—is the most effective lever available to curb industrial energy consumption.

The main findings of the research are:

Industry executives say better energy efficiency is critical to their businesses and will be critical in the coming two decades.

Growing numbers of companies are seeing energy efficiency as a key part of their efforts to promote sustainability.

More and more firms are investing in efficient lighting, heating, and air conditioning—but the proportion investing in efficient plant and equipment remains static.

Although barriers to investment in energy efficiency remain, they appear to be lifting for some companies.

Industry is embracing better practices around energy management.

Regulatory pressure on industry will further intensify in the coming years.

Innovations in process design and execution will also promote better energy efficiency in the future.

The key to improved energy efficiency will increasingly lie in software rather than in hardware.

Download the full report