ABB says high-efficiency motors and drives will reduce global electricity consumption by 10%

ABB energy efficiency imageAccording to the International Energy Agency (IEA), industries use 37% of the global energy, and some 30% is consumed by buildings

Electric motors and the variable speed drives, which optimise their operation, are embedded in almost every environment that has been built. They power a vast range of applications- from industrial pumps, fans and conveyors for manufacturing; to propulsion systems for transportation, and compressors for electrical appliances, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of buildings. 

Motor and drive technologies have seen rapid growth and advancement in the past decade, with the addition of some innovative designs that deliver remarkable energy efficiencies. However, a significant number of industrial electric motor-driven systems in operation today, consume much more power than required, resulting in wastage of energy. 

The independent research estimates say, that if these systems are replaced with optimised, high-efficiency equipment, it would reduce global electricity consumption by 10% and the total greenhouse gas emissions by 40%- which could be a major step in meeting the 2040 climate goals established by the Paris Agreement.

Morten Wierod, president ABB Motion said, “Industrial energy efficiency, more than any other challenge, has the single greatest capacity for combatting the climate emergency. It is essentially the world’s invisible climate solution.” “For ABB, sustainability is a key part of our company purpose and of the value that we create for all of our stakeholders. By far the biggest impact we can have in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is through our leading technologies, which reduce energy use in industry, buildings and transport,” he added.

Considerable steps have already been taken to support the uptake of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. ABB believes it is time for an industrial technology that will deliver even greater benefits for the environment, and the global economy. 

“The importance of transitioning industries and infrastructure to these highly energy efficient drives and motors to play their part in a more sustainable society cannot be overstated,” continued Morten Wierod. “With 45% of the world’s electricity used to power electric motors in buildings and industrial applications, investment in upgrading them will yield outsized rewards in terms of efficiency,” he further added. 

ABB frequently assesses the net impact of its own installed high efficiency motors and drives on global energy efficiency. In 2020, it enabled 198 terawatt-hours of electricity savings, which is more than half of the UK’s annual consumption. By 2023, it is estimated that ABB motors and drives will enable customers globally to save an additional 78 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, almost as much as the annual consumption of Belgium, Finland or the Philippines, and more than the total annual consumption of Chile. 

Regulatory policies are among the main drivers of industrial investment in energy efficiency around the globe. While the European Union will be implementing its Ecodesign Regulation (EU 2019/1781) this year, which sets out stringent new requirements for an expanding range of energy efficient motors, many countries are yet to take action. 

According to ABB, all stakeholders have a critical role if the target is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, for example, public decision makers and government regulators need to incentivise their rapid adoption; businesses, cities, and countries need to be aware of both the cost savings and environmental advantages, and be willing to make the investment; and investors need to reallocate capital towards companies, which are better prepared to address the climate risk. 

“While our role at ABB is to always provide the most efficient technologies, products and services to our customers, and continue to innovate for ever greater efficiency, that in itself is not enough. All stakeholders need to work together to bring about a holistic transformation in how we use energy. By acting and innovating together, we can keep critical services up and running while saving energy and combatting climate change,” concluded Morten Wierod.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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