ECCT shows path to ‘Industrial En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency’

The Euro­pean Cham­ber of Com­merce Tai­wan’s Low Car­bon Ini­tia­tive has a well- es­tab­lished rep­u­ta­tion and ex­cel­lent re­la­tions with a num­ber of gov­ern­ment min­istries, aca­demic and other prom­i­nent in­sti­tu­tions

The China Post - - SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT - BY DIM­ITRI BRUYAS Sup­ple­ment Writer

In a few months, world lead­ers will as­sem­ble in Paris — as they did pre­vi­ously in Copen­hagen, Ky­oto and many other cities — for the 21st ses­sion of the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC). With 196 par­tic­i­pat­ing par­ties, the UNFCCC has near uni­ver­sal membership like its par­ent treaty, the 1997 Ky­oto Pro­to­col, which was rat­i­fied by 192 par­tic­i­pants. The ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive of both treaties is to sta­bi­lize green­house gas con­cen­tra­tions in the at­mos­phere at a level that will pre­vent danger­ous hu­man in­ter­fer­ence with the cli­mate sys­tem.

In light of this chal­lenge, Tai­wan should con­tinue to im­prove its en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies and prac­tices in­stead of wait­ing for other coun­tries to show us the way. By walk­ing its talk on re­new­able en­ergy, low car­bon is­sues and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, Tai­wan could be­come a coun­try oth­ers want to fol­low, a the­ory put for­ward by the ex­cel­lent re­port re­leased last month by the Euro­pean Cham­ber of Com­merce Tai­wan (ECCT, 歐洲在台商務協會).

“The Path to Industrial En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency in Tai­wan — Part­ner­ing with the EU” (提升台灣產業能源效率─與歐盟攜手共進), which is part of the cham­ber’s Low Car­bon Ini­tia­tive (LCI, 低碳倡議), pro­vides an over­view of global en­ergy and cli­mate facts and trends, as well as a sum­mary of poli­cies and prac­tices in Tai­wan and the Euro­pean Union and of­fers some of the best so­lu­tions to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in the in­dus­try from ten of the cham­ber’s mem­bers — ABB, At­las Copco, BASF, Bosch, Evonik, Grund­fos, Sch­nei­der, Siemens, STMi­cro­elec­tron­ics and TÜV Rhein­land.

Largest Con­sumer of Elec­tric­ity in Tai­wan

The sub­ject for the re­port was cho­sen be­cause in­dus­try is the largest con­sumer of elec­tric­ity in Tai­wan and there is great po­ten­tial to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in the industrial sec­tor in the short-, mid- and long-term.

“Our LCI mem­bers have a lot to of­fer Tai­wan in the drive to­wards a low car­bon fu­ture,” ECCT Vice Chair­man Giuseppe Izzo said, adding that “adopt­ing the so­lu­tions de­vel­oped by LCI mem­bers would sub­stan­tially in­crease en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in in­dus­try.”

Be­sides the en­vi­ron­men­tal benefits, Izzo re­marked that th­ese so­lu­tions would also help com­pa­nies to “re­duce costs over the medium to long term.” Adopt­ing them would help Tai­wan to be­come “greener, more sus­tain­able, more com­pet­i­tive and more prof­itable,” he con­tin­ued.

Among other high­lights, the re­port points out that there is great po­ten­tial to re­al­ize sig­nif­i­cant en­ergy sav­ings in Tai­wan’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, which would trans­late into less pri­mary en­ergy use and there­fore a re­duc­tion in en­ergy im­ports and CO2 emis­sions. In this re­spect, the doc­u­ment shows how in­te­grat­ing en­ergy man­age­ment into a com­pany’s busi­ness strat­egy can re­duce costs and thereby en­able com­pa­nies to in­crease mar­gins and com­petive­ness.

More­over, en­ergy saved by in­dus­try helps to en­hance eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence while boost­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, and is the least costly of all mea­sures to re­duce pol­lu­tion and com­bat cli­mate change since it does not re­quire a change in living stan­dards, way of life or industrial struc­ture. It sim­ply con­sists of ap­ply­ing bet­ter tech­nolo­gies to ex­ist­ing pat­terns of pro­duc­tion, trans­porta­tion, hous­ing or elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion.

De­spite such great po­ten­tial, the re­port also shows that there are stum­bling blocks to over­come be­fore re­al­iz­ing greater en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. Tai­wan’s rel­a­tively low en­ergy prices, lack of com­pre­hen­sive en­ergy and cli­mate poli­cies and the lack of at­trac­tive in­cen­tives are the ma­jor rea­sons that in­dus­tries have not taken ac­tion to en­hance their en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

Ac­cord­ing to the ECCT vice chair­man, low en­ergy prices make the re­turn on the in­vest­ment cy­cle rather long and thus act as a “dis­in­cen­tive” for in­vest­ments in ad­vanced en­ergy ef­fi­ciency tech­nolo­gies as in­vest­ments are usu­ally only de­cided based upon their im­me­di­ate benefits and dis­re­gard life cy­cle costs over the medium and long term. In ad­di­tion, he re­marks that there is a lack of aware­ness among small- and medium-sized com­pa­nies of the benefits of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in Tai­wan.

Re­duc­ing En­ergy Con­sump­tion,

In­creas­ing Eco­nomic Growth

While Tai­wan re­lies heav­ily on im­ported en­ergy, the re­port fur­ther em­pha­sizes that there has to date been lit­tle fo­cus on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. For years, to­tal en­ergy con­sump­tion in Tai­wan has had a per­sis­tently pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion with gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP). This is in con­trast to coun­tries such as the United King­dom, Ja­pan and Ger­many, which have achieved low growth or even de­clines in en­ergy con­sump­tion while achiev­ing pos­i­tive eco­nomic growth.

With this ob­ser­va­tion in mind, Izzo noted that EU mem­ber states, as well as com­pa­nies, have re­mained global lead­ers in tack­ling cli­mate change. While the for­mer have in­tro­duced poli­cies to spur low car­bon devel­op­ment, the lat­ter are at the fore­front of de­vel­op­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies. Last year, the EU adopted new tar­gets for 2030, in­clud­ing a cut of 40 per­cent in green­house gas emis­sions com­pared to 1990, in­creas­ing re­new­able en­ergy to 27 per­cent of the to­tal en­ergy mix, and im­prov­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency by 27 per­cent com­pared to 1990. Based on ex­pe­ri­ence to date, th­ese tar­gets are cred­i­ble and eco­nom­i­cally and tech­ni­cally re­al­is­tic.

More im­por­tantly, the EU suc­cess­fully re­duced its green­house gas emis­sions by 20 per­cent while its GDP grew by more than 40 per­cent be­tween 1990 and 2014. EU in­dus­try is also 19 per­cent less en­ergy

In face of th­ese chal­lenges, the re­port in­di­cates the grow­ing emer­gence of en­ergy man­age­ment sys­tems in re­cent years, which high­lights the grow­ing im­por­tance of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency for in­dus­try. Pub­lished in 2011, the ISO 50001 is the most glob­ally-rec­og­nized en­ergy man­age­ment sys­tem stan­dard. As of May 2014, 7,346 man­u­fac­tur­ers in 68 coun­tries world­wide have im­ple­mented the ISO 50001 sys­tem in their plants. Tai­wan ranked No. 11 with 118 com­pa­nies cer­ti­fied for ISO 50001. Among them, the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor takes up the high­est por­tion at 65 per­cent.

An­other sig­nif­i­cant trend in re­cent years is the in­crease in the use of Com­bined Heat and Power (CHP) sys­tems that re­cy­cle the heat lost in the con­ven­tional power gen­er­a­tion process, mak­ing them far more en­ergy ef­fi­cient than tra­di­tional power gen­er­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties. Euro­pean coun­tries, in­clud­ing Den­mark, Fin­land, Nor­way, Ger­many and Italy, have ac­tively de­vel­oped large-scale Com­bined Cool­ing, Heat­ing and Power (CCHP) Sys­tems and pro­moted re­gional en­ergy in­te­gra­tion through leg­is­la­tion, tax dis­counts and sub­si­dies for CCHP en­ergy and nat­u­ral gas.

Yet, Tai­wan com­pa­nies could also take ad­van­tage of such tech­nolo­gies, which could ac­tu­ally help them save money by re­duc­ing en­ergy con­sump­tion. Such ten­ta­tive so­lu­tions are pre­sented in the fi­nal sec­tion of the re­port which pro­vides a range of op­tions de­vel­oped by ECCT LCI mem­bers to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Through proper ad­vo­cacy, im­proved prac­tices and ed­u­ca­tion, the ECCT’s LIC re­port can help raise aware­ness about sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and pro­mote the adop­tion of low car­bon so­lu­tions and ad­dress sus­tain­abil­ity chal­lenges. The LCI can fur­ther help en­gage lo­cal busi­nesses, pol­icy-mak­ers and the public to work to­gether to meet the tar­gets set by the Tai­wan gov­ern­ment to lower car­bon emis­sions and pre­pare com­pa­nies to deal with ris­ing en­ergy costs.

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