What are the critical aspects of energy in the industry that we need to address? This question looms as we navigate through a landscape marked by diverse challenges, including the distribution or attribution of production costs, the drive towards decarbonisation, and the ever-increasing demand for energy.
Our latest white paper delves deep into these pressing issues, offering insights and solutions to help industrial companies thrive in this dynamic environment. By understanding the nuances of production cost allocation, businesses can gain a competitive edge and improve their profitability.
The path to decarbonisation has become imperative for industries worldwide, as we collectively strive to mitigate the environmental impact of energy consumption. Our white paper explores the intricate relationship between energy management, clean energy sources, and innovative carbon capture and storage technologies. We highlight the importance of aligning decarbonisation efforts with sustainability agendas and government initiatives to create a greener and more sustainable future.
Industry: Allocation of Production Costs: Welcoming Digitalisation and Energy Management Systems
To what extent is allocating or attributing production costs critical for industrial companies? Let’s discuss how the impact it has on their competitiveness and profitability.
Manufacturing costs include raw materials, labour, indirect costs and energy costs. Of these costs, the latter has a major impact on the overall cost structure. They can represent around 10% of the selling price of manufactured products (such as in the case of metallurgy or auxiliary building materials). For this reason, it is common practice to track them. Energy management systems (EMS) are tools that monitor energy consumption data and provide analytical tools to detect problems and control consumption, optimising and reducing it.
It is important to note that not all Energy Management Systems (EMS) available on the market offer analysis capabilities, as some are restricted to monitoring. When offering analysis features, these systems can identify areas or processes that result in higher energy costs, allowing measures to be initiated for optimisation. In addition, the analysis of energy consumption patterns by energy management systems will enable opportunities for improvement to be identified and energy efficiency measures to be implemented in an informed and strategic manner.
Decarbonisation of the Industry
Besides energy savings, decarbonisation is also a crucial objective to mitigate the environmental impact of energy consumption in the industry. The two aspects are directly linked. Decarbonisation is all about reducing carbon emissions by switching to cleaner, renewable energy sources and implementing carbon capture and storage technologies.
This is why industrial decarbonisation is a priority of the sustainability agenda, and initiatives and programmes, such as the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (SPERT) have been put in place. These initiatives serve as a funding mechanism from the European Union’s Next Generation Funds, with an investment of over €11 billion.
In 2021, the United Kingdom led the launch of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative to encourage the public procurement of low-emission steel and concrete.
The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy represents a groundbreaking initiative from a significant economic powerhouse, outlining a comprehensive roadmap for the decarbonisation of industries in alignment with the country’s net-zero goals. It emphasises the importance of maintaining competitiveness while preventing the transfer of emissions to other regions.
Drawing upon the foundational principles of the 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, this strategy accomplishes the following:
- Articulates the government’s vision for a thriving, low-carbon industrial sector in the United Kingdom by 2050.
- Provides the industry with the necessary long-term assurance and stability, essential for making investments in decarbonization.
- It is complemented by the Energy White Paper: “Empowering Our Net Zero Future”, which further expands upon the nation’s path to achieving net-zero emissions.
Environmental Impact of Energy Consumption
Energy consumption in the industry also has a negative effect on the planet, as it is responsible for 26% of the harmful gas emissions released into the atmosphere, according to IEA data.
The same IEA report points out that the industrial sector consumes approximately one-third of all energy at present. In the UK, according to Enerdata, it is 29%. Leaving aside small percentage changes, this is a lot of energy. The more energy that is consumed, the greater the possibility of implementing saving measures and reducing consumption, bearing in mind that the higher the consumption, the higher the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
The generation of energy from non-renewable sources, such as fossil fuels, is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). These gases contribute to global warming, which has serious consequences for the environment, such as rising temperatures, changes in weather patterns, loss of biodiversity and deterioration of ecosystems.
In addition to the impact on emissions, energy consumption in the industry can also have other negative effects on the environment. For example, the treatment of water used in production processes can generate polluting discharges that affect water quality and aquatic ecosystems.
Also, the proper management of materials used in production, such as waste and chemicals, as well as their recycling, can be a challenge in terms of environmental impact.
Efficient and sustainable management of energy consumption in industry is also vital to mitigating environmental impact.
The best way you can do this is by using energy management solutions. Advanced tools to monitor and optimise energy consumption in real-time, identify inefficiencies and establish energy-saving strategies. This allows you as an industry professional to reduce your carbon footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve overall environmental performance.
Economic Benefits of Energy Saving
Saving energy through energy optimisation and efficient energy management can have significant economic benefits for your organisation in the industrial sector. Logically, if you reduce your energy consumption, you reduce your total cost. Sometimes, in order to make medium-term savings, you will have to incur upfront costs.
Some ways to get started on your path to energy efficiency and savings include optimising your energy output, replacing inefficient machinery or lighting, and using waste heat recovery techniques, among others.
In addition to energy cost savings, these measures can have other economic benefits, such as improving efficiency in production processes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, complying with environmental regulations and improving the company’s image in terms of sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
We encourage you to download the complete guide where you will find information on the energy context of the industrial sector, as well as key areas where you can start to reduce costs and become more efficient. Gain a competitive advantage and chart a path towards a more sustainable and prosperous future for your organisation, download our white paper today and unlock the potential of efficient energy management: ⬇️