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How Big is the Electricity Conservation Potential in Industry?

For integrated resource planning, electric utilities require estimates of the technical and economic conservation potential. This potential depends upon the efficiencies of existing equipment, as well as efficiencies and costs of new equipment. The industrial conservation potential is generally concentrated in machine drive: electric motors and the various auxiliary technologies (pumps, fians, etc.) and process technologies (grinders, saws, etc.) to which they are connected. Most studies of industry focus on the potential due to more efficient motors and electronic adjustable speed drives. Our study of industry in British Columbia extends this analysis in two ways: (1) Alternative configurations and equipment types of key auxiliary and process equipment and connecting mechanisms are included in the database and analysis. (2) The relationship is specified between different auxiliary technologies and major steps in each production process. This allows for a more complete and dynamic estimate of conservation potential, showing how it changes as a function of structural and major process change in industry. The resulting industry-wide estimates of technical and economic conservation potential range from 35% to 40%, in the year 2010, with significant differences between end-uses (15% to 70%) and between industry branches (20% to 42%).

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Energy Specializations: Energy Efficiency; Electricity – Markets and Prices

JEL Codes: Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q48: Energy: Government Policy, Q35: Hydrocarbon Resources, Q31: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Demand and Supply; Prices

Keywords: Electricity, Industrial conservation, ISTUM-1 model, BC (Canada)

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol14-No2-7

Published in Volume 14, Number 2 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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