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Energy-efficiency networks for SMEs: Learning from the Swedish experience
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2016 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 65, 295-307 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The potential for energy efficiency improvements in the industry is significant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but the implementation of energy-efficiency measures is not always possible owing to various barriers to energy efficiency. Working with energy management personnel inside companies can help to overcome these barriers. However, this is not a common practice among SMEs. Participation in industrial energy-efficiency networks (IEENs) can be a means of introducing customized energy management practices into SMEs. In such a network, industrial companies get support for a period of three to four years from an external network coordinator to determine energy efficiency potential, implement energy-efficiency measures, and monitor energy performance. The method has been used widely in Switzerland and Germany, while in other countries the experience has not proven successful thus far. To show the effects of networking among industrial companies, it is important to evaluate networks quantitatively and qualitatively. This aspect is missing from the field of energy efficiency research, not least with regard to evaluation methods. Thus, it is crucial to evaluate Swedish IEENs and suggest methods for evaluating IEENs. The aim of this study is to review IEENs with particular emphasis on Swedish IEENs. The results show that in Sweden, a common notion of IEENs has not yet been established, and projects with different characteristics and designs fall under the category of IEEN. The lack of a standard approach to running and evaluating IEENs makes it difficult to evaluate Swedish networks quantitatively. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2016. Vol. 65, 295-307 p.
Keyword [en]
Industrial energy efficiency; Energy management; Industrial energy efficiency networks; Evaluation method; Energy efficiency measures
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132043DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.06.088ISI: 000383293800021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132043DiVA: diva2:1038476
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Energy Agency

Available from: 2016-10-18 Created: 2016-10-17 Last updated: 2016-11-24
In thesis
1. Re-viewing industrial energy-efficiency improvement using a widened system boundary
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Re-viewing industrial energy-efficiency improvement using a widened system boundary
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Improved energy efficiency in industry is important for reaching the targets within the EU strategy for increased sustainability. However, energy efficiency is not always prioritised within companies, and the improvement potential remains large. This paradox called an energyefficiency gap is explained by energy-efficiency barriers. The low interest in energy efficiency is also explained by the fact that it is not within companies’ core competences and not perceived as strategic. The public policies aiming at closing the gap have thus far been concentrated on the faster diffusion of energy-efficient technologies. This is not sufficient, and the gap can be extended by including energy management practices. To bridge the extended gap, there is a need to introduce an extended system perspective. The aim of this thesis is to  investigate the industrial energy-efficiency potential and possibilities for reaching this potential using an extended system boundary.

In this thesis, the extended gap was quantified by means of classification of the energy data covering the most electricity-intensive Swedish industrial companies. The results show that technology-related measures represent 61% of energy savings, whereas management-related measures account for 38%. Energy efficiency due to management-related measures can be improved with lower costs. The energy-efficiency potentials for different levels of industrial motor systems were quantified, showing that the highest potential is found in the measures that include personal involvement and the optimisation of routines. This proves that the general approaches based on technological diffusion seem to not be sufficient to solve the energy paradox.

The evaluation of the Swedish energy audit programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) proved that there is a lack of energy-related knowledge among SMEs. The implementation rate of measures proposed in the audits is only 54%, while there is also a need to reach the SMEs not covered by the programme. The international study of energy-efficiency potentials did not indicate energy management to be considered by SMEs at all.

To bridge the extended gap, the external experts’ knowledge on how to work with energy efficiency has to stay within companies. For this, there is a need for methods based on longterm orientation as well as a systematic view of complicated processes. The methods should be universal and applied in a particular context. An example of such a method for large industries is presented in this thesis, whereas applying it to SMEs is problematic due to limited resources. Participating in networks for energy efficiency can be a way to initiate energy-efficiency work within SMEs on a continuous basis. Moreover, this thesis shows that there is a need for the development of a common taxonomy for energy data as well as the development of a central portal where energy data can be reported and stored. This would simplify the monitoring of energy end-use, the control of measures implementation and the comparison between processes, companies and sectors.

Abstract [sv]

Förbättrad industriell energieffektivitet är viktig för att nå målen i EU:s strategi för ökad hållbarhet. Att energieffektivisera är inte prioriterat inom företagen och potentialen är därför stor. Denna paradox kallas för energieffektiviseringsgapet och förklaras av hinder för energieffektivisering. Det låga intresset för energifråga beror också på att den inte ligger inom företagens kärnkompetens och inte uppfattas som strategisk. De styrmedel som syftar till att överbrygga gapet har hittills handlat om snabbare spridning av energieffektiv teknik. Detta är inte tillräckligt och gapet kan utvidgas genom att inkludera energiledningsåtgärder. För att överbrygga det utvidgade gapet behövs ett utvidgat systemperspektiv. Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka den industriella energieffektiviseringspotentialen och möjligheter för att nå den genom att utvidga systemgränsen.

I denna avhandling kvantifierades det utvidgade gapet med hjälp av kategorisering av energidata som inkluderar de mest elintensiva svenska industriföretagen. Resultaten visar att teknikrelaterade åtgärder utgör 61% av energibesparingar medan energiledningsrelaterade åtgärder står för 38%. Dessutom kan energieffektivisering genom energiledningsrelaterade åtgärder förbättras med lägre kostnader. Energieffektiviseringspotentialer för olika nivåer av industriella elmotorsystem kvantifierades och det visar sig att den högsta potentialen ligger i de åtgärder som inkluderar personaldeltagandet och optimering av rutiner. Det bevisar att de vanliga metoder som baseras på tekniska lösningar inte till fullo kan lösa energiparadoxen.

Utvärderingen av det svenska energikartläggningsprogrammet för små och medelstora företag (SMF) som gjordes i denna avhandling visar en brist på kunskap inom energiområdet bland de företagen. Implementeringsgraden av åtgärder föreslagna i kartläggningar står för endast 54%, medan det också finns ett behov av att nå de SMF som inte omfattas av programmet. En internationell studie av energieffektiviseringspotentialen i SMF indikerade att energiledning inte prioriteras bland dessa överhuvudtaget.

För att överbrygga det utvidgade gapet måste externa kunskaper om hur man arbetar med energi stanna inom företagen. För detta behövs metoder som baseras på långsiktighet och systematisk syn på komplicerade industriella processer. Metoderna bör vara universella och tillämpas i en särskild kontext. Ett exempel på en sådan metod för stora företag presenteras i avhandlingen men att tillämpa den på SMF är problematiskt på grund av begränsade resurser. Deltagandet i nätverk för energieffektivisering kan vara ett sätt att initiera energiarbetet inom SMF på en kontinuerlig basis. Dessutom bevisar avhandlingen ett behov av skapandet av en gemensam taxonomi för energidata samt av en central portal där data kan rapporteras och lagras. Detta skulle förenkla övervakning av slutenergianvändning, kontroll av åtgärdsimplementering samt jämförelse mellan processer, företag och branscher.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 105 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1797
National Category
Energy Systems Other Environmental Engineering Construction Management Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132777 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-132777 (DOI)9789176856666 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-20, ACAS, building A, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-24 Created: 2016-11-24 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved

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