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energy consumption

Electric introduced Continuous Efficiency, a suite of managed services and software that combines the knowledge of Schneider Electric experts across the globe with sophisticated tools and technology. The mix of onsite and remote support, as well as software, allows companies to uncover savings opportunities, implement changes at both the site and enterprise level, and constantly refine performance.

Continuous Efficiency blends utility, facility and operations management to reduce energy use and spend — 15 to 30 percent on average. It also goes beyond basic energy efficiency to help commercial and industrial firms develop proactive management and maintenance programs to help extend equipment life, reduce downtime and fine-tune systems for ongoing performance.


Key components of Continuous Efficiency include:

  • Data Acquisition & Quality – Best-in-class integration services collect and organize facility, energy and interval data along with utility invoices to provide a single, structured view of the most critical information to enable effective decision making.
  • Remote Analytics & Optimization – Energy specialists paired with advanced technology monitor facilities, identify energy conservation opportunities and the root cause of comfort and maintenance concerns, as well as ensure continual performance and verified savings.
  • Software Visualization – A single, cloud-based view of energy procurement, consumption and sustainability data allows energy managers to identify non-optimized facilities, equipment and behaviors, and prioritize energy efficiency projects based on the anticipated return on investment.
  • Onsite Consulting – A variety of collaborative, onsite engagements with Schneider Electric experts help identify energy improvement opportunities, train operations and facility managers, build internal support with executives, and design best practices to support certifications such as ISO 50001.

Continuous Efficiency is scalable to meet the needs of organizations as their energy and sustainability strategies, and facilities footprint grow and evolve. Managers can choose the support and technology most relevant to their current business and easily pilot new programs.

Source: Schneider Electric

Since 2013, the Hospital de Manises, together with its associated healthcare centres and special units, have managed to bring down their energy consumption by 16% as well as achieving a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions. These figures go beyond the initial objectives forecast for 2015, given that the target was to reduce the 2015 carbon footprint by 20% by means of measures including: saving energy on the consumption of gas and electricity, the green purchase of renewable energy sources of 100% of the electricity consumed in the area, a reduction in the number of business trips and the acquisition of hybrid vehicles for home care.

The centre has obtained this good result thanks to the launch of an ambitious sustainable management programme that has been implemented alongside other actions including replacing the lighting system in the hospital and primary care centres with LED technology that consume less than conventional systems.

A high level of performance has also been achieved from the centre’s solar thermal plant to reduce the consumption of natural gas in domestic hot water generation. The optimisation of the solar PV panels has been another savings factor as they are able to supply the consumption equivalent to all the lighting for the hospital’s main foyer over the course of 14 hours a day. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2016

HVAC units are big consumers of energy in the majority of installations in a range of sectors. They can account for 60% of the electricity bill in tertiary sector buildings such as hotels, hospitals, shopping centres, industrial and office blocks. The way forward to finding solutions that achieve energy savings in this field is based on access to information. As a result, Indoorclima is developing the Climate management Big Data, offering vital information on the operation of chiller and rooftop units from manufacturers worldwide. Having knowledge of their actual operation in a wealth of situations (both those inherent to the units and those relating to the installation or location) is providing the keys to developing the necessary algorithms to be able to parameterise each installation in terms of optimal performance and thereby reduce energy consumption from 20% to 50% depending on the installation.

HVAC installations have a low level of energy management. One major issue is the lack of the control over large output units that are usually located in regions with difficult access, and the preventative maintenance itself that is very basic, generally reduced to the minimum regulatory requirement. As a reference, of the total sales of HVAC units in 2012, only 15% corresponded to regulation and control systems. And this, in sectors where HVAC units consume more than 3,000,000 kWh/year, representing disproportionate and unnecessary energy costs.

And this has provided the basis for the work of Indoorclima in its search for a solution whose main aim is to save energy in HVAC installations. Read more…

Silvia Escámez
María del Mar Romero
Óscar Marinello

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2016

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s recently released International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 48% between 2012 and 2040. Most of this growth will come from countries that are not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including countries where demand is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in Asia. Non-OECD Asia, including China and India, accounts for more than half of the world’s total increase in energy consumption over the projection period.

Concerns about energy security, effects of fossil fuel emissions on the environment, and sustained, long-term high world oil prices support expanded use of nonfossil renewable energy sources and nuclear power. Renewables and nuclear power are the world’s fastest-growing energy sources over the projection period. Renewable energy increases by an average 2.6% per year through 2040; nuclear power increases by 2.3% per year.

Even though nonfossil fuels are expected to grow faster than fossil fuels (petroleum and other liquid fuels, natural gas, and coal), fossil fuels still account for more than three-quarters of world energy consumption through 2040. Natural gas, which has a lower carbon intensity than coal and petroleum, is the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the outlook, with global natural gas consumption increasing by 1.9% per year. Rising supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane contribute to the increasing consumption of natural gas.

Although liquid fuels—mostly petroleum-based—remain the largest energy source, the liquids share of world marketed energy consumption is projected to fall from 33% in 2012 to 30% in 2040. As oil prices rise in the long term, many energy users adopt more energy-efficient technologies and switch away from liquid fuels when feasible.

Coal is the world’s slowest-growing energy source, rising by only 0.6% per year through 2040. Throughout the projection period, the top three coal-consuming countries are China, the United States, and India, which together account for more than 70% of world coal consumption. China alone currently accounts for almost half of the world’s total coal consumption, but a slowing economy and plans to implement policies to address air pollution and reduce carbon dioxide emissions mean that coal use in China will begin to decline in the later years of the projection period. Coal use in India continues to rise and surpasses U.S. coal consumption after 2030.

Much of the analysis conducted for the IEO2016 was done before the release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan (CPP). For this reason, the IEO2016 Reference case does not include the potential effects of the CPP regulations in the United States, analysis that shows the potential for significant reductions in U.S. coal consumption and increases in U.S. renewable consumption compared with the Reference case projection. Key tables and figures throughout the report provide results that also include the effects of the CPP where they differ significantly from the IEO2016 Reference case results, based on EIA’s analysis of the preliminary CPP rule. EIA’s upcoming Annual Energy Outlook will include the final CPP as part of the Reference case projection. The report will also consider the implications of alternative CPP implementation approaches for energy outcomes.


Source: EIA

Acciona Infraestructuras, Zaragoza Vivienda and CIRCE are taking part in a project funded by the European Commission that will develop a new package of retrofit solutions to achieve an 80% energy reduction. According to the European Commission, the construction sector represents around 40% of total consumption in the European Union and is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 36% of the total CO2 emissions from all Member States.

Apart from the potential that energy efficiency applied to the design of new buildings offers, the operation of the buildings during their useful life cycle also provides exceptional opportunities to decarbonise Europe’s economy, particularly in terms of consumption for heating and cooling. However, the replacement rate of the installations in the existing building stock with new systems is very low (1-1.5% per year), which despite representing an excellent environmental and economic opportunity, proves that there is a need for stimulus and promotion via research measures accompanied by administrative and economic support.

Moreover the sector is extremely fragmented, with over 50% of residential buildings being owned by private individuals. It is also a sector in which SMEs predominate (more than 95%). This is the context against which the BuildHeat project has emerged, an initiative financed by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme that aims to address all these challenges to achieve the refurbishment of residential buildings in Europe.Leer más…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

Aware of the importance of reducing energy consumption and of not wasting resources, the public administrations are launching energy efficiency projects in different fields. One such project involves street lighting, one of the costliest items on the budget given that electricity consumption per 1,000 residents is distributed as follows: 70% street lighting, 30% the rest. These consumption ratios are very high which adds to the complex financial situation facing many of Spain’s public administrations, not to mention aspects relating to environmental contamination. In such cases, energy efficiency projects assume a high level of importance and demonstrate their worth.

This is accentuated in the case of the local administrations. The harsh economic crisis that hit Spain has involved a before and an after in the energy efficiency services sector. Until fairly recently, city councils were not particularly worried about their energy consumption however as time went on without taking steps in this regard, this has translated into the mismanagement of municipal funds and increased levels of pollution and GHG emissions into the atmosphere.

Worse still, every month that goes by without taking measures as regards street lighting, for example, a town hall unnecessarily spends €5,500 for every 1,000 luminaires already installed, or €66,000 per year. In environmental terms, this is the same as saying that for every 1,000 luminaires on that are changed for more efficient units, a saving in pollutant emissions would be achieved equivalent to planting 125 football pitches worth of trees. In such a situation the only question that has to be asked is: can we allow this to happen? The answer is an easy one: of course not. Read more…

Miguel Ángel Zamorano Lucena
Director of Operations and Projects at Alisea ESCO
Director of the Gandía ESCO Project

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

Despite the high potential of passive strategies combined with solar systems for saving energy in buildings, the energy consumption of their temperature control requirements is one of the biggest problems facing today’s energy sector as it has severe repercussions on the environment. As a result, past decades have seen a growing interest in promoting energy efficiency in construction, which in turn has stimulated research into this area.

One such example includes international initiatives on a range of projects that form part of the ECBCS and SHC programmes from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Within the framework of current regulations, this interest has also been demonstrated through various European Directives and in the gradual entry into force of legislation on this subject (Technical Building Code. Updated Basic DB HE Document on Energy Saving 2013). The implementation of the new European Directive, EPBD 2010, requires technologies to be available that can achieve nearly zero energy buildings as well as methods to reliably assess and profile the energy performance of constructive components and buildings.

The majority of current regulations that refer to energy quality and to energy saving in the temperature control of buildings apply to the design phase, calculating the theoretical energy consumption, usually by using dynamic thermal simulation software. However, some studies have revealed that the real performance following construction of the building can be significantly different to this theoretical performance. It is clear that testing and in-depth modelling of real-scale buildings has to be carried out, reinforced by integrating an extensive range of low consumption energy technologies. Read more…

Julio Ramiro y ! and Antonio Caamaño
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and CIEMAT Group OMEGA-CM Project

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

On 16 February, the European Commission presented its first strategy to optimise heating and cooling in buildings and industries. The EU Heating and Cooling Strategy is the first EU initiative to address the energy used for heating and cooling in buildings and industry, which accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption. By making the sector smarter, more efficient and sustainable, energy imports and dependency will fall, costs will be cut and emissions reduced. The Strategy is a key action of the Energy Union and will contribute to improving EU’s energy security and to addressing the post-COP 21 climate agenda.

Heating and cooling refers to the energy needed for warming and cooling buildings, whether residential or in the services sector (for example schools, hospitals, office buildings). It also includes the energy required by almost all industrial processes as well as cooling and refrigeration in the service sector, such as the retail sector (for example to preserve food across the supply chain, from production to supermarket and on to the customer). Currently, the sector accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, accounting for 13% of total oil consumption and 59% of total gas consumption (direct use only) in the EU. The latter equates to 68% of all gas imports. This is mainly because European buildings are old, which implies various problems, including:

• Almost half of the EU’s buildings have boilers installed prior to 1992, with an efficiency rate of below 60%.
• 22% of gas boilers, 34% of electric heaters, 47% of oil boilers and 58% of coal boilers are older than their technical lifetime. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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In 2014, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption reached 16% in the EU, almost double the 2004 figure (8.5%), the first year for which the data is available. These figures come from a publication issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final energy consumption has grown significantly in all Member States. Compared with a year ago, it has increased in 24 of the 28 Member States.

With more than half of final energy consumption from renewable sources (52.6%), Sweden had by far the highest share, ahead of Latvia and Finland (both with 38.7%), Austria (33.1%) and Denmark (29.2%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of renewables were registered in Luxembourg (4.5%), Malta (4.7%), the Netherlands (5.5%) and the United Kingdom (7%).

Each Member State has its own 2020 target. The national targets take into account the Member States’ different starting points, their renewable energy potential and economic performance. Among the 28 Member States, one third have already reached the level required to meet their national targets: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Finland and Sweden. Moreover, Denmark and Austria are less than 1 percentage point from their 2020 targets. By contrast, France at 8.7 percentage points from reaching its national 2020 objective; the Netherlands at 8.5 pp; the United Kingdom at 8.0 pp; and Ireland at 7.4 pp are the furthest away from achieving their targets.

Spain stands at almost the EU average with renewables accounting for 16.2% of gross energy consumption in 2014. According to Eurostat figures, the country is 3.8 percentage points from achieving its 2020 target, a figure that coincides with the 20% figure for the EU as a whole.

Shopping centres are structures that, due to their characteristics, have very high energy consumption. Their extensive opening hours, high customer turnover and the need to offer comfortable and visually appealing surroundings for the consumer translate into a significant energy demand in terms of HVAC, lighting, lift and escalator operation, among many other uses. As such energy plays a fundamental role when supplying the services and the quality that a commercial space offers its clients.

As big energy consumers, shopping centres offer a huge potential for energy saving. The management of the energy demand by shopping centres aims to achieve optimal energy performance with minimum energy consumption, while always covering the needs for lighting or HVAC that guarantee client comfort and the quality of the service provided.

In the commercial sector, and more specifically, in the case of shopping centres, a growing interest has been identified in undertaking actions to improve efficiency and save energy. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY December 2015