26.06.2020

#EUSEW2020 session: Energy Efficiency in Industry

What is the potential of unused heat/cold in industry? How does improved industrial energy efficiency contribute to the EU’s overall climate targets? Representatives from the European Commission, member states,  research institutes and industry addressed these and other questions at this year’s virtual EUSEW event “Energy Efficiency – Unlocking the Potential of Unused Heat/Cold in Industry”, organised by EUTurbines in cooperation with A.SPIRE, ETN (European Turbine Network) and the SET Plan Action 6 Secretariat.

The session kicked off with introductory remarks by Ralf Wezel, Secretary General of EUTurbines and moderator of the session. “We may have diverging views about investing in a number of things, but I guess we have a consensus that it makes sense to invest in energy efficiency” he said while introducing the attendees to the topic. He added that energy efficiency in industry is often forgotten even though it has immense potentials to save energy and related costs.

In his keynote speech, Haitze Siemers, Head of Unit C2 from DG Energy, put the spotlight on the EU’s recovery plan and connected it to the European Green Deal. He stressed the importance of creating “win-win” situations for both economic recovery and the achievement of the EU’s climate targets. He agreed that the use of unused heat “is an important part” for the European Commission, highlighting the support of the European Commission to Horizon 2020 projects related to energy efficiency. Finally, he urged the industry and decision-makers to “think outside of the box” when talking about innovation: there are various combinations of technologies that can achieve environmental goals.

Timo Ritonummi, from the Energy Department of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, presented ways how to foster innovation and what is needed to be more innovative. Innovative solutions in the form of projects were then presented by Àngels Orduña Cao, who is Executive Director at A.SPIRE. Marco Ruggiero from Baker Hughes followed up with a presentation on how waste heat may be used and its potential in the gas transport in Italy.

The speakers were then joined by Ludo Diels, Senior Research leader at VITO and vice-chair of A.SPIRE Advisory Group and Sònia Clarena Barón, Deputy Secretary General at EUTurbines for the panel discussion. Ludo Diels covered technical aspects related to energy efficiency and gave examples of areas where more needs to be done in this regard. Sònia Clarena Barón introduced the audience to the crucial role of turbines in processing unused heat from industry, thus having an immense positive impact on energy efficiency – also pointing out at the areas that need to be improved in the future to deliver.

All the speakers agreed that energy efficiency solutions offer high potentials and are very relevant for the future energy system, with energy efficiency remaining a priority for the EU. Among others, two important things are now needed: a supportive framework to make energy efficiency even more attractive for companies to invest in and more research and innovation efforts, with commitments coming from both policy makers and industry. Finally, the speakers acknowledged the important role of Horizon Europe and future partnerships to continue with these developments.

You can re-watch the session here.