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ECN publicatie:
Barriers to investment in energy saving technologies. Case study for the energy intensive chemical industry in the Netherlands
Arroyo Currás, Tabaré
Gepubliceerd door: Publicatie datum:
ECN Beleidsstudies 27-7-2010
ECN publicatienummer: Publicatie type:
ECN-O--10-022 Overig
Aantal pagina's: Volledige tekst:
128 Download PDF  (884kB)

The Dutch government intends to realize ambitious climate targets by 2020. On account of this objective, attention has been given to the role of the chemical industry to become more energy efficient. This report assesses potentials and main obstacles to increase current process energy efficiency in the energy intensive chemical sector.

The overall results from a techno-economic analysis showed that more than 20 PJ of final energy can be saved by retrofitting, upgrading process control, and increasing heat recovery in energy intensive chemical processes. Capturing this potential would save over €250 million per year in energy costs and would reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 1 million tonnes.

Despite of their benefits, investment in energy saving measures is still limited, explained by the existence of barriers to investment in energy efficiency. Based upon the results of a survey and interviews covering firm representatives of the chemical industry and energy specialists from research institutes and consulting firms, this study also found that no single barrier can be identified as the main cause limiting investments in energy efficiency. However, under business as usual conditions, changes in energy prices, budget restrictions and other investment priorities, technology fitting in actual processes, and lack of commitment are major barriers influencing energy saving investment decision making.

The general conclusion of this research was that cost effective energy efficiency improvement can be realized in the energy intensive Dutch chemical industry if barriers to investment in energy savings are overcome.

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