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Emerging Energy-Efficient Industrial Technologies
U.S. industry consumes over one-third of the nation’s energy to produce a quarter of the nation’s GDP. Increasingly, industry is confronted with the challenge of moving toward a cleaner, more sustainable path of production and consumption, while increasing global competitiveness. Innovative technologies are emerging and essential for meeting these challenges. At some point, businesses including users and technology manufacturers are faced with various investment decisions in new capital stock. At this decision point, new and emerging technologies, sometimes underutilized if at all adopted, often compete for capital investment alongside more established or mature technologies. Understanding the dynamics of the decision-making process is important to perceive what drives technology change and the overall effect on industrial energy use. To combat the barriers, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published a report on “Emerging Energy-Efficient Industrial Technologies” in 2000, which assessed a list of emerging energy-efficient industrial technologies that potentially can be adopted in the market. The assessments have been used in various degrees for:
- identifying R&D projects;
- identifying potential technologies for market transformation activities;
- providing common information on technologies to a broad audience of policy-makers; and
- offering new insights into technology development and energy efficiency potentials.
The goal of the assessments is to collect information on a broad array of potentially significant emerging energy-efficient industrial technologies and carefully characterize sub-group key emerging technologies. The technologies are characterized with respect to energy efficiency, economics, and environmental performance. The results demonstrate that the United States is not running out of technologies to improve energy efficiency and economic and environmental performance, and will not run out in the future. It is shown that many of the technologies have important non-energy benefits, ranging from reduced environmental impact to improved productivity and worker safety, and reduced capital costs.
Many years have passed since the last publication; therefore, it is important to perform similar assessment based upon new information so that the profiles of selected emerging technologies are updated. The outcomes from updated profiles will provide and in some cases confirm the characterization of technology potential specifically to the technology and industries. With the support of California Energy Commission, LBNL is teaming up with ACEEE to develop new assessments using similar methodology described in the following. In addition, it is our intent to develop at least eight new technology profiles that address California industries and applications. The outcomes can serve as a guide or reference for future technology demonstration, market penetration, and policy making in promoting emerging or under-utilized technologies that are important to California industries.
The working document is made available for download, review, and comments. LBNL welcomes your suggestions and input concerning emerging or under-utilized technologies that could benefit from further characterization or publicity.Contact person