Three cost-efficient ways to deliver on the Paris Agreement

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Businesses are ready with cost-efficient solutions to help governments and cities take the next steps in implementing the Paris Agreement. At the COP 23 conference in Bonn, it is time to push for action and turn commitments into impact.

If we use energy more efficiently, it can deliver 40% of the emissions reduction needed to keep the planet within the 2 degrees scenario of global warming. And 35% can be added to this if we at the same time integrate renewables into the energy systems.

There are three cost-efficient ways to make it happen.

Cut energy use in buildings

Currently, buildings account for nearly 40% of global energy use and offer the largest cost-effective opportunity for savings. According to projections, an area equal to roughly 60 percent of the world’s current total building stock will be built or rebuilt in urban areas by 2030. It’s vital to rethink efficiency in buildings. Technologies like advanced compressors, AC drives, control valves and radiator thermostats can cut up to 40% of the energy used in the cooling and heating systems – with a short payback time of typically below 3 years. In New York, where 70% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions result from the energy consumed by buildings, they have set ambitious reduction targets supported by laws and policy tools to activate a shift. In the Empire State Building, Danfoss has contributed with 6,500 radiator thermostats to cut energy consumption and increase comfort.

Control electric motor systems

The potential for cost-efficient savings is also huge when taking a broader look at electric motor systems. They consume more than 50% of all electricity worldwide in end-user applications and industrial processes. Most electric motors are not equipped with AC drives today, meaning that they work full speed, regardless of need. By deploying AC drives and other system-wide efficiency measures, energy consumption in industrial motor systems can be reduced by up to 40%, and global electricity consumption by 8%. Payback time is typically 2-4 years. Danfoss solutions helped the Danish city, Aarhus, to revolutionize the water cycle for its citizens. The city’s water and wastewater plant become a power station and a biorefinery, and the world’s first energy-neutral water service company to decouple water from energy.

Connect it all in a smart way

Even more can be obtained by thinking about buildings, industry and the energy systems together. District heating and cooling systems can connect it all in a smart way, and a broad application, combined with energy efficiency measures, could contribute with as much as 58% of the CO2 emission reductions required in the energy sector by 2050. District energy infrastructures can utilize surplus heat (for example, from power plants, industrial processes, data centers, supermarkets and wastewater plants), free cooling sources and renewable energy to heat and cool buildings. Recovering all of Europe’s surplus heat could cover the heating demand of the entire building stock. And a similar potential exists across the world. In the Chinese city Benxi, a district heating solution, which uses surplus heat from the local steel works, reduces the annual coal use in Benxi by 198,000 tons and provides clean air for the population.

At COP23, Danfoss participated in the World Climate Summit – one of the most important international platforms for business-driven solutions to climate change. Anton Koller, Danfoss’ Divisional President for District Energy gave a keynote speech on how district heating infrastructures can contribute vastly to reducing CO2 emissions. The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, which has Danfoss as one of its founding members, also launched its new 1,000 solutions’ initiative at the event.

“To succeed with the implementation of the Paris Agreement, we must start coupling buildings, industry and energy systems to drive higher efficiency and integration of renewables. This requires strong collaboration on a global, national and regional level and between cities, politicians and companies to pave the way for the best solutions and overcome barriers such as funding, policy incentives, knowledge sharing, and education,” states Kim Fausing, Danfoss President and CEO.

If you have any comments about Danfoss Drives’ contribution to COP23 or to energy efficiency in general, don’t hesitate to put them in the box below.

Author: Vesa Laisi, President, Danfoss Drives

Photo source: Elbphilharmonie, Ralph Larmann

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