Niall Aughney


Theme: Subject and Behavioral Aspects to Energy Transition

Title: Energy is not our core business

With an ongoing increase in industrial energy demand anticipated in Europe over the next twenty years, energy efficiency continues to be an important focus within industrial environments. Despite this being widely known, uptake in working on energy efficiencies continues to be a challenge in Ireland. In this paper, 3 reasons are proposed as to why efficiencies are worked:

1. Governmental regulations – compliance with the law and EU directives drive closure to avoid penalties.

2. Enlightened management – Organisational leaders use the current societal concern to leverage their organisations and where its possible use this to highlight the benefit of their energy-conscious products, highlighting less carbon consumption to manufacture, ownership of their CSR.

3. Availability of turnkey solutions – recognition of a pain point, a visible issue that requires an immediate fix with an off the shelf solution readily available. These solutions are generally market hardened in that reliability and verification are included.

Points 1 and 3 are already enjoy significant attention and are established vehicles within industry but the potential of organisations to help themselves to drive a low carbon future has significant potential. There are a number of areas to be considered by management to support their organisations in addressing this challenge:

a) Fear and overcoming risk adverse approaches – change management processes need to be understood, quality systems tend to be well established and allow a high degree of understanding of operational performance. Using this system to measure, monitor and verify @ a production tool level allows confidence to be built up.

b) Resource constraint – too few people to do too many things. Energy is not our core business so individuals are directed towards more immediate and visually impacting metrics. Energy consumption has to be factored into TCO @ a tool level or production cost center as compared to pro-rata euro/m² assumptions. This will enable effective prioritization.

c) Knowledge gaps – Data and education to build an energy conscious organization requires time and investment in people and systems. Establishing this will allow an understanding of energy consumption and subsequent carbon emission performance ‘cradle to grave’ across the supply chain and product design.

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