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Energy efficiency in electric motor systems

Technology, saving potentials and policy options for developing countries
: Fleiter, Tobias; Eichhammer, Wolfgang

Vienna: UNIDO, 2011, 40 S.
Development Policy, Statistics and Research Branch. Working Paper, 11/2011
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Electric motor systems account for about 60 percent of global industrial electricity consumption and close to 70 percent of industrial electricity demand. Electric motors drive both, core industrial processes, like presses or rolls, and auxiliary systems like compressed air generation, ventilation or water pumping. They are utilized throughout all industrial branches, though their main applications vary.
Studies show a high potential for energy efficiency improvement in motor systems, in developing as well as in developed countries. Specifically, system optimisation approaches which address the entire motor system demonstrate high potential. For most countries the saving potentials for energy efficiency improvements in motor systems with best available technology lie between 9 and 13 percent of the national industrial electricity demand. Many of the energy efficiency investments show payback times of a few years only. Still, market failures and barriers like the lack of capital, higher initial costs, lack of attention by plant managers and principal agent dilemmas hamper investment in energy efficient motor systems.
To overcome these barriers, policies were established in several countries. Examples include minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) which introduced a minimum efficiency level for electric motors to allow them to enter the national market. These have been implemented in many countries worldwide. Although MEPS can be a very effective means to improve the market share of energy efficient motors, they are not designed to address system optimization aspects of, for example, entire compressed air or pump systems.
Policies based on a system optimization approach combined with capacity development were, for example, implemented in many developed countries, but also in newly industrialized countries like China or Brazil. These can be auditing schemes or energy management standards. Often, both are combined with broad capacity building programmes as their success crucially depends on the skills of the energy manager or auditor.