An insight into the ecodesign process - the example of steam boilers
Within the European Union's energy policy, the reduction of the energy demand is one of the three major targets. Focussing on the energy use of products, Ecodesign is a successful instrument in European energy efficiency policy, driving the technological development and leading to significant energy savings. The Ecodesign process is ongoing, extending its scope to currently about 40 different product groups. One of the product groups currently under investigation is steam boilers. They are widely used in industry for steam generation and important energy consumers. According to estimates, industrial steam systems account for about one third of overall industrial energy demand. Thus, improved energy efficiency in steam generation is of significant interest to both industry and policy making. The Study on Amended Ecodesign Working Plan under the Ecodesign Directive states a saving potential of 177 PJ/a (VHK 2011). At the current state, little information is available on steam boilers in Europe. Within our paper, we will discuss the process of the Ecodesign preparatory study on industrial steam boilers. According to the defined methodological steps, we will present the market situation, as well as user and technological issues for this product group. Furthermore, we will present first results of the environmental and economic assessment of various measures to improve energy efficiency.