Energy saving potentials for industrial steam boilers - findings from the ecodesign process
Ecodesign is an important instrument of European energy policy making, which drives technological development and leads to significant energy savings by improving the environmental performance of energy-related products. Minimum energy performance standards and voluntary agreements which have been introduced under the Ecodesign Directive and so far concern more than 20 different product groups. One of the product groups currently investigated for possible regulation includes industrial steam boilers. According to estimates, industrial steam generation systems account for about one third of the overall industrial energy demand. Consequently, increasing energy efficiency in steam generation is relevant for suppliers, users and policy makers. In this paper, findings from the Ecodesign Preparatory Study on industrial steam boilers are presented. According to the predefined methodology for energy-related products, steam boilers with different key characteristics will be defined as base cases. They differ in their thermal capacity, operating pressure and thermal efficiency. Based on a review of energy efficiency measures for industrial steam usage, relevant measures for industrial steam boilers will be identified. Then, the potential increase in thermal efficiency based on techno-economic design approaches for each base case will be estimated. Finally, a stock model will serve to quantify the overall economic energy saving potentials in Europe under differing policy scenarios. We find that design improving options for industrial steam boiler are state of the art and established in market. Nevertheless, policy measures under the Ecodesign framework might increase the speed of their diffusion on the market. The resulting overall energy savings for the period from 2016 to 2030would be 71 TWh. Thus the results of this paper provide policy makers with an understanding of potential energy savings in Europe that would result from equipping new steam boilers with economic energy efficiency options within the Ecodesign framework.