The Hidden Benefits of Energy efficiency: Quantifying the Impact of Non-Energy Benefits When Energy Efficiency Measures Are Implemented in The EU Iron and Steel industry
Bin Abdulwahed, F.F.A.
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Energy efficiency (EE) plays a key role in the ongoing efforts for a clean energy transition in the industry sector and for meeting the global climate and sustainability goals. So far, analyses of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) and technologies focus mostly on the direct energy saving potentials. Many of these energy efficiency measures provide additional benefits, known as non-energy benefits (NEBs). The steel sector rank first when it comes to CO2 emissions and second for energy consumption. To meet global energy and climate goals, emissions from the steel industry must fall by at least 50% by 2050. Although current efforts have been taken to improve energy efficiency, there are future saving opportunities. Hence, the study aims to quantify the additional NEBs that are overlooked when implementing EEMs within the iron and steel sector. Therefore, the research question is; “To what extent can including NEBs increase the attractiveness of energy efficiency measures in the Iron and steel sector in the EU and to what degree can they be quantified?” The research develops upon the findings from the SEEnergies project. This research analysed the impact of implementing 20 new EEMs within the process of the steel industry in the scope of the EU. The NEBs were applied to three mitigating Best Available Technologies (BATs) scenarios, to construct different energy demand pathways for the EU industry. The quantified NEBs in this study were fossil fuel-saving, avoided air and avoided deaths caused by pollution. These indicators show significant benefits in each BAT scenario. The NEB indicator increases the significance of the benefit of recycling, showing a drastic impact on emission and fossil fuel reduction, as well as the indirect impact of deaths from emissions. The limitation faced was the lack of available data to quantify other NEBs. Further research of the awareness of the importance’s of NEBs is required and simpler developed quantification methods. Ultimately, the findings of this study highlighted the unnoticeable benefits of energy-saving, demonstrating the wide prospect for future research in the field of non-energy benefits.