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The Imperative of Efficiency in the Energy Sector

Powering the Future: The Imperative of Efficiency in the Energy Sector

by Ruhia

Energy efficiency is a growing concern, not just for governments and consumers, but for businesses, too. The more work that can be done with a given amount of energy, the lower the burden on the natural world, and the higher that overall productivity will be.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages that might be accrued by pursuing efficiency in the energy sector.

Environmental Benefits

New technologies and techniques that bolster energy efficiency will inevitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While emissions have been steadily climbing over recent decades, the rate of the climb is slowing – and this is largely thanks to improved efficiency.

But greenhouse gas isn’t the whole of the story. When we talk about efficiency, we should also think about reductions in material waste. We might find new uses for scrap metal that don’t involve melting it down again, we might develop components that last for longer, and we might reduce the weight of products in order to drive down the energy costs of shipping and handling them.

Economic Advantages

All of the above also has significant economic implications. Companies that are able to reduce their operational costs by streamlining their processes will not only pollute less but also be able to deliver greater value to their stakeholders.

Drives toward energy efficiency will also help to create new jobs. These might result directly from investment in new technologies, or indirectly from the wider boosts to the supply chain. In many cases, the skills and experiences of those already involved in the energy sector will be highly transferrable to this new marketplace.

Technological Innovations and Smart Grids

New technologies like automation and artificial intelligence might help us to make better use of the electricity we already have. The so-called ‘smart grid’ will be able to collect data on end-user consumption, and modulate the supply accordingly. The end result? Less waste, lower costs, and greater resilience baked into the grid.

The way that we store energy is also going to matter, especially in a situation where the entire grid has moved away from gas toward renewable electrical energy sources. As batter efficiencies increase, these storage technologies will be able to act as buffers, compensating for the inherently intermittent nature of most renewable energy sources.

There are many components available to support alternative energy, via mainstream vendors like RS Americas.

Regulatory and Policy Implications

Governments also have a role to play in encouraging the right sorts of behavior in the energy sector. By manipulating tax rates and offering certain subsidies, it might be possible to push businesses toward greater efficiency – if the already-existing financial incentives aren’t compelling enough.

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