Automation leader ABB announced it will join the United Nations Environment Program’s global action on improving appliance and equipment efficiency at last week’s UN Climate Summit in New York.
ABB says the company will provide expertise on energy-efficient motors and transformers to help governments devise policies that accelerate energy savings.
“ABB is excited to be part of the United Nations initiative and to contribute to decoupling economic growth from energy consumption and emissions,” says Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB. “Many cost- and energy-efficient technologies are already available. The biggest contribution governments and businesses can make to fighting climate change in the short term is to drive the implementation of existing, tested and often low-cost technologies for using energy more efficiently.”
By transitioning to more energy-efficient appliances and equipment, the UN says global electric consumption could be reduced by about 1,500 terawatt-hours by 2030, equivalent to 8 percent of today’s global electricity use.
As a manufacturer of transformers, electric motors and variable-speed drives, ABB has experience with creating energy-saving solutions.
ABB will provide the UN with information pertaining to energy efficiency in motors and transformers, based on its experience with current policies, regulations and standards. It also will offer advice on potential applications for the best available technologies.
According to ABB, electric motors account for about 28 percent of the global electricity consumption, and many of them are larger than required and often run at full speed.
ABB says energy savings quickly add up when high-efficiency motors are used in combination with devices that adapt their speed to the task at hand—known as variable-speed drives—because the energy used to run a motor over its lifetime costs 100 times more than the motor itself. Investing in a high-efficiency motor typically has an internal rate of return that is more than 100 percent higher than for a standard motor.
Transformers account for about 3 percent of global electricity consumption, a number that is set to triple in some markets by 2030. ABB says since the most efficient transformers consume 80 percent less electricity than the least efficient, making the savings clearly evident.