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Implications of process energy efficiency improvements for primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the national level


  • Siitonen, Sari
  • Tuomaala, Mari
  • Suominen, Markku
  • Ahtila, Pekka


The improvement of energy efficiency is seen as one of the most promising measures for reducing global CO2 emissions. However, the emission reduction potential may seem different from the industrial plant and policy-maker's perspectives. This paper evaluates the influences of process heat conservation on CHP electricity production, primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions from both the mill site and national perspectives. The results indicate that heat conservation in an industrial process may lead to varying results in primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions, depending on the form of marginal heat production used at the mill site. In the CHP process, reduction of the heat load lowers electricity production, and this reduction may have to be compensated for at the national level. Therefore, the energy conservation potential in industry has to be evaluated by taking into account the connections to the outside society, which means that a wider system boundary than a mill site has to be used. This study demonstrates by theoretical analysis and case mill studies the magnitude of the effects of system boundary definition when evaluating the contribution of an individual energy efficiency investment towards fulfilling the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions at the national level.

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  • Siitonen, Sari & Tuomaala, Mari & Suominen, Markku & Ahtila, Pekka, 2010. "Implications of process energy efficiency improvements for primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the national level," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(9), pages 2928-2937, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:87:y:2010:i:9:p:2928-2937

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karlsson, Magnus & Gebremedhin, Alemayehu & Klugman, Sofia & Henning, Dag & Moshfegh, Bahram, 2009. "Regional energy system optimization - Potential for a regional heat market," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(4), pages 441-451, April.
    2. Tanaka, Kanako, 2008. "Assessment of energy efficiency performance measures in industry and their application for policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2877-2892, August.
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    1. Assaf, A. George & Barros, Carlos Pestana & Managi, Shunsuke, 2011. "Cost efficiency of Japanese steam power generation companies: A Bayesian comparison of random and fixed frontier models," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 1441-1446, April.
    2. Alcázar-Ortega, Manuel & Álvarez-Bel, Carlos & Domijan, Alexander & Escrivá-Escrivá, Guillermo, 2012. "Economic and environmental evaluation of customers' flexibility participating in operation markets: Application to the meat industry," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 368-379.
    3. Wu, Zhibin & Xu, Jiuping, 2013. "Predicting and optimization of energy consumption using system dynamics-fuzzy multiple objective programming in world heritage areas," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 19-31.
    4. Wilby, Mark Richard & Rodríguez González, Ana Belén & Vinagre Díaz, Juan José, 2014. "Empirical and dynamic primary energy factors," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 771-779.
    5. Li, Y.P. & Huang, G.H. & Chen, X., 2011. "Planning regional energy system in association with greenhouse gas mitigation under uncertainty," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 599-611, March.
    6. Zhang, Nan & Smith, Robin & Bulatov, Igor & Klemeš, Jiří Jaromír, 2013. "Sustaining high energy efficiency in existing processes with advanced process integration technology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 26-32.
    7. Feng, Zhen-Hua & Wei, Yi-Ming & Wang, Kai, 2012. "Estimating risk for the carbon market via extreme value theory: An empirical analysis of the EU ETS," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 97-108.
    8. Boharb, A. & Allouhi, A. & Saidur, R. & Kousksou, T. & Jamil, A. & Mourad, Y. & Benbassou, A., 2016. "Auditing and analysis of energy consumption of an industrial site in Morocco," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 332-342.
    9. Gallo, Michela & Del Borghi, Adriana & Strazza, Carlo & Parodi, Lara & Arcioni, Livia & Proietti, Stefania, 2016. "Opportunities and criticisms of voluntary emission reduction projects developed by Public Administrations: Analysis of 143 case studies implemented in Italy," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 1269-1282.
    10. Liobikienė, Genovaitė & Butkus, Mindaugas, 2017. "The European Union possibilities to achieve targets of Europe 2020 and Paris agreement climate policy," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 298-309.
    11. Honma, Satoshi & Hu, Jin-Li, 2014. "Industry-level total-factor energy efficiency in developed countries: A Japan-centered analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 67-78.
    12. repec:eee:appene:v:209:y:2018:i:c:p:251-265 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Gazda, Wiesław & Kozioł, Joachim, 2013. "The estimation of energy efficiency for hybrid refrigeration system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 49-57.
    14. Kortela, J. & Jämsä-Jounela, S-L., 2013. "Fuel moisture soft-sensor and its validation for the industrial BioPower 5 CHP plant," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 66-74.
    15. Shigeto, Sawako & Yamagata, Yoshiki & Ii, Ryota & Hidaka, Masato & Horio, Masayuki, 2012. "An easily traceable scenario for 80% CO2 emission reduction in Japan through the final consumption-based CO2 emission approach: A case study of Kyoto-city," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 201-205.
    16. repec:ssi:jouesi:v:3:y:2016:i:4:p:319-327 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Kohl, Thomas & Laukkanen, Timo & Järvinen, Mika & Fogelholm, Carl-Johan, 2013. "Energetic and environmental performance of three biomass upgrading processes integrated with a CHP plant," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 124-134.
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    19. Karali, Nihan & Xu, Tengfang & Sathaye, Jayant, 2014. "Reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by energy efficiency measures and international trading: A bottom-up modeling for the U.S. iron and steel sector," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 133-146.

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    Energy efficiency System boundary CO2 emissions;

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