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Specific Energy Consumption/Use (SEC) in Energy Management for Improving Energy Efficiency in Industry: Meaning, Usage and Differences

Author

Listed:
  • Akvile Lawrence

    (Department of Management and Engineering, Division of Energy Systems, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden)

  • Patrik Thollander

    (Department of Management and Engineering, Division of Energy Systems, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden)

  • Mariana Andrei

    (Department of Management and Engineering, Division of Energy Systems, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden)

  • Magnus Karlsson

    (Department of Management and Engineering, Division of Energy Systems, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden)

Abstract

Although several research studies have adopted specific energy consumption (SEC) as an indicator of the progress of improved energy efficiency, publications are scarce on critical assessments when using SEC. Given the increasing importance of monitoring improved industrial energy efficiency and the rising popularity of SEC as an energy key performance indicator (e-KPI), an in-depth analysis and problematization on the pros and cons of using SEC would appear to be needed. The aim of this article is to analyse SEC critically in relation to industrial energy efficiency. By using SEC in the pulp and paper industry as an example, the results of this exploratory study show that although SEC is often used as an e-KPI in industry, the comparison is not always straightforward. Challenges emanate from a lack of information about how SEC is calculated. It is likely that SEC is an optimal e-KPI within the same study, when all deployed SECs are calculated in the same way, and with the same underlying assumptions. However, before comparing SEC with other studies, it is recommended that the assumptions on which calculations are based should be scrutinized in order to ensure the validity of the comparisons. The paper remains an important contribution in addition to the available handbooks.

Suggested Citation

  • Akvile Lawrence & Patrik Thollander & Mariana Andrei & Magnus Karlsson, 2019. "Specific Energy Consumption/Use (SEC) in Energy Management for Improving Energy Efficiency in Industry: Meaning, Usage and Differences," Energies, MDPI, vol. 12(2), pages 1-22, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:2:p:247-:d:197785
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    References listed on IDEAS

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