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Digitalisation to be ‘main driver’ of Operational Technology

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Almost half (45%) of industrial companies believe digitalisation will be the primary reason that new operational technology (OT) job roles will be created in the next three years.

The research, commissioned by Schneider Electric and carried out by Omdia, polled 407 industrial companies ranging from small and medium enterprises to large companies across western Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden), the US, China, India, and Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines). The study highlighted the scale of the global industrial skills crisis, with talent acquisition a key challenge for more than half of those surveyed (52%).

However, it also identified the cure for this problem. Alongside job creation, over two-thirds (70%) of those surveyed agree that digitalization will help to tackle talent shortages, highlighting the potential of digital tools to deliver more than just productivity and efficiency.

While the skills crisis rages, the industrial workplace is undergoing rapid change. Sustainability goals and advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital twins, are becoming further integrated into the workforce. The research found that 45% and 47% respectively believe that the increasing requirements of industrial companies to meet environmental and social sustainability goals will require a significant extension of existing job roles in the plant.

“Digitalization doesn’t just benefit productivity and overall efficiency. It’s vital for solving some of the people-centric challenges facing industrial businesses,” said Ali Haj Fraj, Senior Vice President, Digital Factory, Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric. “There’s a real opportunity for industrial enterprises to optimize and enhance OT roles. By reducing the time spent on administrative tasks and enabling people to better fulfil their potential, we can solve many of the key challenges facing these businesses and help build a more sustainable future.”

The survey found that over half of respondents (52%) consider talent acquisition and retention to be a challenge, but one that can be overcome, showing that a level of optimism is shared among industrial businesses around overcoming workforce challenges.

Three in five (60%) believe OT roles will change in the next three years, either moderately (41%) or significantly (19%). Furthermore, a large majority (73%) agree that digitalization will substantially change the nature of work in the next three years. Three in ten (31%) consider quality-control roles to be most significantly augmented or enhanced by digitalization.

The survey also found that in the next three years industrial companies expect new skills will be required in areas like robotics programming and integration (49% of the respondents say they have no or insufficient skills in this area) and data processing, visualization, and analytics (on average more than 30% have no or insufficient skills in these areas). While respondents say they are prioritizing investment in data processing, visualization, and analytics, robotics programming and integration is indicated as only a medium priority for almost half of those surveyed. A key recommendation from the research is thus for industrial companies to work with partners across the industrial ecosystem who can help meet technology skills deficits with solutions, training, and other capabilities to prepare their workforce for the future.

“The changing nature of the industrial workforce is, and will increasingly, necessitate investment in digitalization to empower staff and improve productivity and efficiency,” said Alex West, Senior Principal Analyst, Industrial IoT and Sustainability at Omdia. “If they don’t, the broader and more serious longer-term impact will be on innovation and an inability to mitigate talent shortages.”

The full report, entitled The Future of Work in Industry, can be accessed here.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Climate finance ‘critical to economic recovery’ say WTO, China and others

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Green energy, innovative technologies and broad inclusivity could help secure an economic rebound in the face of inflation, geopolitical tensions, barriers to trade and talk of ‘decoupling’ that are creating headwinds for the global economy.

That’s according to speakers at speakers in the Braving the Headwinds: Rewiring Growth Amid Fragility session at the World Economic Forum’s Meeting of New Champions event, which asserted that better cooperation is needed to drive growth and address shared challenges.

. Fresh from the New Global Financing Pact in Paris, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said financing remains the biggest obstacle to getting climate projects off the ground. “What is required is urgent action, but we can’t take action if we don’t have oxygen. The oxygen is in fact the capital, the finance that’s needed in order to be able to fuel the activities of both the public sector and the private sector,” she said. “The problem is that there is a serious disparity in the pricing of capital between the global north and the global south. Some of it relates to foreign exchange risk, some of it relates to lack of information and data, some of it relates to lack of confidence with respect to systems and rule of law, some of it is unconscious bias. We have to start where we can make meaningful progress, and that is in the area of finance.”

She was joined by Chris Hipkins, Prime Minister of New Zealand, whose priority is putting climate at the heart of the country’s economy. “We have to ensure what we produce is clean, green and sustainable.” He added that economic growth depends on “an international rules-based system for trade,” and pointed to the success of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as an example of multilateral cooperation.

That multilateralism is under threat, according to Zhang Yuzhou, Chairman, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). “We often hear talks of decoupling and related practices which certainly impede international cooperation and trade,” he said. With restrictions on technologies like chips, Zhang said, “We still see major barriers in terms of the free flow of technology.”

Viet Nam and China, both engines of the economy in Asia, present possible solutions. Growing consumption and investment are expected to drive a 6% uptick in Viet Nam’s GDP this year. “We need to expand our market for export, remove tariffs and barriers and remove trade protection measures,” said Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of Viet Nam, adding, “No one country can solve the issues alone.” China expects GDP growth of 5% this year, driven by strong growth in wind power, renewable energyvehicles and other promising green technologies. Zhang said China would still like to see better policy coordination among major economies. “We need to enhance mutual trust so we can grow global economic growth,” he said.

Spreading that growth will help more countries get a piece of the growing economic pie, according to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization. She would like to see supply chains expand beyond the usual markets to places like Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and Bangladesh. “Let us look at those areas that are friendly to invest in and see if we can centralize and diversify supply chains and bring these areas into the world trade. Integrate them better,” she said. “I’d like the business world to look at this potential.” She also mentioned green trade and digital services as two growth areas that could help more people share in economic prosperity.

Image by Kanenori from Pixabay

Organisations using licence-exempt energy offered cash boost

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Firms including steelmakers, recycling plants and manufacturers are among the hundreds of businesses that will benefit from a new scheme launched by the government to help with the cost of their energy bills.

Most businesses across the country are receiving money off their energy costs automatically, thanks to an unprecedented support package from the government totalling around £7 billion so far – amounting to over £35 million a day.

However, a selection of companies – including some large chemical plants and those providing critical national infrastructure – require a bespoke support scheme to subsidise energy from a licence-exempt supplier.

Some suppliers can benefit from licence exemptions for various reasons, for example if they operate on a small scale with limited impact on the electricity system. Companies may use a licence-exempt supplier because they are based on a site with a private network or operate directly within the wholesale energy market.

These companies – known as Non-Standard Customers – can now apply for help with their bills from April 2023 to March 2024, similar to the support others will receive under the government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS).

For some, these discounts could amount to thousands of pounds off their energy bills and provide vital help with their cashflow, following the impact of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine on global energy costs. The move comes as the government continues to deliver on its promise to protect jobs, grow the economy and halve inflation.

Some of these businesses and organisations that use a licence-exempt supplier can also from today apply for backdated support under the Non-Standard Cases Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

Those that get their licence-exempt supply from the public grid were given access to this support from October 2022 to March 2023. The scheme has now been extended to cover the same cohort as the Non-Standard Cases Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This means companies that get a licence-exempt supply from waste, anaerobic digestion and biomass plants will now be able to retrospectively apply for energy discounts to match support others received this winter.

The government is urging companies to check their eligibility on GOV.UK, as both suppliers of licence-exempt energy and their customers can apply for the new schemes via the government website from today. Payments will be made either to the provider to pass on or directly to the customer depending on who made the application.

The new rate of support provided through the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, which launched on 1 April, reflects wholesale energy prices falling to their lowest level since before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Higher levels of support are offered to eligible energy and trade intensive industries and heat network operators – with some businesses expected to save 20% of predicted wholesale energy costs.

Director of Policy at the Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology (REA) Frank Gordon, said: “The REA welcomes the news that more companies are receiving support through both the EBRS and EBDS non-standard cases scheme. It is encouraging to see more businesses than previously, now be supported under EBDS in the future. In the longer term, businesses can make considerable bill savings by moving to renewable energy supplies, such as by generating their own renewable energy on-site.”

The road to smarter buildings & facilities management with IoT  

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Inflation, energy costs and the cost of living are increasingly causing challenges for businesses and consumers. This is resulting in higher operational costs for organisations to not only manage, but run their facilities – placing pressure on facility managers’ shoulders to operate their sites more cost effectively and productively. In addition, the industry faces labour and skills shortages, which are causing operational challenges for many teams.

That in mind, what should facility managers consider as they strive to cope with these pressures? Moreover, what is the role of people alongside technology in managing facilities during 2023 – especially as buildings become smarter, digital transformation continues to thrive, and IoT becomes affordable? Chris Potts, Marketing Director, ANT Telecom discusses how IoT monitoring can support smarter and more effective facilities management…

The role of people and technology
One of the problems many facilities managers come up against in managing their sites is that they lack the time, resources and information required to do so. With the many sites and the many systems required to keep a building functioning, facilities managers are up against it as they travel from site to site, or from one part of a property to another, to check the status of their facilities.

This often comprises assessing if facilities are safe and secure, and that occupants are happy in the environment that they operate in. Factors that many facilities managers are often checking include room temperatures; whether there is enough good lighting (especially for those that are not near a window); and they are increasingly focusing on ensuring areas are properly ventilated in efforts to ensure that premises do not become too stuffy or difficult to concentrate in, promoting productivity.

So, they are continuously monitoring whether critical systems, such as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, are in good working condition – as we all know, it can very disruptive on hot or cold days if these systems fail, because they can make conditions difficult to work in. Further, facilities managers face the constant battle of providing people accessing a space an optimum room temperature – one colleague wants a warmer office, another complains that it’s too cold. What is the best way to control this without true knowledge about the state of play?

The challenge here is that facilities managers often do not  have reliable, intelligent data to draw on to help manage room or site temperatures. It’s very difficult to know what the current temperature of a room is unless they’re continually checked, which is very time consuming. It’s also impractical to do this manually on a daily basis, when facilities management teams are already stretched and responsible for multiple sites and systems. However, despite the time and effort required to do this, it’s quite a common process in many industries to monitor HVAC, environments and equipment manually.

Manual processes, ripe for improvement

Take the food and hospitality sector as another example. Staff often manually monitor and record the temperature of fridges/freezers regularly throughout the day to ensure appliances are working correctly and that food remains fresh and good to eat. Similarly, in hospitals, care homes and hotels staff are typically tasked twice weekly to systematically flush all water outlets (e.g. taps and showers) to measure water temperature, and to record all activity to control the risk of legionella growth.

Organisations are also trying to tackle high energy costs by cutting appropriate usage where possible.  This involves turning lights and heating off, in many cases, when staff leave premises; or using high powered equipment only when necessary; or replacing old appliances with more energy efficient models. But, who is responsible for checking that lights are, indeed, off – something normally done manually, and what about the other systems and appliances used?

All these manual, resource intensive processes are ripe for improvement. However, without the ability to measure key parameters across these scenarios, it’s difficult to know if any new procedures or processes implemented will address the issues raised, and if they are working effectively or not.

IoT sensors provide insight centrally

This is where IoT sensors can help. Installed in key locations, they offer site managers the capabilities to monitor equipment and key parts of a particular building, site or facility centrally.  Sensors can be installed in any number of scenarios too these days to automate and monitor all sorts of equipment and conditions such as room temperature, CO2, lighting and energy.

Further, with no cables to worry about, installing a sensor today is easy, as it only takes a few minutes. Batteries within sensors typically last 3- 5 years too, depending on data transmission rates, meaning they require very little maintenance.

Once data has been collected from sensors it is uploaded to a secure online portal where registered users, like facilities managers, can access and review at any time from any PC, Laptop or Smartphone. Thresholds across key metrics can be set to notify key individuals when levels have been breached, and floor plans can be loaded so that facilities managers can visually see where sensors are located. What is more, it is possible to document causes for threshold breaches to discover trends, and generate paperless reports that can be automatically shared with appropriate colleagues or fulfil compliance obligations.

Essentially, this data provides valuable insights, enabling teams to implement measures that improve site operations, monitor equipment or track equipment issues, in efforts to reduce energy, waste and save money.


Today facilities managers are expected to spread themselves across many sites in efforts to improve site operations. This is not physically possible all the time, and is immensely time consuming, resource intensive and impractical in certain occasions.

As the capabilities of the IoT sensor market improves, facilities managers can harness this technology to reduce the burden for themselves, and their respective teams, to automate the checking, monitoring and management of some sites, environments, facilities and equipment. This will enable teams to spend their time on other meaningful tasks more productively.

What is more, since this technology has reached a state of affordability, it can be implemented incrementally in stages, in such a way that allows teams to start with small trial projects, before developing more sophisticated monitoring strategies, with a view to ultimately providing organisations with the much needed knowledge required to improve operations.

Low carbon hydrogen to ‘play defining role’ in energy transition

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The hydrogen market has progressed rapidly in recent years due to its growing application in industries like the transport, industrial, energy, aerospace, defence, and construction sectors. Against this backdrop, low carbon hydrogen is gaining traction as a critical component to achieve energy transition and long-term decarbonisation goals, says a leading analyst.

The global demand for pure hydrogen stood at nearly 74MMT (million metric tons) per year in 2021, of which low carbon hydrogen accounted for a miniscule share of 0.89%. Low carbon hydrogen, including green hydrogen, has generated tremendous interest as a sustainable option to achieve long-term climate goals or net-zero targets.

Srinwanti Kar, Power Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Various countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, and India have framed hydrogen roadmaps, strategies, mandates, and targets to develop a hydrogen economy in general and low carbon in particular. These plans are focused mainly on scaling up hydrogen production capacity, reducing costs, and bolstering supply chain infrastructure.”

GlobalData’s latest report, “Low-Carbon Hydrogen Market Report, Update 2023 – Global Market Outlook, Trends, and Key Country Analysis,” observes that during 2021-2022, the low carbon hydrogen sector took first big strides as a number of projects were announced as part of the strategy towards energy transition.

Kar continued: “Significant policy support and governments’ commitment to decarbonization is spurring investments in the hydrogen space. The momentum that has been built along the entire value chain is accelerating cost reduction in hydrogen production, retail, and end-applications.”

In November 2022, at COP27, the World Bank Group announced the formation of the Hydrogen for Development Partnership (H4D), a new global project to increase the deployment of low carbon hydrogen in developing countries.

Kar added: “North America leads the market in terms of low carbon hydrogen active production capacity, followed by the Middle East and Africa, Europe, and Asia Pacific. As of February 2023, the global low carbon hydrogen production capacity was 1,698ktpa (Kilo Tonnes Per Annum), which is anticipated to reach 1,11,326ktpa in terms of high case scenario and 66,321ktpa in terms of low case scenario by 2030. Suitable planning at the funding level, constructive regulatory framework, and proper infrastructure may facilitate and accelerate the pace of projects.”


As of February 2023, a total of 152mtpa (Metric Tonnes Per Annum) of the low carbon hydrogen capacity is in the pipeline, of which 1.9mtpa is in construction, 136.7mtpa in feasibility, and 6.4mtpa in front end engineering design (FEED) stage.


Kar concluded: “The cost of low carbon hydrogen production is expected to decrease by up to 60% over the next decade because of the reduction in the cost of renewable electricity. Facilitating regulatory framework and demand visibility by adopting legal measures, accelerating public funding for low carbon hydrogen projects,advancing hydrogen infrastructure development, technological advancements leading to cost reduction, access to finance, and government mandates or targets to support hydrogen adoption are some of the key factors which will drive the growth of low carbon hydrogen market.”

Solar farm to save ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds a year’ off Rochdale council’s energy bills

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Plans for a brand new solar farm in Heywood in Greater Manchester are powering ahead, with the 10 hectare site set to produce enough energy to power 1,700 homes.

The electricity produced will be supplied to the national grid and used to offset the council’s annual energy bill, potentially saving the authority hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

The project was made possible after Rochdale Borough Council successfully bid for £3.3 million funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project is being delivered by Vital Energi.

Chamber House is only the second solar farm in the borough, following the installation of one at Rochdale Leisure Centre, which helps to power the facility.

The Chamber House Solar farm will be able to produce 5.5 megawatts of electricity, which will make a significant contribution towards Greater Manchester’s target of increasing renewable energy generation by 45 MW before 2024 across the 10 boroughs.

Liam O’Rourke, cabinet member for climate change and the environment, said: “It’s great to see this vital project heating up. It’s really important for Heywood and the wider borough. All local authorities in Greater Manchester have pledged to become net zero by 2038 and schemes like this show that Rochdale is more than playing its part to help us all reach this important target.

“In addition to helping us to tackle the ongoing climate emergency, this scheme will shave thousands off the authority’s annual energy bill, which is more important than ever, as costs continue to rise.”

The new solar farm, which is expected to be operational during autumn 2023, is one of a number of schemes the council is delivering to help tackle the environmental crisis.

The borough’s 3 largest leisure centres have all had solar panels installed on their roofs, as have a selection of primary schools and other council buildings, including the Green Lane Depot and some council-owned industrial units.

Operations Manager at Vital Energi, David Oatt, said: “This is an ambitious project to create a major new solar farm capable of generating 5.5MW and is a significant step on Rochdale’s net zero journey.  We are delighted to be working in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council on a project which will contribute to a cleaner, greener Greater Manchester as well as drastically reducing the council’s energy bills.”

Europe takes the lead in sustainable growth: Digital Product Passports

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By Elena Rotzokou, Global EPR Researcher, Ecoveritas

The unprecedented number of Extended Producer Responsibility legislation that has been greenlighted since the advent of 2023 across Europe no doubt signals a new level of environmental awareness on a governmental, rather than merely social level.

European legislative bodies have mobilized themselves en masse since March 2022, which is when several proposals aimed at product sustainability saw the light of day, most notably a circular economy business model. All these proposals fall under the ambitious purview of the European Green Deal, first approved in 2020, whose goal is to achieve incremental sustainable growth so that Europe becomes the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Green Deal legislation has proven most adaptable to the times. In the face of an era of overwhelming environmental catastrophe, which has just been capped with the war in Ukraine, the European Commission has issued a matching response: the European Digital Product Passport (DPP) initiative.

What are digital product passports? As the term implies, each product placed by a business on the EU market will need to carry its individual information passport, access to which will need to be provided via a data carrier to a unique product identifier (UID). The EU aims for a 2026 date by which to implement the legislation across three industries: apparel, batteries, and consumer electronics – with more to follow. Food and pharmaceutical products will be excluded. Through data transparency and accessibility, the product passport initiative seeks to raise awareness and encourage environmentally friendly action across all parties involved in a product’s lifecycle: manufacturers, distributors, and end consumers.

The logistics behind product passport use might seem complicated at first glance but are, in fact, straightforward: all a consumer needs to do is scan the product QR code with their phone to access DPP information. To help businesses understand their role in effectively making those passports a reality, several data specification standards have already been established at this early stage to demystify the process. For example, digital links accessible through a unique product identifier will need to be added to the products themselves rather than outer packaging or tags. Interested parties should be able to access information relating to raw materials, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and recycling options.

Traceability systems are to be in place to enable tracking all procedures leading from raw materials to the finished product. Measures will be taken to implement data collection and combination systems to meet the reporting requirements for the passports. Whoever on the supply chain brings a product to the market will carry the responsibility for guaranteeing DPP data accuracy.

As far as the packaging industry is concerned, a range of data availability requirements are expected pertaining, among other things, to product and product packaging weight and volume, durability, reusability, reparability, the presence of substances inhibiting circularity, energy and resource efficiency, recycled content, remanufacturing, waste generation, resource use, microplastic release, and carbon footprints.

In addition to batteries, apparel, and electronics, there is pressure on more industries to adopt the DPP initiative, such as textiles (especially furniture), plastics, chemicals, construction, and automobile manufacturing. Since the 31st of January and until the 5th of December, the European Commission is conducting consultation on various product categories that will be impacted by this law, such as textiles and footwear, furniture, cosmetics, aluminum, plastic and polymer, paper, and glass.

Legislation pertaining to data accessibility and traceability information has already affected EPR laws for plastics, and so DPPs should be a crowning moment in what is already an unfolding process. If all obligated parties cooperate effectively, digital passports might come to be an inextricable part of products, to the point where, ultimately, all products come to life equipped with passports.

2026 is not far away and further guidelines are expected to start trickling in throughout the coming months to inform obligated businesses of how they should expect to be impacted by DPPs.

About the Author

Elena Rotzokou is Global Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Researcher at Ecoveritas. She joined Ecoveritas immediately after completing a master’s degree in English at the University of Oxford. She has brought the advanced research, writing, and communication skills she honed during her academic studies to Ecoveritas, where she performs research on EPR regulations worldwide, writes reports and blog posts, and facilitates external liaisons with clients. 

UK workers ‘expect help to commute sustainably’

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New research from The Electric Car Scheme shows that nearly two-fifths (38%) of workers expect their  employer to help them commute to work sustainably. Unsurprisingly, this rises to 48% for those at the start of their career (21-34).

Workers of all stripes are keen on a workplace electric car scheme helping them make that commute. A majority of those questioned (60%) say that being offered an electric car salary sacrifice scheme would make them more likely to stay in their current job, or take a new job if they were offered one elsewhere. This is, again, most prominent among younger workers, rising to 74% among 21–34-year-olds.

The Government-backed tax-advantaged scheme is being adopted by more and more UK workplaces, allowing employees to use their pre-tax income to pay for an electric car lease. However, according to the survey, only 22% of workers are currently offered this benefit by their employer.

Salary sacrifice puts brand new electric car leases into the reach of far more people, with cars available from as little as £233 a month.

This represents a 30-60% discount on regular leases and even larger savings when compared with the financing costs of a new vehicle, which are close to £1,000 per month for a Tesla Model Y. Over a year an Electric Car Scheme lease for the same Tesla Model Y will be £5,724 cheaper than the financing costs of a purchase, and £3,648 cheaper than a traditional lease**.

  Tesla Model Y Kia E-Niro Electric Estate Renault Zoe
Buy £991/month £791/month £405/month
Lease £818/month £552/month £325/month
ECS Lease £514/month £353/month £233/month

These cost benefits come before the savings in fuel and maintenance that electric cars offer over petrol and diesel alternatives.

Employers offering the scheme face no costs themselves, with administration and support for HR, Finance and employees handled by The Electric Car Scheme.

Research urges more use of excess heat for energy

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New data from Danish engineering group Danfoss has highlighted the vast untapped potential of excess heat as a source of energy.

In the EU alone, excess heat amounts to 2,860 TWh/y, corresponding almost to the EU’s total energy demand for heat and hot water in residential and service sector buildings such as schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, offices and shopping centers.

A full implementation of technologies that tap into synergies between different sectors and enable a utilization of excess heat has the potential to save EUR 67.4 bn a year once fully implemented in 2050.

Every time an engine runs, it generates heat. Anyone who has felt the warmth behind their fridge can confirm this. The same is true on a larger scale in supermarkets, data centers, factories, wastewater facilities, metro stations and commercial buildings. Excess heat can be reused to supply a factory with heat and warm water or reused by neighboring homes and industries through a district energy system.

Using this energy that would otherwise go to waste can give a productivity boost to the economy and lower energy prices for consumers, says the whitepaper.

Utilizing excess heat can replace significant amounts of fossil fuels that are otherwise needed to produce heat. Used this way, excess heat can help stabilize the future electricity grid and thereby ease the transition to a green energy system.

In some countries the excess heat can even match the entire heat demand. In the Netherlands, excess heat amounts to 156 TWh/y while the heat demand is only 152 TWh/y.

Yet the potential of excess heat is not even close to being utilised and is politically ignored, asserts the whitepaper.

According to Kim Fausing, President & CEO of Danfoss, recycling heat is not only an overlooked measure in the current energy crisis, but also the next frontier of the green transition: “Energy demand is set to grow dramatically in the years to come due to population growth and rising incomes. Without urgent action to tackle the demand side of the green equation, using every single unit of energy more efficiently, we will not get on track to meet global climate goals,” Kim Fausing adds.

The whitepaper, titled ‘The world’s largest untapped energy source: Excess heat’ assesses the potential of excess heat as an efficient energy source. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a global push for more efficient use of energy can reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 5 gigatons per year by 2030 compared with current policy settings. A third of the reduction needed in energy-related CO2 emissions this decade according to the IEA net zero scenario must come from improvements in energy efficiency.

In terms of energy security, these energy savings can help avoid almost 30 million barrels of oil per day and 650 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year (around four times what the EU imported from Russia in 2021).

“The potential in reusing excess heat is staggering. But we need to change our perspective on it and begin to consider excess heat as an energy resource instead of waste to be disposed of,” adds Kim Fausing.

“Today there are a number of barriers that prevent us from reusing excess heat including lack of information and regulation. We have to introduce economic incentives, policy measures and prioritization of partnerships between local authorities, energy suppliers and energy sources to help maximize the full potential of excess heat.”

Toby Morgan, Senior Manager, Built Environment, Climate Group, said: “The global energy crisis is a wakeup call to stop wasting energy, and Danfoss is right to call for governments and corporates to seize the enormous potential of excess heat. Now more than ever we need to make better use of the energy we already produce, we simply can’t afford to let it literally escape out the window. Energy efficiency improvements, like capturing and recycling excess heat, are absolutely critical to lower fossil fuel demand and lower bills.”

Government commits £12m to help energy-intensive industries cut emissions

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Businesses across the UK will benefit from a share of more than £12 million government funding to help energy-intensive industries cut their carbon emissions and energy costs.

The funding for the 22 winning projects will help businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland clean up their industrial processes and improve their energy efficiency – benefiting industries including pharmaceuticals, steel, paper, and food and drink.

This £12.4 million funding was awarded as part of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), which has awarded grants to British projects across the country to increase the energy efficiency of their industrial processes, from car manufacturing to steel production and food processing.

The winning bids include sustainably harvesting food in Carmarthenshire, Wales, through a new air source heat pump system, capturing waste heat to dry, heat, crush and grind materials for roadmaking in South Yorkshire and using revolutionary high temperature heat pumps to reduce the energy needed to heat and cool cheese, reducing emissions in dairy farms across the Midlands.

It is estimated that industry is currently responsible for producing 16% of the UK’s emissions and will need to cut emissions by two thirds by 2035 in order for the UK to achieve its net zero target.

The funding will play a crucial role in helping to clean up big-emitting industries as part of the UK’s green industrial revolution – decarbonising their industrial processes and reducing their reliance on expensive fossil fuels, such as gas. This means businesses will not only reduce their environmental impact, but also save on their energy bills and safeguard thousands of British jobs.

Graham Stuart, Minister at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said: “Boosting the energy efficiency of industrial processes is a critical step not only in our transition to a lower-carbon economy, but also by helping businesses to cut their energy costs and protect valuable British jobs.

“That’s why the government has stepped in once again to support energy intensive industries, with a fresh funding round to unleash the next generation of green innovators who are re-shaping the way technology can reduce carbon emissions.

“So far, £34.8 million of funding has been awarded through the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, which was first launched in June 2020.”