Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Productivity benefits of industrial energy efficiency measures
- Author(s): Worrell, Ernst
- et al.
We review the relationship between energy efficiency improvement measures and productivity in industry. We review over 70 industrial case studies from widely available published databases, followed by an analysis of the representation of productivity benefits in energy modeling. We propose a method to include productivity benefits in the economic assessment of the potential for energy efficiency improvement. The case-study review suggests that energy efficiency investments can provide a significant boost to overall productivity within industry. If this relationship holds, the description of energy-efficient technologies as opportunities for larger productivity improvements has significant implications for conventional economic assessments. The paper explores the implications this change in perspective on the evaluation of energy-efficient technologies for a study of the iron and steel industry in the US. This examination shows that including productivity benefits explicitly in the modeling parameters would double the cost-effective potential for energy efficiency improvement, compared to an analysis excluding those benefits. We provide suggestions for future research in this important area.