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Process industry has massive energy-efficiency potential

The process industry is set to significantly increase its energy efficiency over the next 34 years, according to a study from ICF Consulting.

The in-depth 456-page report predicted the energy consumption of the following eight industrial sectors until 2050:

  • Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Food and beverages
  • General machinery
  • Iron and steel
  • Non-ferrous metals
  • Non-metallic minerals
  • Petroleum refineries
  • Pulp, paper and print

These sectors are responsible for a quarter of the UK’s total energy consumption and make up 98 per cent of industrial energy usage. ICF Consulting forecasts that most of them will see a significant rise in production rates over the next 34 years. This is despite all but the iron and steel and chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors being on course to reduce their energy consumption across the same period.

Achieving this impressive balance between increasing output while reducing energy consumption relies largely on increasingly-sophisticated electric motor and variable-speed drive technology.

Electric motors account for around two thirds of industrial energy consumption. Installing variable-speed drives on motor-driven applications such as pumps, mixers and conveyors allows users to enjoy energy savings of up to 60%.

For example, reducing the running speed of an application by just 20 per cent may use only half the rated power. This means that even the smallest reduction in motor speed can have a considerable impact on energy consumption, with payback on equipment cost achievable within a matter of months in many cases.

Gibbons Engineering Group has been helping its clients in the process industry save money on motor-driven applications for decades. We have a comprehensive range of electric motors (up to IE4) and ABB drives available direct from stock for next-day UK and Europe delivery. For more information, call us on 01621 868138 or email

Variable-Speed Drives, Electric Motors

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