Why this region must adopt energy efficient solutions to drive a sustainable future
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Why this region must adopt energy efficient solutions to drive a sustainable future

Why this region must adopt energy efficient solutions to drive a sustainable future

ABB’s technologies can reduce energy use in industry, buildings and transport, reveals Ahmed Radwan, MEA business lead at ABB Motion


Energy efficiency has become a major focus for the GCC, driven by the regional push towards sustainability. How can it be achieved?

All the stakeholders across the region should work closely together, including governments, consultancies, customers as well as educational institutes to set the standards of the future, but also to use the energy efficient products and solutions available today so that we can capture potential energy savings as soon as possible.

For instance, ABB’s technologies can reduce energy use in industry, buildings, and transport – sectors that together account for nearly three-quarters of global energy consumption. We have set ourselves the ambitious target of helping customers reduce their annual CO2 emissions by more than 100 megatons by 2030 – this is equivalent to the annual emissions of 30 million combustion cars.

What are the biggest challenges to adopting energy efficient solutions?

With 45 per cent of the world’s electricity used to power electric motors in buildings and industrial applications, investment in upgrading them will yield outsized rewards in terms of efficiency. Regulatory policies are among the main drivers of industrial investment in energy efficiency. While there are countries that have regulations that set IE3 efficiency standards for electric motors, many countries have yet to take action.

To take advantage of the tremendous opportunities afforded by energy efficient drives and motors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we all have a critical role to play. Public decision makers and government regulators need to incentivise their rapid adoption, businesses, cities, and countries need to be aware of both the cost savings and environmental advantages and be willing to make the investment. Investors need to reallocate capital towards companies better prepared to address the climate risk.

In the last 10 years, motor and drive technology has moved ahead and more energy efficient options have been produced. However, most of industry still relies heavily on older inefficient motors which have fixed – rather than variable – speed drives.

With technology rapidly changing, how can these solutions continue to stay relevant?

All global technology companies, like ABB, need to provide the most energy efficient solutions – and continue to innovate for more. We talk about an energy efficiency movement and need others to join so that we can have the greatest impact on reducing carbon emissions.

We believe our technology leadership, domain expertise, and global scale and coverage makes us uniquely positioned to help customers in their journey to a greener and more energy-efficient future. Technologies of the future are ready now and will continue to evolve to meet the requirements of rapidly changing demand patterns as well as to mitigate the impact of continuous climate change.

At ABB, what are the energy efficient solutions you offer in the region?

For ABB, sustainability is a key part of our company purpose. We have committed to electrifying our fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles by 2030 and to sourcing 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030. In 2020, 32 per cent of all the electricity used by ABB was either purchased as certified green electricity or generated by the company’s own solar power plants.

By far the biggest impact we can have in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is through our technologies.

ABB offers an expansive range of highly efficient motors and drives that can be used across all industries and applications. Roughly 75 per cent of the industrial motors in operation are used to run pumps, fans and compressors, a category of machinery that is high susceptible to major efficiency improvements.

Today there are motors available that are more than 95 per cent efficient. Adding a variable speed drive to control the motor to optimises its operation and you can typically reduce power consumption by 25 per cent or more.

It’s clear that upgrading to high efficiency technology can have enormous financial, operational and environmental implications.

What kind of an impact have your projects had in the region so far?

In the MEA region, we are actively supporting all industry segments to achieve their business needs. Our pioneering motors and drives technology is helping the water industry across different applications to reduce energy consumption and become more reliable.

We are playing a vital role in the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) segment on the commercial side as well as helping DCP customers to become more energy efficient with our application-specific offerings. In COG and heavy industry verticals, our products are simplifying complex challenges and optimising operational cost helping operators to be ‘future ready’.

Looking ahead, what are the industries you are looking to focus on? Also any new offerings you have in the pipeline?

We see digitalisation as a tremendous opportunity for both our customers and ourselves to further drive efficiency, productivity and uptime. We are investing in new digital offerings and our ambition is to set the standards on digital solutions in the motion industry.

Solutions such as smart sensors for motors and connected drives will make it possible to securely collect data.

The analysed data can be used to optimise performance and maximise efficiency gains. With meaningful insight into the condition of equipment, maintenance can be planned according to actual needs rather than on generic schedules. This extends equipment life, cuts maintenance costs and helps prevent unplanned downtime due to breakdowns.

By pairing our breakthrough IE5 ultra premium efficient SynRM motor with the optimal ABB drive technology, output can be pushed further than ever – saving energy, spending less and producing more. Because variable speed drive pairings can be industry optimised, ABB motor and drive packages are ideal for everything from water and wastewater to HVAC and food and beverage production. But any industry can benefit from the advantages that the motor-drive package offers.

For more information about ABB’s energy efficiency solutions, click here

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