At its annual energy efficiency ministerial conference in Versailles, France, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in June presented new analysis revealing the world must double the rate of energy efficiency improvements between now and 2030 in order to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement. The analysis underscores both the urgency of the issue and the essential role of industry, as the biggest consumer of energy, in addressing climate change.
In 2021, ABB founded the Energy Efficiency Movement, a global forum that brings together like-minded stakeholders to innovate and act for a more energy-efficient world. The Movement’s vision is to accelerate the transition to energy-efficient economies by leveraging industry’s collective resources, voice and expertise. Now, in its third year, and in view of the IEA’s recent call to speed progress on energy efficiency, it’s a good time to take stock of what’s been achieved by the Movement – and what lies ahead.
Over its first two years, the Movement concentrated on fostering awareness of the forum itself and of the broad range of energy efficiency opportunities available to industrial and commercial companies. Steadily building momentum over this span, the Movement is now approaching 350 member organizations (“movers”) from 30+ countries, with industry leaders like Alfa Laval, Danfoss, DHL Group, EY, Honeywell, Microsoft and Wärtsilä all signing on to bring their unique insights and ideas to bear on the topic. In the past 12 months, the Movement has engaged extensively with the IEA and movers alike, holding symposia on energy efficiency themes in 10 countries.
"A lot of the technology needed to meet the IEA’s targets for energy efficiency exists today,” notes Tarak Mehta, President, Motion business area, at ABB. “A big part of why the Energy Efficiency Movement came into existence was to create awareness of these capabilities and help industry take concrete steps to optimize energy usage.”
In November, the Movement published the Industrial energy efficiency playbook as a resource for executives looking for practical solutions to mitigate rising energy bills and draw down greenhouse gas emissions. The playbook sets out 10 key actions industry can take immediately to begin improving energy efficiency, ranging from smart buildings to heat management, high-efficiency motors and drives, fleet electrification, cloud computing and more.
At an Energy Efficiency Movement event coinciding with June’s Versailles conference, it was announced that Mike Umiker has been appointed to serve as the Movement’s managing director with immediate effect. Umiker assumes the role following a distinguished tenure at ABB, where he most recently served as head of marketing and sales operations for ABB’s Motion business area.
“Energy efficiency is the ‘first fuel’ of the global energy transition,” says Umiker. “While the world needs to move fast – and faster – to bring renewables online, we know the greenest energy of all is the energy we don’t consume. I’m excited to see industry coming together behind the Energy Efficiency Movement in such a powerful way – not merely as a collection of individual organizations, but as an ecosystem with a shared ambition to transform how industry uses energy and keep planetary heating below the critical 1.5-degree Celsius threshold.”
To this end, for the rest of 2023, the emphasis is squarely on activating this impressive network of movers to take things to the next level in terms of both reach and impact. The year will undoubtedly see a broadening of the network with yet more movers joining, but it will also be an opportunity to deepen the focus on key industry verticals, use cases and energy-efficient applications.
“Our mandate is to serve as the voice of industry when it comes to energy efficiency, to surface the best practices – and the next practices – organizations can implement,” continues Umiker. “We’ve recently launched a new video series ‘Energy Efficiency Forum’ with relevant stakeholders, and we continue to catalog real-world solutions in energy-intensive areas like HVAC, water, powertrains and many more. We have some important new thought leadership in the works, and I look forward to sharing this in the months to come. We’ll be engaging regularly with leaders and end users across industry in energy efficiency symposia, training programs and events all around the world.”
To learn more and keep abreast of news and innovations in energy efficiency, follow the Energy Efficiency Movement on LinkedIn.