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Water companies urged to sustain energy reduction efforts

17 March 2011

ABB is using its platform at the upcoming IWEX 2011, part of Sustainabilitylive! 24th – 26th May, to urge water utilities not to lose sight of investing in energy-saving technology to cut their CO2 emissions.

In his presentation entitled ‘The CRC Chameleon’, Nicholas Brown, ABB’s Energy Appraisal Manager, outlines recent changes to the CRC Energy Efficiency scheme and the implications for water utilities.

“Previously the scheme was to be the UK’s first mandatory carbon trading programme aimed at cutting carbon emissions among large business and public sector organisations,” says Brown. “However, the government has decided to change the scheme into a green tax, generating £3.5 billion over the next four years for the UK economy.”

Although the scheme is now a tax, there is still a league table showing the best and worst performers, meaning water companies will still find it worthwhile to demonstrate their green credentials by lowering their emissions.

In his presentation, Brown warns against too much emphasis on simple monitoring and measuring of consumption, which carries the danger of ignoring technologies that could actually lower energy use.

As big users of pumps, water utilities contribute to the 160 TWh of electric energy that pumps use every year, more than any other type of industrial equipment, and accounting for 79 million metric tons of CO2 emissions a year. ABB will show how the use of variable speed drives and high efficiency motors can dramatically cut these figures, while improving productivity and reducing maintenance costs.

As part of the presentation, Brown presents a case study on the use of variable speed drives on primary settling tank pumps that has solved a major maintenance issue, removing the need for expensive sensors, reducing energy consumption and reducing tanker miles significantly and hence CO2.

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