The Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project was established in 2010 in response to the growing need to improve the energy efficiency of South Africa. UNIDO, along with the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the UK Department of International Development and partnered by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Department of Energy (DoE) of South Africa, embarked on a program to address the global drive for greater energy efficiency.
The ultimate goal is to demonstrate the positive impact of energy management as a means of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and to demonstrate the effectiveness and financial impact of in-plant energy management. The project is hosted by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) at the CSIR and will be integrated into the centre after it has completed its 4 year lifespan.
Energy efficiency in industry contributes to decoupling economic growth and environmental impact while reducing industrial energy intensity and improving competitiveness. Industry is responsible for more than one third of global primary energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Industrial energy use is estimated to grow at an annual rate of between 1.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent over the next 25 years. In developing countries and countries with economies in transition, the portion of energy supply (excluding transport) required for industry can be up to 50 per cent. This often creates tension between economic development goals and constrained energy supply. Still, worldwide, the efficiency with which industry uses its energy is well below the technically feasible and economic optimum. It has been estimated that industry has the technical potential to decrease its energy intensity and emissions by up to 26 per cent and 32 per cent providing a striking 8 per cent and 12.4 per cent reduction in total global energy use and CO2 emissions (IEA).
Improving energy efficiency in industry is one of the most cost-effective measures to help supply-constrained developing and emerging countries meet their increasing energy demand and loosen the link between economic growth and environmental degradation, such as climate change.