Print page


Solving the surplus of inefficiency

The challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emissions while also meeting the growing demand for electric power is at the top of all political agendas. The solution is spelled energy efficiency. CG Drives & Automation provides the technical solutions, but also actively promotes energy savings on a wider scale. Our effort has been rewarded, for example with the European Motor Challenge Award.

Existing technology offers immediate savings

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that CO2 emissions must be reduced by 50–85 per cent by 2050 if global warming is to be confined to 2°C. During the same period, energy demand is expected to double. Renewable energy sources will be part of the solution, but more than half of the reductions would have to come from energy efficiency. In other words, we should not focus on the shortage of energy, but on the surplus of inefficiency. The good news is that this is the least costly measure, and that technology is available today, offering immediate savings.


70 per cent of energy to electric motors

Electric motors account for 70 per cent of electric energy used in EU industry. The applications representing by far the greatest part of this consumption are pumps, fans and compressors. They also offer the greatest saving potentials from introducing speed control. For pumps the typical payback time for an AC drive is one to two years. By continuously adapting operation to varying demand, up to 60 per cent can be saved compared to, for example, throttling valves. The latter is like running a car at full throttle while controlling the speed using the brakes.

In this pump, energy consumption is reduced by up to 50% with speed control. Calculation assumes a 2.2 kW motor. 


Saving the annual electricity consumption of the Netherlands

Optimizing all electric motors in EU industry would save the annual electricity consumption of the Netherlands:

  • 1,160 TWh is the annual electric energy consumption in EU industry.
  • 70% or 800 TWh is consumed by electric motors.
  • 50% or 400 TWh is used for driving motors that would benefit from speed control.
  • 70% or 280 TWh of these motors are not speed controlled.
  • 35% or 100 TWh is the saving potential from applying speed control on
    these motors.

This is equivalent to the annual electric energy consumption of the Netherlands.