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Why do we favour renewables over energy efficiency?

Charles Hurdman, Senior Key Account Manager at NOVENCO Building & Industry UK Ltd

It is beyond discussion that the global climate emergency calls for solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support decarbonisation. Often, the spotlight is aimed at renewable energy as the solution, but in fact, we can achieve 44% of the required global reductions by capturing the potential of energy efficiency according to World Economic Forum.

Investing in existing technologies enables us to become carbon-neutral significantly more cost-effectively and at a higher pace than if we solely focus on expanding renewable energy.

Imagine if we could achieve the majority of the carbon-emission reduction targets with solutions already at hand. The socio-economic savings by investing in energy efficiency is a route that deserves more attention. If we invest in already known technologies, we can introduce renewables at a higher pace and in a more cost-efficient way in our endeavours for carbon neutrality because when the use of renewables increases, it reduces the pressure on the growth of clean energy. All fingers point at scaling up sustainability and developing green cities, sustainable products and product life cycle assessments and both renewables and improved energy-efficiency is a prerequisite for this development.

Energy-guzzling old equipment
Urban areas account for two-thirds of global energy demand and 70% of carbon dioxide emissions. One of the obvious ways to bring down urban energy consumption levels is to invest in energy-efficient heating and cooling in buildings and to electrify transport. If all urban areas and cities in Europe, China and the US invested in energy-efficient buildings, they would contribute 20% to the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement.

Inefficient centrifugal and axial fans with non-optimised aerodynamic design are some of the worst energy-guzzlers. But new solutions are available. NOVENCO® ZerAx® axial fans have efficiency levels of 92%, where older fans hit somewhere between 50 to 80%iv. Cities need a vast number of fans to provide fresh and clean air in tunnels and parking basements, as fire protection fans and for heating and cooling in buildings. Replacing old existing fans with new high-efficiency alternatives, with favourable ROI periods, is a practical and cost-effective solution.

The NOVENCO EC+ solution combines our ZerAx fans, PM motors and Danfoss VLT variable speed drives, enabling intelligent building ventilation with the highest possible levels of efficiency and reduced energy, emission, heat gain and sound levels.

Abundance of good-will but lack of action
To bring about this change, we have to embed the good intentions into the specific product specifications driven by ambitious EU legislation and by companies taking on the responsibility. This is the only way we can ensure that the goals for high energy efficiency levels are put into practice in the production and supply chain. If green legislation is not ambitious enough and is not embedded in the processes and procedures at a company, city or country level, we will not reach the global climate targets set out.

In conclusion, the potential of investing in energy-efficient and sustainable solutions is evident, but there is a need for legislation to overcome the barrier which the higher cost for raw and recycled materials poses. The legislation should support green initiatives and products, so the cost difference is only minimal – because, in the end, the initial cost drives the decision to buy for the majority of owners and developers.

• NOVENCO ZerAx® EC+ fans
• High-efficiency PM EC motors and Danfoss VFD®s
• System efficiency of 85%
• Fan efficiency of 92%
• Energy savings 50%
• Lifetime 20+ years
• Recyclability rate of 98%
• Plug-and-play – quick and easy to install
• Low sound levels
• Low maintenance costs

For more information visit www.novenco-building.com, email chu@novenco-building.com or call 0800 681 6009.


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