Energy efficiency is not just a promotion

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Renewable is no shortage of symbols. Seeing a solar panel or a wind turbine, anyone can understand what is meant by green energy production. But energy efficiency is different. The problems all start from here, as explained by Alessandro Clerici in Milan last seminar organized by the Confederation on the subject. For Barack Obama or any other world leaders are enough to be photographed in front of a solar park, to show unequivocally the commitment of their countries in environmental policies. Energy efficiency, however, on which symbols can count? These produce the same goods and services using less resources (electricity, gas and so on). It's a way to save energy without sacrifice: I keep my room with a light bulb that consumes less, instead of turning off the light.

Confindustria knows who created a working group to evaluate the relationship between costs and benefits of energy efficiency in Italy by 2020. Suggest that the benefits could outweigh the total costs for more than 15 million euros, despite the disbursement of state for incentives and lower revenue from VAT and excise duties due to a reduction of energy consumption. May create new investment estimated at around 130 billion euros, increasing the industrial production value calculated for a 238 billion euro.

Yet the contours are blurred in energy efficiency. Europe is trying to remedy with a recent proposal for a Directive, Italy has approved a second Action Plan for this area. Both solutions contain their own contradictions: the measures studied by Brussels are binding, but without binding targets, unlike the provisions for renewable energy and emissions (respectively +20% and -20% of production of CO2 in 2020), while the Italian Action Plan does not coincide with the previous plan on renewables, as the final goal given to energy efficiency initiatives.

As he added, Alessandro Clerici, Europe and Italy are only a small part of the problem. Suffice to say that from 2006 to 2010, China has added 300 MW per day of new installed capacity, mostly coal-fired generation, and reduce emissions by 20% in the Old Continent, is equivalent to a paltry 2% worldwide. So the efficiency, which should help to reduce energy consumption and related emissions, should become the subject of an international agreement.

Investments in short supply for several factors. Confindustria has cited a few: the plurality of actors (households, businesses, public administrations), the plurality of possible actions (private and public lighting, replacing old appliances, upgrading the energy efficiency of buildings, use of high efficiency motors, and so etc.), need to invest money that you pay off in many years, difficult access to bank credit, poor information on cost / benefit ratio.

Yet the efficiency could provide huge results. Electric motors, for example, consume about half the world's electricity, replacing them with those of high-performance, could be saved every year one thousand TWh, which would be able to give to 250 GW of installed capacity in power. In addition, the total investment for an engine of this type is given for about 95% of future bills, calculated on the useful life of the plant. But who thinks about when buying an engine for your company? As noted by Alessandro Clerici, we need a change of mentality, focusing on possible savings from a given technology, rather than its initial cost, higher than an equivalent machine less efficient.

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