Engineering the Energy Union: How electric motors and water systems help achieve our policy goals

The European Commission has presented its Winter Package including a revision of the Electricity Market Design legislation, the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive.

At the same time, the International Energy Agency is publishing its next World Energy Outlook report, in which the efficiency potential of electric motors will be included, as well as the potential of energy neutrality in the water sector.

For the first time, the savings potential will be estimated at global scale and policy recommendations will be provided. The impact is significant for smart cities and our ability to find cost-effective solutions to meet energy efficiency targets.

Electric motors consume more than 50% of the global electricity consumption; almost 30% of that is consumed by industrial motor systems. These numbers highlight the great importance of energy efficiency in electric motor systems, simultaneously reducing energy bills and supporting EU competitiveness.

Water and wastewater facilities are traditionally high energy consumers. Proven technologies exist to turn the water cycle energy neutral and significantly reduce the electricity bill of municipalities. In addition, water and wastewater can play a role in establishing smart energy systems.

EURACTIV organised a high-level forum to discuss how a system approach can boost energy efficiency in Europe.

Questions debated included:

  • What is the efficiency potential of electric motor systems?
  • What is the energy savings potential in the water cycle?
  • What enabling regulatory framework is needed to realise this potential?

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