Welcome to the first edition of eeXtra, a round-up of some recent energy-efficiency news from Australia and around the world.

Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme

The Energy Efficiency Council recently announced the first candidates awarded certification under the Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme. The scheme provides professional certification for the individuals who lead and manage comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. The scheme enables commercial building owners and managers to identify industry professionals with the right expertise.

Source: Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme

Energy efficiency: more important than renewables?

Bruce Easton, CEO of Ecovantage, suggests that energy efficiency is more important than renewables and needs a stronger voice in the Australian energy debate. In a recent presentation, Mr Easton noted while renewables have many benefits, energy savings gained through efficiency measures are cleaner than delivering the energy otherwise required.

Source: The Fifth Estate

Powerhouse Kjørbo to produce more energy than it uses

An office building in Norway has been renovated to the point where it will produce more energy than it consumes. Over 60 years, Powerhouse Kjørbo will generate enough energy to cover the total amount used to produce its building materials, construction, operation and disposal. Geothermal energy wells and the largest solar panel system in Norway are among the features that put the building in the ‘energy positive’ category.

Source: Sapa Group

Smart manufacturing for energy savings

Smart manufacturing— the integration of all facets of manufacturing through the use of ICT processes— is set to transform industry and its use of energy, raw materials and labour over the next 20 years.

A new report, ‘The Energy Savings Potential of Smart Manufacturing’ (30 July 2014), shows business leaders, program administrators and energy managers ways to make manufacturing more energy efficient, productive and competitive.

Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy

UK’s new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

The UK government has established a new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). The scheme requires energy assessments and savings identification from large corporations. The legislation and framework of the ESOS is based in part on Australia’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program, which was closed on 29 June 2014.

Source: GOV.UK

Waste heat recovery in cement production

A new report highlights the huge potential for cutting energy use through the use of waste heat recovery in cement production. Recovering the heat produced as a by-product of cement production can generate up to 30% of a cement plant’s power needs. The report analyses the use of waste heat recovery in countries where it has become widespread.

Source: Institute for Industrial Productivity

Alternative fuels for medium to heavy-duty vehicles

Medium-to-heavy-duty vehicles represent less than 5% of the total vehicle market worldwide today, with most powered by either gasoline or diesel. That is changing as cheaper alternatives such as natural gas, LPG and electricity make inroads in the market. Alternative fuels are set to drive 14% medium-to-heavy-duty vehicles by 2035.

As more natural gas vehicles hit the road, the need for refueling stations is becoming urgent.

Source: Environmental Leader

International Energy Efficiency Scorecard Report

The ‘International Energy Efficiency Scorecard’ ranks the world's largest economies on their energy efficiency policies and programs. The rankings include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK, USA and the European Union.

Coming in tenth, Australia ranked higher than the USA and India, and 1 point lower than Canada.

Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy

Data value extraction for the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry deal with large amounts of data to make technical decisions.

With the rise of pervasive computing devices, new analytic tools and storage capabilities, oil producers can capture more detailed data in real-time at lower costs and from previously inaccessible areas, to improve oilfield and plant performance.

Source: CEO Forum Group

The role of ICT in freight-network energy efficiency

The rapidly increasing sophistication of ICT technologies has vast potential for energy savings opportunities in transportation and logistics. The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy has released a white paper (23 July 2014) which discusses the use of ICT for greatly improved efficiency of freight-vehicle operations.

Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy

Loyola University’s energy reduction innovations

The goal of Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Sustainable Urban Living is to become a closed-loop urban agricultural community, a net-zero sustainable environment where people live, work and grow their own food. Facilities also include 92 geothermal wells, 150 metres deep, which provide energy for heating and cooling.

Source: Energy Manager Today