A round-up of energy efficiency news from Australia and around the world.

IEA publishes report on multiple benefits of energy efficiency

The International Energy Agency has released a report which looks beyond energy savings as the traditional goal of energy efficiency policy to investigate five other key benefits areas–macroeconomic development, public budgets, health and well-being, industrial productivity and energy delivery.

Source: IEA

EU and US: more cash for energy efficiency

Energy-efficiency financing is making a comeback in Europe and the US. Reasons cited for the renewed interest are customer awareness, improving technologies and better business models, along with widening distribution channels. Additionally, energy costs have become a greater concern for a number of companies and this is providing impetus to tap into the energy efficiency reserves.

Source: The Guardian

Extreme retrofit for Sydney heritage bank building

Macquarie Bank’s headquarters at 50 Martin Place, Sydney, has been refurbished to the extent that it’s now the largest heritage building in Australia to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating. Among the improvements is an air conditioning system which draws fresh air through a raised floor and incorporates chilled beams and cooling units integrated into trading desks.

Source: The Fifth Estate 

Guide for commercial LED users released

The Lighting Council of Australia has responded to concerns some products may not meet Australian electrical safety standards by releasing a guide to assessing LEDs and suppliers for commercial users. The guide includes checklists, resources and specific technical advice for assessing the safety and performance specifications of LED luminaries, and also their compatibility with components, warranty and installation.

Source: The Fifth Estate

Schooled in energy efficiency

US Pharmaceutical company Merck, has launched Schneider Electric’s Energy University to educate its employees globally about energy efficiency. The online training program features more than 350 courses that provide guidance on improving energy efficiency within an organisation.

Source: Energy Manager Today

Idle servers waste billions

A new report finds that massive amounts of energy are being wasted by data centres. Up to 30% of servers in the US are no longer in use but are still plugged in and consuming electricity. While data centres owned by tech-savvy outfits like Google and Facebook are very energy-efficient, they represent less than 5% of US data center electricity consumption.

Source: Energy Manager Today

Water saves cash for computers

A comparison of water-cooling versus air-cooling in the Maui High Performance Computing Center in Hawaii showed that the water cooling method requires far less power. The water-cooling will save an estimated US$200 000 per year in operating costs.

Source: Energy Manager Today

Energy efficiency recognised as giving a competitive edge

Nearly 80% of UK manufacturers say that energy will be a critical issue in 2015. The sector is making good progress in reducing its energy consumption, with the primary driver being the competitive advantage it brings. Staff engagement was acknowledged as a major contribution to energy management planning.

Source: Control Engineering

Savings potential in heavy fleet management

Peter Knights of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance discusses four techniques for improving the way mines haul and dump raw material—data integration, truck haulage continuous improvement, process control fundamentals and truck bunching analysis in deep pit mining.

Source: Mining IQ