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Amreica’s Enery Future: Technology and Transformation
and lower air- and water-pollutant emissions. New processes include net and near-net design and manufacturing; advanced casting, forming, joining, and assembly; engineering of functional materials and coatings; and nanomanufacturing, which would enable the mass production and application of nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems.
Sensor development for energy efficiency in the United States is being led by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, much of it in collaboration with industrial firms. The developers’ approach essentially entails data gathering by automated monitoring, automated data analysis, automated feedback and control, and effective communication among the components. Sensors include inferential controls, real-time and nondestructive sensing and monitoring, wireless technology, and distributed intelligence.
Remanufacturing of used products for resale is gaining recognition as a potentially profitable and resource-efficient business opportunity. Examples include the remaking of automobile pumps and photocopiers. Relative to making a new product from scratch, remanufacturing appears to offer substantial energy efficiency benefits because of the energy saved directly in the production process and indirectly by forgoing the use of many of the raw materials. However, a thorough assessment would require analysis of the options for collecting used products, remanufacturing them, and redistributing them (Savaskan et al., 2004).
Summary of Potential Energy Savings in Industry
Table 4.10 summarizes the potential energy savings stemming from energy efficiency improvements in industry. As shown, if the full potential were realized, industrial energy consumption in 2020 could fall to 14–22 percent below its projected level.
Barriers to Improving Energy Efficiency in Industry
Economic, managerial, and political barriers such as those described below can inhibit the broad deployment of otherwise available technologies:
Technical risks of adopting a new technology. Uncertainties about a technology’s benefits and impacts, particularly on existing production lines, can be significant. Such perceived risks result in longer and larger-