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Amreica’s Enery Future: Technology and Transformation
Pulp and paper. The industry could use more waste heat for drying, advanced water-removal and filtration technologies, high-efficiency pulping processes, and modernized lime kilns. Estimates of cost-effective gains in energy efficiency by 2020 range from 16 to 26 percent.
Iron and steel. Promising advances in technology that could be available by 2020 involve electric-arc furnace (EAF) melting, blast-furnace slag-heat recovery, integration of refining functions, and heat capture from EAF waste gas. The American Iron and Steel Institute recently announced a goal of using 40 percent less energy for iron and steel production by 2025 compared with 2003.
Cement. Major energy savings would require significant upgrades to an advanced dry-kiln process. Efficiency could also be enhanced with advanced control systems, combustion improvements, indirect firing, and optimization of certain components. A combination of these changes could yield a reduction in energy use of about 10 percent. In addition, changing the chemistry of cement to decrease the need for calcination could result in reduced energy use of another 10–20 percent. Advanced technologies for yielding further improvements are under development. Overall savings of 20 percent are possible by 2020.
A set of crosscutting technologies exists that could improve energy efficiency in a wide range of industrial applications. This includes the expansion of combined heat and power systems; separation processes based on membranes and other porous materials; advanced materials that resist corrosion, degradation, and deformation at high temperatures; controls and automation; steam- and process-heating technologies that improve quality and reduce waste; high-efficiency fabrication processes that improve yields and reduce waste; remanufacturing of products for resale; and sensor systems that reduce waste by improving control.
Barriers to Deployment and Drivers of Efficiency
Numerous barriers impede deployment of energy efficiency technologies in each of the sectors previously discussed. In the buildings sector, regulatory policies do not usually reward utility investments in energy efficiency; building owners in rental markets and builders are not responsible for paying energy costs and thus lack incentives to make investments that reduce energy use; information about