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Consortium Tackling Energy Efficiency

Posted Feb 23rd, 2017

Consortium Tackling Energy Efficiency JACQUELINE MULLIN

A consortium in the United States has committed to working diligently on improving energy efficiency in the industrial manufacturing sector.

Members of the Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute are working towards a common goal – cutting the amount of energy used by the United States’ industrial manufacturing processes in half by 2027. This feat may seem daunting to some, but not to the members of the consortium on energy efficiency. Currently, the group includes 26 universities, seven U.S.-based laboratories, as well as 26 industry trade associations and foundations.

At the helm of the consortium are researchers from Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). With their team divided into two groups, the Yale researchers will provide insight into the life cycle of various materials while also examining data as it relates to harmonized life cycle assessments.

According to the Department of Energy, approximately one quarter of the country’s energy is consumed by the manufacturing of fibres and metals. It’s believed that focusing on the understanding and opportunities included in more streamlined, efficient use reduction processes, information previously gathered by Yale researchers and others, can be combined to improve the country’s manufacturing sector.

“One of the most exciting parts of this set of partnerships is that it will present a unique opportunity to integrate our expertise across multiple perspectives – industry, education, and scholarship – and disciplines,” Indy Burke, the Dean of Yale’s F & ES recently told Energy Manager Today.

Extraction, processing, recycling and data management will all be key components of the work done by the consortium on energy efficiency. While the long-term objective will be to improve industrial energy efficiency, the organizations, labs and researchers included in the REMADE Institute will also be working towards the goal of self-sufficiency at the end of five years. Initial funding of approximately USD $140 million will come from the Department of Energy and private commitments.

It is hard to argue against the importance of identifying new and innovative ways to improve industrial energy efficiency and the need to reduce the environmental impact of energy use. The creation of a strong consortium on energy efficiency offers a great deal of hope for a future that includes new understandings of material life cycles, as well as technologies that reuse and recycle a number of materials.

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