Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Nov-Dec 2014 Contents 20
The key element of assessing each strategy is
whether or not they will offset the impact of higher
electricity and gas prices on their business.
A prominent strategy currently being widely
considered is solar energy, which has already
been hugely popular in residential settings, and
is now increasing in use in the commercial and
industrial sectors. A key driver for solar is that
the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels has fallen
by about 90 per cent since 2007. The focus
now is on understanding how to size systems,
relative to the load-shape and the structure of
pricing, to get the maximum value.
Another energy strategy being explored as
an alternative to electricity or gas is the use
of biomass or biofuels, an option which is
particularly useful in regional areas where feed
stocks are readily available.
There is a good opportunity for manufacturers
in particular to investigate biomass or biofuels
as part of their energy strategy, from both an
economic and environmental standpoint.
Using these fuels will have very little impact
on the operations of a manufacturer - at best
the manufacturer might need to tweak their
boilers to make this change. In addition, these
are renewable fuels and would contribute to a
significant reduction in the carbon footprint of
the operation. We are currently completing a
study on the economics of this option, and of
course it does depend on where you are, how
much steam you need, and local resources --
but we expect very good return on investment
as gas prices rise.
Cogeneration and tri-generation are options
that work in the right application, despite some
narrowing of the 'spark spread' between gas
and electricity. The key is good systems design:
balancing electrical and heating/cooling loads,
and understanding the opportunities to change
your demand profile for energy services to
reduce both consumption and cost.
Investigate efficiency potential
We have worked with a variety of stakeholders
and businesses from different industry sectors
around Australia to assess their energy usage
and help deliver the most efficient strategy
One of these was a key project preparing the
foundation report for the City of Sydney's Energy
Efficiency Master Plan. By accessing Sydney's
3-D database on its building stock and its own,
pitt&sherry created a rich model of energy use
and greenhouse gas emissions associated with
the city's building stock.
Using this model we were able to
demonstrate to the city, and key stakeholders,
that absolute emissions savings of 40 per
cent or more could be cost-effective, despite
continued growth of the city's footprint. These
emission-saving investments have a negative
abatement cost, saving businesses and the
community hundreds of millions of dollars in
energy costs, as well as making a substantial
contribution to slashing emissions in Australia's
In the transport sector, we evaluated an
in-service trial of double-decker buses in
Sydney to assess the on-road performance
of the vehicles in terms of fuel efficiency,
emissions, passenger loading and costs
compared with conventional bus configurations
running on city-bound and suburban routes
with three bus operators.
The double-decker trial is an extension to the
projects we have coordinated for NSW Roads
and Maritime Services (RMS) over several
years through the Green Truck Partnership
(GTP) program. The GTP trials function as
an independent assessment of fuels and
technologies that can reduce emissions and
operating costs for truck operators.
One trial in 2012 assessed the performance
of a hybrid electric vehicle compared with a
conventional diesel vehicle. This trial demon-
strated a 21 per cent saving in fuel costs, and
the same figure for greenhouse gas emissions.
What these projects have revealed is clear
evidence that the economics for investing in
energy efficiency initiatives are extremely attrac-
tive due to Australia's evolving energy market.
Phil Harrington is the Carbon & Energy
Business Unit manager at pitt&sherry. For more
information visit www.pittsh.com.au.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014
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