more Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...

ABB CTO Peter Terwiesch continued his rocket slide through the future of technology today, this time taking on energy efficiency. He re-iterated his claim of yesterday that improving energy efficiency is "the other alternative energy source." Terwiesch claimed that current industrial energy efficiency is about 20%, and that improvements using immediately available technologies (all from ABB, of course) could bring that efficiency up to as much as 50% This is really important, he noted, since a 20% drop in energy cost is approximately equivalent to a 10% increase in sales. And, in keeping with the ABB executive stand on global warming issues, he noted that 1 kwh is approximately equal to 1 lb of CO2. Clearly, these technologies can be used to reduce carbon emissions considerably. And here's the point. Fred Kindle and Peter Terwiesch and others all made it, all week long. It does not matter how you feel about the anthropomorphic part of the global warming issue. The fact is, the planet is entering a warming phase. Because of this, pressure from people who do believe in anthropocentric global warming (that means people are causing it), has caused the energy efficiency value calculus to be enlarged to include variables such as renewable and sustainable energy, and the quest for energy efficiency. Efficiency increases are always good. So, we might as well forget the argument that global warming is a natural occurrence and would have happened without humanity. It doesn't matter. Terwiesch notes fast and large paybacks for energy efficiency increases. Converting damper fans to variable speed control, for example, saved a customer 5.5 Mwh/year-- with a project payback in 9 months. He also talked about new power technologies, high voltage systems, power substation automation, and the link between energy control and plant automation. Whew!