At the request of Zuid-Holland provincial authority CE made a preliminary assessment of the realistic energy savings potential at the industrial estates in the province. To this end a three-step calculation was performed. First the technically achievable conservation potential was determined, then the portion that could be cost-effectively implemented, and finally the savings that might realistically be attained at different kinds of estate.
The study showed that if energy conservation measures are implemented by individual companies the scope for cost-effective energy savings is between 16% and 20% for gas (heat) and between 6 and 8% for electrical power, relative to current energy consumption at the various kinds of site.
If energy-saving were undertaken in the form of collective measures, the savings potential rises to 50-60% for gas (using biomass-fuelled cogeneration plant) and 100% for power (wind turbines).
The study also indicated that there are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions, i.e. there are no collective measures that can be implemented cost-effectively at all industrial estates.
In practice, this scope for cost-effective energy savings is largely ignored. Indeed, there are a variety of barriers hampering such action. One thing that is needed is more incentives for restructuring, creating momentum for the requisite collaboration as well as investments. It is often municipalities that must provide the ‘pull’ to get companies collaborating, but these authorities are plagued by capacity problems. The companies on the industrial estate in question must obviously also be involved in the process and be prepared to collaborate and/or invest.
Based on these results, the study recommends how the provincial authority should promote energy saving on its industrial estates as part of structural policy and suggests strategies and processes for achieving such savings, including collaborative development of renewable energy systems at these sites.