ABB renews its commitment to UN environment initiative on energy efficiency

March 22, 2017 - United for Efficiency partnership to transform developing countries and emerging economies to use energy-efficient products

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United for Efficiency, or U4E, is a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment) and other major agencies, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The program essentially aims to move countries and economies to become energy-efficient in collaboration with international companies. This includes helping governments develop and implement national and regional strategies to improve their energy efficiency – an important element in the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, agreed in 2016, to limit the pace of climate change.

The partnership focuses on six product categories, including distribution transformers and electric motors, with the aim of accelerating and encouraging the uptake of energy-efficient electrical products. As one of the world’s largest makers of transformers and electric motors, ABB has been offering expertise, insight and financial support to U4E for the past 18 months and has now committed to the second phase of the program for a further three years.

Providing technical expertise
During the program’s first phase, ABB supported UN Environment to create a model that assesses the impact and benefits for the relevant countries to move towards energy-efficient transformers and electric motors. ABB also provided technical expertise and knowledge about appropriate energy efficiency levels and metrics.

The work to date contributes to a publication covering best practice policy guidelines that will be offered to governments and decision makers in relevant countries. Over the next three years, ABB will support U4E in the following ways:

  • develop training packages and tools to support countries and regions in the transition to energy-efficient products;
  • train people in countries to help them develop and implement projects and policies that will advance energy-efficient products;
  • create supporting ways for regions to work together to promote energy-efficient products; and
  • promote the transition to energy-efficient products through a global campaign.

Energy efficiency and ABB
Energy efficiency is central to ABB’s corporate strategy. We are constantly working on innovations to make our transformers and motors more energy-efficient without any trade-off in performance. We do this by optimizing the design and manufacturing processes and with innovations such as new materials.

The latest high efficiency transformers can reduce losses by up to 60% compared with many of those in use today. The number of transformers in developing countries is set to more than double by 2040 and this alone offers significant potential to mitigate climate impact.

The International Energy Agency has estimated that more than 30% of all electrical energy is used by industrial electric motor systems globally. A transition to energy-efficient motor systems could reduce this electricity demand by 20 to 30% in 2030 depending on the development and implementation of energy efficiency and environmental policies.

Energy efficiency in these areas can both save on energy and costs, while helping countries reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. ABB is determined to play its part in supporting this vision, as a global market and technology leader.

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