Energy Roadmap Projects Put NWFPA Membership on the Road
In January 2009, NWFPA adopted an aggressive goal to reduce member-wide energy (electricity and fossil fuels) intensity (energy use per unit of output) by 25 percent in 10 years and 50 percent in 20 years. Food processors recognized that the most effective way to manage energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time increase productivity and economic growth, was through implementation of energy efficiency.
NWFPA held a workshop to identify measures to achieve the energy goal. Food processors and stakeholders generated over 500 ideas for reducing energy intensity. Analysis of these ideas led to development of the NWFPA Energy Roadmap, which is the strategic document that is guiding energy intensity reduction efforts. NWFPA Energy Roadmap continues to evolve as research findings are applied to the real world of plant operations.
Several Energy Roadmap projects are now well underway. Here’s an overview of their current status:
1. Baseline Energy Intensity Project: the goal is to establish a 2008 energy intensity baseline for NWFPA members that can be used to measure progress toward achieving the industry’s energy intensity reduction goals as well as tracking energy efficiency improvements. To date, NWFPA has identified a statistically significant sample that will allow us to calculate a membership energy intensity baseline based on energy use (natural gas plus electricity) and production data. The Phase 1 report, showing the aggregated energy intensity for the plants sampled, will be submitted to NEEA. In Phase 2, we will be collecting 2008, 2009 and 2010 data from a wider sample of companies to help us better measure progress toward the 25/10 goal.
2. Access to Energy Data Project: Studies show that when people have access to data on their energy use, they make better decisions about energy use. This project involves in-plant tests of alternate methods of collecting and analyzing energy data (primarily metering and energy management software) to identify the most user-friendly and appropriate methods for food processor use. The goal is to implement the selected methods industry-wide to promote better management of energy and implementation of energy efficiencies. To date, NWFPA has evaluated currently-available energy management software to determine the features of each product. We have also surveyed the NWFPA membership to determine individual company energy data needs, and developed a model that will help us assess which product will best meet those needs. The Phase 1 report on this project will be submitted to NEEA. In Phase 2, we will test energy management software in a sample of member plants.
3. Energy Assessment and Mapping Pilot: Energy audits will be conducted to identify the 10-year energy savings potential in a sample of food processing plants and analyze the results against the energy intensity reduction goal. During Phase 1 of this project, we evaluated the 129 food processing plant energy assessments conducted to date by the Industrial Assessment Center for energy savings potential, the types of energy efficiency projects identified and the barriers to the implementation of those projects. We developed a model that identifies seven factors that influence whether or not an energy efficiency project will be implemented, as well as barriers to implementation. Currently, we are conducting two energy assessments in food processing plants. During Phase 2 of this project, we will conduct up to 10 additional assessments. We will then use the NWFPA sample to calculate energy savings potential, identify barriers to implementation, and propose solutions to those barriers.
4. Energy Roadmap and Energy Savings Potential: This project analyzed the 6th Power Plan’s estimated energy savings potential for the northwest food processing industry. In Phase 2, we will compare the assumptions in the Council’s 6th Plan to the data from our Energy Assessment and Mapping project, and use this information to refine the Energy Roadmap that will guide progress toward the 25/10 goal.