This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 20, 2013

Energy Department Turns Up the Heat and Power on Industrial Energy Efficiency

Katrina Pielli, senior policy advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Industrial processes—from petroleum refineries and paper mills to chemicals and metals industries—consume about one-third of all energy produced in the United States. While the Energy Department is investing in advanced energy-saving technologies like carbon fiber and 3D printing, we also see great potential in more traditional technologies—such as combined heat and power (CHP)—that strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, lower energy consumption, and reduce harmful emissions.

In August 2012, President Obama directed federal agencies to help facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency, such as CHP systems, that can save manufacturers as much as $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade. The President’s Executive Order established a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new CHP capacity by 2020, which is a 50% increase from today. Meeting this goal would save American manufacturers and companies $10 billion each year, resulting in $40 to $80 billion in new capital investment in plants and facilities that would create American jobs and reduce emissions equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road.

These efforts underscore President Obama’s goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades and accelerating the resurgence of American manufacturing, as announced in the State of the Union last month. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.