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Will Current Developments in Energy-Efficient Technologies be able to address Concerns over Natural Resources Depletion - Essay Example

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Summary
Introduction 2
Discussion 2
Energy Efficiency in Industry 2
Automation 3
Household Technologies 3
Energy Efficiency in Structures 4
Conclusion 5
References 5
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Will Current Developments in Energy-Efficient Technologies be able to address Concerns over Natural Resources Depletion

Download file to see previous pages... Improving energy efficiency in the economy will lead to energy savings. Rising energy prices makes it necessary for business entities and household consumers to adopt efficiency in energy consumption (Blair, John and Gowan, 1993). Energy efficiency refers to both improvement in technology and changes in behavior. The paper evaluates whether current developments in energy-efficient technologies will be able to address concerns over natural resources depletion and if there is a need to adopt different routes for attainment of these objectives.
DISCUSSION
Several methods of increasing energy efficiency are being implemented in developed countries of the world. The potential of these methods, according to Kounetas and Tsekouras (2010) is to reduce consumption of fossil fuels through improved energy efficiency in buildings, transport and industrial processes is 17 to 33%. Key innovations in energy efficient technologies which can be adopted on wide scale are discussed below:
ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN INDUSTRY many industrial processes require large amounts of heat and mechanical energy, which is mostly generated by fuel and electricity. In addition, some industries produce fuel from waste. Since the industrial processes are so varied, there are numerous ways to increase efficiency. They are often based on the specific technologies and processes of each industrial plant.  There are some typical processes and energy services, which are found in the industry very often (Kounetas and Tsekouras, 2010). Conventional electricity generation by steam power plants, which escapes from the heat produced as waste heat is typically at least 30% to 60% efficient at best. Efficiency of this industrial process has been improved in recent years through combined utilization of heat and power, are used both for heat and electricity, it uses up to 90% of the energy. Improved boiler and burner can operate at higher temperatures and burn less fuel at the same time. This makes them more efficient at lower pollutant emissions. Another method adopted to increase efficiency is the use of porous burners and suitable catalysts (Mulder, 2005). These reduce combustion temperature resulting in lesser formation of nitrogen oxides and lower enthalpies consumed through which considerable amount of heat energy can be saved that increases energy efficiency. In industrial processes, many electric motors run at constant speed. Adoption of energy efficient technology in this process involves installation of an electronic speed controller to adapt energy output of the motor to the load. This can help achieve energy savings of 3% to 60% depending on the type of engine use (Thiruchelvam, Kumar and Visvanathan, 2003). Industrial processes also use compressors to create compressed air for production of tools, sand blasters and sprayers. The energy efficiency of this technology is being improved by 20 to 50% through the installation of speed controller and sealing of leaks through of preventive maintenance (Mulder, 2005). Automation one of the major utilization of energy at global level is for transportation through automobiles. Energy efficient technology is being adopted in this sector of energy consumption as well. This energy efficient technology replaces the usual internal combustion engine vehicles to create environmentally friendly electric-car (Blair, John and Gowan, 1993). These electric-cars can be recharged at special charging stations. Such an approach to energy usage considerably solves the problem of a low efficiency of hydrocarbon engine by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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