Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Energy Efficiency in Industrial Areas: Application of Best Practices for Energy Efficiency in Mediterranean Industrial Areas

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Energy Efficiency in Industrial Areas: Application of Best Practices for Energy Efficiency in Mediterranean Industrial Areas

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

According to "World Energy Outlook 2012" (WEO), global energy demand grows by more than one-third over the period to 2035 in the New Policies Scenario. It was recognized that energy efficiency is the key that decision-makers have in their hands for a more sustainable development and a more rational use of the resources now available.

The proposed scenario in WEO-2012 shows that the culling of barriers to investment in energy efficiency gives the opportunity to achieve enormous gains for energy security, economic growth and the environment. This confirms that the application of policies that implement economically feasible energy efficiency measures would have important implications on global climate and energy trends. Therefore it becomes essential that policy makers improve the accessibility to energy efficiency, creating and supporting business models, financing instruments and incentives, in order to provide investors with an adequate financial return.

Based on the experiences and developments of energy policies that have seen an increasing integration of environmental decisions with the energy one (Greening and Bernow, 2004), the EU has defined a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU strategy has three different main objectives: the 20% reduction of primary sources consumption, the 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the 20% increase of the share of renewable sources in the final consumption (electrical, heating and transport use).

As regards to these objectives it is useful to remember the huge contribution made by the wide community programming, which has offered a new life to the project initiatives presented by the Member States through a series of financed programs that help to improve energy efficiency, cutting of CO2 emissions and the increase of renewable sources use.

In this scenario it has a great importance also the 2010/31/UE Directive, by proposing guiding principles for Member States about energy performance of buildings.

It is well known that the highest energy consumption in industrialized countries affects the industrial and the residential sectors (buildings sector represents 40% of the European Union's total energy consumption). The introduction of the Directive points out that: "Member States should authorize and encourage designers and planners to appropriately value the optimal combination of improvements in energy efficiency, the use of renewable sources and the use of heating/cooling district during the planning, design, construction and renovation of industrial or residential areas ", confirming that reducing energy consumption in this sectors is therefore a priority under the "20-20-20" objectives on energy efficiency.

It is a common perception that energy efficiency in industry is too complex to be tackled: this paper aims to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve excellent results of efficiency even in industry through the application of an appropriate design methodology.

2. MEID Project

The Mediterranean Eco-Industrial Development (MEID) project is an initiative co-financed by the Med Program and the European Regional Development Fund.

MEID aims at realizing the Mediterranean Eco Industrial Development model by facilitating and enabling planning, building and governing sustainable Industrial Areas (IAs).

It is based on a new concept of industrial areas management: a Sustainable Industrial Area (SIA) equipped and settled with technical and organizational requirements in order to decrease the pollution, its pressure on environment and improve its energy efficiency. This new concept can increase the potential economic value and foster the local community acceptance.

Output of the project is a methodological model to plan, build and manage the industrial areas in Mediterranean Regions in a competitive way, improving sustainable development and SMEs competitiveness. The project associates ten partners of five Mediterranean countries (Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Malta) and Bosnia-Herzegovina under the leadership of ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. …

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