Energy efficiency

Manufacturing accounts for one-third of energy consumption in Austria, so energy efficiency is a particularly crucial issue for decision-makers in this sector.

Escalating power prices mean that energy-intensive industries have a big incentive to rein in consumption. Industry has already done a lot to increase energy efficiency. Here are two examples, from the steel and paper sectors, both of which are highly energy intensive.

The figure below shows the amount of energy required to produce 1,000 tonnes of paper. Improved efficiency has cut this amount by 25% between 1990 and 2008. Since then, the energy spent per 1,000 of paper production has been on the rise again, but even so remains 18% below the 1990 value.


Electricity consumption in the paper industry, 1990–2010 (TJ/1000 t)

Click the icon on the left to open the figure

The specific energy consumption figures for the steel industry present a similar picture. Since 1980, the energy consumed in the production of 1,000 tonnes of steel has fallen by 31%, but risen again by 18% in 2009. Production was down by one-fourth in that year, total final energy consumption only by 8%. This might be due to the economic crisis and to economies of scale.

Electricity consumption in the steel industry, 1990–2010 (TJ/1000 t)

Click the icon on the left to open the figure

For energy and climate policy, one of the central instruments in fostering energy efficiency is the European emissions trading system (ETS). This is particularly true for the energy intensive industries. The following energy efficiency issues are important considerations for manufacturers:
  • Technologies
  • Advisory services
  • Support payments

These issues are discussed in E-Control's green paper on energy efficiency, which also contains recommendations for boosting energy efficiency. The document is available from our German pages, where you’ll also find a list of links and downloads on the topic.