has released its annual estimate of the savings achieved by its installed base of drives, revealing that around 310 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electric power was saved by ABB drives in 2011.
Representing an increase of 19 percent when compared with the previous year, this amounts to savings of 260 million tons of CO2 emissions if the power is generated by fossil fuels, and electricity cost savings of approximately $34 billion at 2011 US electricity prices.
This is further equivalent to the electricity generated by more than 30 nuclear power station blocks, or six times the annual power consumption of every Australian household, based on Ausgrid figures.
Ulrich Spiesshofer, member of the Group Executive committee and head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division believes that energy efficiency will remain the biggest opportunity available to cut energy consumption, as well as costs and emissions, for a significant time.
"The future potential for energy and cost savings is enormous since only about 10 percent of industrial motors are combined currently with electric drives," he explained.
ABB’s annual savings estimate is based on a comparison of the average electricity consumption in applications with and without drives. Many electric motors that are not equipped with drive technology run at maximum speed and are simply throttled if less performance is needed.
Energy accounts for 92 to 95 percent of the life cycle cost of a motor, depending on its size, so an investment in electric drives typically pays back in less than two years.