Dr. Uli Jakob of Dr. Jakob energy research GmbH & Co. KG is one of the main authors of REEMAIN Technology Roadmaps, a comprehensive document providing an in-depth analysis of different types of technological solutions for energy efficiency in industry. The document has recently become public and can be downloaded from the REEMAIN website. But who and why should be interested in reading it? In a sunny morning following Germany’s unification day on the 3rd of October, Uli gives us some clear instructions on how to go about it. “When we started this work, we had in mind the three demo sites the project works with: the Gullon cookies factory in Spain, the textile plant of Bossa in Turkey and the SCM foundry in Italy. However we soon found out we were collecting and systematising such a broad “body” of knowledge on the matter. That’s why we have decided to share it with the industrial and scientific communities”.
Yet, the roadmaps are not the kind of document you would read in a 15 minutes bus ride to work. “I think our study – explains Uli – is very well suited for factories managers who want to gain a systematic approach to energy saving issues in their specific industrial environment. We have done the SWOT analysis, highlighting pros and cons, of about 40 clusters of technologies. What we intend as clusters is groups of technological solutions that have a common mission, for instance producing just electricity, or only heat, or only cold or a combination of them. To our knowledge there hasn’t been any organic attempt before to do something like this. Typically, the manager or consultant in charge of reducing a given factory’s energy consumption, will be able to identify which sections or technologies to focus on and will be able to obtain lots of interesting data and our benchmarking. Needless to say, our study does not eliminate the need for feasibility studies that will inevitably have to consider the concrete conditions and factors of a factory, but it’s a good starting point to go straight to some of the more appropriate solutions”.
Together with the technology roadmap, REEMAIN researchers have been developing the so called Manufacturing Reference Scenarios (MRS). “This work – says Uli – complements what has been done with the roadmaps. The manufacturing scenarios are developed to compare companies on the basis of three factors: one that relates to the specifics of their production, including for instance their energy demand or production volumes; one that has to do with the renewability of energy they might have access to, and a third one considering the environmental impact of their operations. We have also run an extensive survey on, let’s say the suitability of different European regions for manufacturing, from the perspective of those factors and what I can anticipate is that some results may sound surprising. In our ranking, Athens comes first, followed by Stockholm”, if you would like to use solar heat as renewable source for your manufacturing process.
The MRS are not yet public, but an extract of them might be shared with the researchers and industrials in the future. REEMAIN plans to organise one or two webinars on the theme. The first one should already take place around Mid-December. The exact date will be announced on the project website.