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Energy consumption at the facility level is typically associated with specific production processes and supporting utilities such as:

  • Process heating: This is vital to many manufacturing processes including heating for fluids, calcining, drying, heat treating, metal heating, melting, melting agglomeration, curing and forming. In many process heating systems, only a portion of the system’s energy input provides true process heating while energy losses are caused by excessive parasitic loads, distribution or conversion losses. Energy losses can be reduced by identifying opportunities for improvement in a facility’s process heating systems.
  • Process cooling: This is vital to many manufacturing processes and energy losses occur due to issues such as lack of insulation to reduce heat gains; overcooling; poor refrigeration system design; and refrigerant compressor and chiller efficiency. Energy losses can be reduced by identifying opportunities for improvement in a facility’s process cooling systems.
  • Compressed air: In many industry sectors, this is the most commonly found utility service, yet in many cases, the energy contained in compressed air for use by a facility is often 10 percent or less the energy used in compressing the air.

The production of energy for use by client/investee operations entails the use of renewable or non-renewable resources. Energy from renewable resources includes solar power, wind power, hydropower, biomass and nuclear fission and fusion. Non-renewable resources include crude oil, coal and natural gas, which are collectively called fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are considered non-renewable resources due to the long duration of formation and assimilation to the environment. The combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy generates different types of air pollution, including greenhouse gases (GHGs) that can harm global environmental systems and human health. Emissions of pollutants and GHGs can be reduced by using renewable forms of energy.

Where possible, a client’s/investee’s operations should reduce overall energy use at the facility level by managing the energy consumption associated with specific production processes and supporting utilities, which would result in cost savings. A financial institution can help a client/investee to identify areas for reductions in energy use and identify environmental business opportunities.


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