U.S. Industrial Sector Energy Productivity Improvement Pathways

Alberta Carpenter Petri, Rebecca Hanes, William Morrow III, Joe Cresko, Sujit Das, Diane Graziano, Sarang Supekar, Sachin Nimbalkar, Matthew Riddle, Arman Shehabi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Economy-wide energy systems forecasting models often propose deep emission reduction pathways as a course of action to achieve environmental goals such as de-carbonization. These pathways typically assume that industries adopt all possible energy efficiency measures and replace their remaining energy demand with low e missions resources, e.g. , renewable or nuclear energy. However, given the significant diversity of energy sources and energy-consuming processes, this over-simplifies the real-world technology, process, and co st constraints common to the industrial sector and is a weakness in existing pathways. Moreover, these pathways do not adequately consider the importance of manufacturing to economic prosperity and for producing the technologies that achieve economy-wide environmental goals. This paper reviews historical industrial energy productivity and introduces an analytic framework for developing industrial sector energy productivity pathways that are driven by the goal to transform both the business as usual trends within the industrial sector, as well as the downstream impacts attributable to manufactured products. The framework includes (1) metrics for quantifying energy productivity growth in term s of physical units, value-added, and service; and (2) concurrent approaches for decoupling energy use an d emissions from manufacturing value-added. The framework presented here highlights that emission reduction pathways need to consider the industrial sector not in the aggregate, but as comprised of diverse manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries that affect the energy productivity of other economic sectors: electric power, transportation, and commercial sectors. Such pathways are better equipped to focus on improving the energy productivity of the US economy.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 ACEEE Summer Study on Industrial Energy Efficiency through Collaboration - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 15 Aug 201718 Aug 2017


Conference2017 ACEEE Summer Study on Industrial Energy Efficiency through Collaboration
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

Available from ACEEE: see https://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2017/data/

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-74050


  • energy productivity
  • industrial energy


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