UNIDO Case for Energy Efficiency, Cleaner Production

Environmental and energy experts tasks manufacturers on energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable use of resources, writes Dike Onwuamaeze

Now is the time for Nigerian industrial sector to embrace and improve its capabilities on Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) and Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) to remain competitive and ensure environmental sustainability in the face of increasing energy costs.  This was the consensus opinion of experts that participated at a workshop on, “Reporting Techniques for Commerce and Industry, Energy, and Environment Correspondents on Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE), Energy Management System (EnMS), Energy System Optimisation (ESO) and Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) Methodologies in Nigeria.”

RECP, according to the experts, is the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment. It is also a systematic and integrated approach to managing energy, water, environmental and financial resources to eliminate or minimise waste and emissions to the environment on a sustainable and cost-effective basis.

They affirmed that this would improve Nigeria’s industrial energy performance; enhance resource efficiency and the country’s quest for cleaner industrial production through programmatic approaches and the promotion of innovation in clean technology solutions.

It is also believed that cleaner production, which is a preventative environmental management strategy, would promote the elimination of waste before it is created. This systematically reduces overall pollution generation and improves the efficiency of resource usage.

Currently, the pilot industrial sub-sectors for the RECP project in the country are the food and beverages, basic metal, iron and steel, petrochemicals, textiles and wood and furniture. These sub-sectors were selected from Aba, Abuja, Asaba/Warri, Calabar, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun, Onitsha and Port-Harcourt industrial zones.

In addition, the selected implementing agencies and partners of IEE-RECP in Nigeria are the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO, the Federal Ministry of Environment and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

The specific goals of IEE-RECP are cleaner production, the promotion and optimisation of industrial energy efficiency as well as the attainment of materials, water and chemicals efficiency to ensure environmental sustainability, increased efficient energy use and industrial financial improvements.

The UNIDO’s mandate in this project is to promote and support inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) in developing countries and transition economies like Nigeria.

The Country Representative and Regional Director the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Regional Office Hub, Mr. Jean Bankole, who was represented by who was rep­res­en­ted by UNIDO’s Envir­on­ment Expert, Mr. Oluyomi Banjo, emphasised that industrial production is accountable for one-third of total global energy consumption and for almost 40 per cent of worldwide CO2 emissions and called for a shift toward cleaner production and energy efficiency.

Bnkole said that the International Energy Commission (IEA) has highlighed that industries would need to reduce their current direct emissions globally by about 24 per cent in comparison to 2007 levels.

He said: “The need to reduce energy consumption, environmental degradation, and resource depletion by industries in emerging economies is especially evident, since global growth in industrial production since 1990 has been dominated by emerging economies.”

He also traced Nigeria’s march to RECP and IEE to 2017 when this project was collectively developed and submitted by UNIDO under the GEF 6 Programming Circle. This “was approved for full project development in 2017 and subsequently approved for full project implementation in 2020.

“You may wish to know that the outcome of this project is targeted at industries to develop an expert base for Nigeria that could be exported to other African countries and beyond.

“This project,” according to him, “will address to a good extent the questions on how industries can improve their efficiency, increase profitability, operate at international best standards, comply with regulations and maintain improved relationship with policy makers.”

He added that a pilot financing RECP-IEE scheme will be executed though the Standard Organisation of Nigeria. “We hope to support not less than 75 industries across five sec­tors of food and beverages, wood and furniture, steel and metals, textile and garment and petrochemicals. We will develop the capa­city of the organised private sector and develop not less than 300 Nigerian RECP-IEE experts.

“It may interest you to know that for the first time at UNIDO, we are having an integrated IEE and RECP in one project. In South Africa, UNIDO’s project on IEE recently received the best project of the year by the Southern Africa Energy Efficiency Confederation. We look forward to replicating records like this in Nigeria,” Bankole said.

He added that “UNIDO has implemented IEE in over 18 countries around the world and has also implemented RECP in over 60 countries. This pro­gramme will cre­ate an oppor­tun­ity to develop the IEE and RECP methodologies, human capacity build­ing which will also see Nigeri­ans being trained to a global stand­ard as energy assessors and RECP experts.

“We are hoping that this will eventually lead to the creation of National Cleaner Production Centres in the coun­try (Nigeria), which will also pro­mote cir­cu­lar eco­nomy.”

Accord­ing to him, “in South Africa, UNIDO’s project on IEE was recently accorded the best project of the year by the Southern Africa Energy Efficiency Confederation. We look for­ward to replication records like this in Nigeria.”

The components of the IEE/RECP project in Nigeria include the strengthening of national industrial and environmental policies and regulatory frameworks for IEE and environmental management standards.

It also includes enhanced investment in IEE’s improvement and cleaner production within relevant sub-sectors of the Nigerian industrial sector amongst others.

What is IEE?

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ecowatt Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olakunle Owoeye, defined energy efficiency as the use of less energy to perform the same task or produce the same result. “IEE means the energy efficiency derived from commercial technologies and measures to improve energy efficiency or to generate/transmit electric power and heat,” Owoeye said.

He said that this concept is crucial in determining the competitiveness of manufacturing industries in the 21st century and urged manufacturers to mainstream the optimisation of sustainability schemes into the manufacturing processes.

He explained that the basis of “industrial energy management system (EnMS) is to understand the energy consumption pattern in a production environment by outlining and defining the energy flow within the facility along with the classification of energy usage and its relationship to processes and production outputs.

It is also important to identify subsidiary energy within production as the area with the greatest potential for savings through changes in operational behaviour.

The RECP methodology is based on achieving production efficiency through the optimisation of the productive use of natural resources such as materials, energy and water. This is carried out through environmental protection management in a manner that would minimise the impact on environment and nature, by preventing the generation of waste and emissions and improving the management and productive use of chemicals.

This would promote social and human development through the minimisation of risks to people and communities arising from industrial activities and supporting their own development by providing jobs and protecting wellbeing etc.

Methodology Used in Industrial Energy Efficiency

Experts believed that the approach that could be used in industries to manage energy usage still lacks appropriate measures to effectively address energy efficiency. But this could be attained through fuel switching and waste heat recovery. Fuel switching is the change in use of one particular fuel (gas, diesel, etc) producing energy to another to save cost and increase efficiency while waste heat recovery, which referred to the collection of heat created from unwanted by-products such as the exhaust of generators, boilers, furnace, etc. to be used in another process or to fulfill another purpose.

Owoeye said that there is a need to illustrate the relationship between the energy usage and production activities in industrial facilities in order to ensure effectiveness when EnMS is implemented.

He listed some important steps that would be required when carrying out an industrial energy efficiency assessment. These steps include identifying the processes through which the industries operate, and the identification of equipment, the determination of Significant Energy Consuming Equipment or users (SECEs/Us) as well as the determination of energy flow in production processes as well as data collection, synthesis and analysis.

Common energy efficiency projects in industry are heat recovery from generator, furnace, boiler exhaust or from other heat sources, like economiser, vapour absorption chiller, waste heat recovery boiler e.t.c. Others are fuel switching such as from diesel to gas, and renewable energy integration.   

The Editor-in-Chief, EnviroNews Nigeria, Mr. Michael O. Simire, said that renewable energy is sustainable because it could not be depleted.  This is energy collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale from sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

  Simire said that renewable energy is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale, which included sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

“Renewable energy often provides energy for electrical generation to grid, air and water cooling/heating, and stand-alone power systems.

“Globally, energy is identified as a critical enabler for economic development. It attracts geopolitical, social-economical, technological, environmental and legal interests’”

One of the resource persons at the workshop, Dr. Obi A. Anyadiegwu of Hospitalia Consultaire Limited, enumerated the benefits of RECP to Nigeria. “It helps companies comply with environmental standards and legal requirements and reduces the risks of non-compliance; provides tools to understand, measure and reduce the sources of waste generation and pollution.

It also fosters improved environmental performance and environmental sustainability; provides tools to track materials and energy flow, making industry morecost-aware and save costs and reduces threats and risks to humans and the environment while improving opportunities for consultancy in implementation of RECP.

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