High prices for gas and electricity: how technology helps save energy

Status: 22.06.2022 18:13

In many companies, energy is wasted on a large scale because it was once relatively cheap. A lot of money could be saved with smart technology and investments in more efficient production.

Millions of injectors for diesel engines for trucks are produced every year at the Saarland Bosch plant in Homburg. A control system has been developed in the plant that accurately records the energy consumption of the machines. Homburg thus assumes a leading role within the Bosch Group. Engineer Gerhard Stopp monitors the current consumption in production. 12,000 data points can be checked and analyzed every day at the factory to save energy.

Engineer Stopp found what he was looking for in many places and set up the plant to save energy. The machines switch off automatically when not in use, heating and ventilation are adjusted to the number of people in the room. A total of € 11 million has already been saved in this way. Worldwide, Bosch has already installed 90,000 measuring devices in its factories.

High losses when using primary energy

For most of the wholesale consumers with their special negotiated prices, it seems so far not worth the money. Since only waste heat, huge amounts of energy are unnecessarily blown into the air every year.

Only just under 70 percent of primary energy actually reaches the final consumer in Germany. The 30% loss is as large as the combined energy production of the Netherlands and Denmark. And of what reaches users, another 30 percent is lost. For example, due to outdated boilers. More than half of the primary energy therefore falls into oblivion.

Campaign for greater energy efficiency

The Minister of Economy and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck, therefore launched a few days ago, together with associations and trade unions, the “80 million for energy change” campaign. A big campaign is meant to persuade the population and the economy to be more efficient. But it is not easy. “You don’t see the kilowatt hour saved,” Habeck says. “It is relatively difficult to raise awareness of putting these saved kilowatt hours at the center of politics.”

The potential savings in private homes are already widely exploited: turn down the thermostats, turn off the standby devices, close the lid while cooking, low temperatures in the washing machine.

Application for industry requirements

The private share of energy consumption in Germany decreased by 9.3% between 2008 and 2018. Industry grew by 0.5%. Critics therefore demand that the industry in particular should be made more responsible due to the enormous waste of waste heat, with clear conditions and prohibitions.

Uwe Leprich of Saarbrücken University of Applied Sciences criticized the fact that for decades a disheartened politician had not dared to really tackle the issue of energy efficiency with clear guidelines. “An ordinance on the use of heat for industry would be very effective,” says Leprich. Heat must be used for sensible things.

Plusminus reports on this and other topics today at 9:45 pm in the first.

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