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UK funds global motor efficiency initiative

01 July, 2006

A global initiative has been launched to boost the uptake of high-efficiency motors and to harmonise standards and test procedures worldwide. The independent SEEEM - Standards for Energy Efficiency of Electric Motor Systems - initiative, aims to overcome the barriers holding back the wider deployment of energy-efficient motor systems. More than 40 delegates from 18 countries attended its launch meeting in London in June.

SEEEM brings together representatives from governments, industry, users and academia, It is being funded by a variety of backers, including the UK government (which is providing £20,000 of funding through its Market Transformation Programme), the Australian Greenhouse Office, the International Copper Association, and the Swiss Agency for Efficient Energy Use.

The project is being co-ordinated by the Swiss-based consultancy A+B International, and its steering committee includes representatives from the EC, the UN, Baldor, VEM Motors and the Chinese National Institute for Standardisation.

SEEEM is calling for governments and other interested parties to:

initiate a comprehensive strategy to promote the use of efficient industrial motor systems worldwide;

harmonise energy efficiency testing procedures, efficiency classes, and marking schemes for motors; and

introduce a timetable for mandatory minimum energy performance requirements for motors and harmonise them at a high efficiency level; and

support SEEEM to share experiences, derive best practices, and co-ordinate measures to promote efficient motor-driven systems.

SEEEM will encourage international agreements on testing procedures, efficiency classes and marking schemes that will make it possible to compare products globally. This, in turn, will allow for international benchmarking and steps to align performance requirements through mandatory minimum energy performance standards.

SEEEM points out that industrial motor-driven systems account for 40-50% of the world`s electricity demand - and 65-70% of global industrial demand. Motors also represent a large share of the growing electricity demand in developing economies.

According to SEEEM, there is an economic potential to improve the energy efficiency of industrial motor systems by 25-30%, with payback times of less than three years. In the EU alone, a wider uptake of high-efficiency motors could cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by 100 million tonnes - a quarter of the EU`s target under the Kyoto Protocol. These motors would also reduce energy and environmental costs for European businesses as well as cutting the need for new power stations and energy imports.

SEEEM suggests that global co-operative action is now needed to overcome the barriers that are holding back the wider use of energy-efficient motor systems - such as the lack of harmonisation of testing procedures and marking schemes.

SEEEM has set up working groups to develop policies in four areas: efficiency testing procedures and tolerances; efficiency classes and marking schemes; mandatory and voluntary performance requirements; and policies and incentives for energy-efficient motor systems.

The initiative is focusing its efforts on open and enclosed, two-, four- and six-pole, asynchronous induction motors, operating from 200-690V, 50 or 60Hz supplies, with ratings from 0.55-370kW. It will have to consider 16 basic sets of data.

SEEEM`s initial results will be discussed at a conference in Beijing, China, next June.




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