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Efficient motor systems `could save Europe €10bn`

01 May, 2004

Europe could save up to €10bn a year by adopting more efficient motor-driven systems, a new EU report says. However, it warns that without government action, this potential will not be realised - despite the strong economic arguments.

The report* says that switching to efficient motor systems could cut industry`s operating costs by €10bn a year, as well as:

• saving industry €5-10bn a year through reduced maintenance and improved operations;

• saving Europe €6bn a year through lower environmental costs;

• reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 79m tonnes - about a quarter of the EU`s Kyoto target;

• reducing the new power generation capacity needed over the next 20 years by 45GW; and

• cutting Europe`s energy imports by 6%.

To achieve these targets, the report suggests a four-year package of measures, investing around €400m in the motor systems market. These measures, which should be run at the national level in EU member states, would include a continuation of the existing Motor Challenge Programme, as well as:

• the introduction of energy audits for industrial installations;

• financial support to train energy auditors;

• incentives for energy-saving investments;

• a framework for claiming emission credits for investments in electricity saving; and

• an information campaign.

The report looks at the barriers to wider adoption of efficient motor technologies and suggests possible solutions. One of the report`s authors, David Chapman of the Copper Development Association, says that the UK alone could cut its electricity bills by £550m a year by adopting more efficient motor systems.

"Modernisation of electric motor-driven systems is essential in helping us to meet our national goal for carbon dioxide emissions," he stresses.

* Energy-efficient motor-driven systems. Copies available from the Copper Development Association on +44 (0 142 275705.

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