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Historic World Conference on Energy Efficiency Highlights Urgency

By Xavier Casas - Danfoss
General Manager


By Xavier Casas | General Manager - Mon, 11/28/2022 - 10:00

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2022 can be considered as a very successful year for Danfoss. At a global level we supported the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 7th Annual World Conference on Energy Efficiency  as well as, of course, local growth and produced many new developments and innovations that will allow us to engineer tomorrow.

Precisely, in order to dream of the future and make it a reality, the conference — organized by the IEA and the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Public Services, with the support of Danfoss — discussed the international interest in achieving energy efficiency. Focusing on concrete actions over the next decade to deliver the CO2 reductions needed on the global path to net-zero emissions, this discussion comes at a particularly critical time, as governments accelerate ambitious plans to tackle the climate crisis and cut emissions of greenhouse gases, but at the same time strengthen energy security.

This space was the meeting point for business and political leaders and was, by far, the conference with the largest ministerial presence ever for an event of this nature. Global leaders from government and industry focused on how collaboration on energy efficiency can deliver much-needed progress toward low-carbon and neutrality and discussed concrete and practical actions, enabled by new technologies, to stop waste of unnecessary energy in industry, transport, construction and existing buildings. The role and opportunity of technology toward energy efficiency in the construction of a global path that allows a real change toward 2050 was discussed.

By what makes energy efficiency so critical right now? The science is clear: We need to act on climate change today as the planet is facing its biggest energy crisis since 1970. Decarbonization, energy security and lower energy bills go hand in hand. But more importantly, if the world is going to meet climate targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, energy efficiency measures must be used to achieve a large global reduction in emissions. This demand is urgent.

Although Denmark is already a world leader in the green transition, the IEA and the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Public Services chose the municipality of Sønderborg as the host city, since it has been collaborating with local companies for 15 years with the aim of reducing emissions. In 2020, the municipality reached the important milestone of having reduced CO2 by more than half (51.7 percent/ 362,208 tons CO2) since 2007. It is now on track to achieve carbon neutrality in its energy systems by 2029, 20 years ahead of the rest of Denmark. This goal has been crystallized in ProjectZERO, a public-private partnership of which Danfoss is an active participant.

Danfoss, a global engineering company, has its headquarters in the municipality of Sønderborg  and has also taken steps to reduce CO2 emissions. The company’s plant in the city has 250,000 square meters of production space, more than 3,000 employees in 53 buildings and what makes it exemplary is its 70 percent reduction in heating consumption for manufacturing processes and building temperature and a 43 percent reduction in electricity consumption as well as an estimated return on investment of only three years from all investments related to the goal of carbon neutrality.

These results have been achieved because energy is only used in necessary quantities. The savings have helped to reduce temperatures in the heating network of the factory site from 145º C to 67º C and also by reusing excess heat, heating urban green and natural gas demand has been significantly reduced. The energy transformation the plant  has undergone is really incredible. In 2015, 100 percent of its heat came from fossil fuels; by the end of 2022, the plant is on its way to being totally CO2 neutral (scope 1 and 2).

This important meeting highlighted the relevance and urgency of these actions and showed decision-makers from local supermarkets, housing associations and the manufacturing industry what is already in place and making a real difference. We must step on the efficiency accelerator or we may not be able to adequately respond to the current energy crisis, paying the price for years to come.

The officials who spoke at the conference included Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, and Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities of Denmark.

They were joined by government leaders from across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific, with representatives including Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy and President of COP27; Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission; Alok Sharma, President of COP26 and representative of the government of the United Kingdom; Secretary of State for the Economy and Climate of Germany Patrick Graichen; Anna Moskwa, Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland; Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia; and many more.

Personalities from the private sector, such as Kim Fausing from Danfoss; Nana Bule, CEO of Microsoft Denmark and Iceland; Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Executive Board, BASF SE; Cristina Gamboa, Executive Director of the World Green Building Council; and Paula Glover, President of the Alliance to Save Energy, were also present.

Xavier Casas is the Managing Director of Danfoss Mexico. He has developed his entire professional career within the company and in the last two years he was the global head of the supply chain of the Commercial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning unit, being at the forefront of the strategy for the operations of the Danfoss factories located in India, China, Poland and Denmark, aiming to increase flexibility and business agility to meet the needs of customers.

Photo by:   Xavier Casas

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