It’s good to get good news. And from a green manufacturing perspective, news doesn’t get much better than the recent news that the manufacturing sector’s energy use and energy intensity has gone down since 2002.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010.
Countering any misconceptions that the decrease is related to decreased manufacturing activity, manufacturing gross output decreased by only 3 percent over the same period, according to the EIA.
“Taken together, this data indicates a significant decline in the amount of energy used per unit of gross manufacturing output. The significant decline in energy intensity reflects both improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the manufacturing output mix. Consumption of every fuel used for manufacturing declined over this period,” the agency’s report stated.
The manufacturing sector comprised over 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010.
The ramification of this reduction is significant, in terms of accompanying emissions reductions, since energy concumption = CO2 emissions.
The reduction also helps void the need to build new coal-fired power plants.
Other benefits that may not necessarily benefit the environment certainly benefit manufacturers, in that lowered energy use equates to lowered overhead costs and improved competitiveness.
Who says no news is good news?