Co-Chairs' Introduction

Welcome to the 2007 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry. This is ACEEE’s eighth Summer Study devoted to this topic. Since the first conference in 1993, the drivers for industrial energy efficiency have grown broader and more complex. This year’s theme, Improving Industrial Competitiveness: Adapting to Volatile Energy Markets, Globalization, and Environmental Constraints, reflects the growing challenges that industry faces.

The significant increases in the prices of crude oil and natural gas over the last few years underscore the volatility of energy markets and have challenged the industrial sector to react quickly to higher prices. Moreover, as a greater number of states move toward electrical deregulation, the price paid for electricity is less a function of long-term negotiations and more a function of the short-term price of electrical power. While volatility alone is problematic, the trend of increasing energy costs is also quite clear.

Politics, technology, and diverse global energy processes have accelerated the trend of industry moving from high- to low-cost energy nations. Industrial competitiveness and where manufacturers locate are driven in large part by the prices paid for energy. 

Finally, industry and all society are now responding to the second wave of environmental responsibility. The first wave began in the 1970s with a move to reduce local air and water pollution. Just as society and industry have been successful in addressing myriad local environmental problems, they must now respond to our global responsibility to reduce green house gas emissions. 

It is somewhat remarkable that a single measure—improving energy efficiency— is an effective response to all of these diverse issues. Improving energy efficiency while maintaining industrial competitiveness provides the unifying theme of this conference. The Summer Study brings together experts from private industry, academia, government, consulting, and the nonprofit sector. And while each participant brings his or her own reasons for participating, the overall goal is certainly to provide a forum in which each of you, as you leave here, take with you actionable information to improve industrial energy efficiency.   

The Summer Study is organized into six panels:

  1. Energy Markets and Global Competition
  2. Energy-Saving Technologies and Practices
  3. Environmental Constraints and Opportunities
  4. Analysis and Modeling of Industrial Energy Use
  5. Role of Public Policies and Programs in Addressing Energy Use and Industrial Competitiveness
  6. Energy Efficiency in Specific Industries

Paper presentations in these panels will provide detailed and practical information on their subject areas. Afternoon informal sessions led by workshop participants will further explore research and activities related to industrial energy efficiency. Posters and displays will be available throughout the conference for further sharing of information. Tours of several local industrial sites are organized for Thursday afternoon. 

The work we do here is important to our companies, our communities, and our world. We thank all the authors, speakers, panel leaders, paper reviewers, poster presenters, funders, organizers, and attendees for the value they add to Summer Study.  We welcome you to the 2007 ACEEE Summer Study, Improving Industrial Competitiveness, and trust that you will find the time and effort to participate rewarding.

Lawrence Kavanagh, American Iron and Steel Institute

Kelly Kissock, University of Dayton