How much are machine drives impacting the power grid?

Nov 11, 2013

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, machine drives — mostly electric motors, pumps and fans — account for about half of the manufacturing sector's delivered electricity use and 8% of the sector's total fuel consumption. Their wide use across many industries results in a substantial impact on the demand placed on power grids. EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013) projects that the continuing increase in the energy efficiency of machine drives will offset an increase in industrial output, resulting in relatively flat levels of electricity consumption by machine drives.

The level of electricity used in manufacturing or other activities has broader implications for total energy use. It takes three units of primary energy (from fuels such as coal, nuclear and natural gas) to generate one unit of electricity, meaning that increased electricity use has a disproportionate effect on the amount of total primary energy required to support site-level energy use. Reported electricity use is based on energy consumption for end use (delivered energy).

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