Main content area

Drivers, barriers and success factors for energy management in the Swedish pulp and paper industry

Lawrence, Akvile, Nehler, Therese, Andersson, Elias, Karlsson, Magnus, Thollander, Patrik
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.223 pp. 67-82
energy efficiency, energy policy, pulp and paper industry
Research has revealed the existence of an energy-efficiency gap – the difference between optimal and actual energy end-use, suggesting that energy efficiency can be improved. Energy management (EnM) is a means for improving industrial energy efficiency. However, due to various barriers, the full potential of EnM is not realised. Several studies have addressed drivers and barriers to energy efficiency but few to EnM. This study aims to identify EnM practices, the most important perceived drivers and barriers for EnM, and relations among them in the energy-intensive Swedish pulp and paper industry (PPI), which has the longest experience internationally of practising EnM systems, and has worked according to the standards since 2004. Our results show that, altogether, the PPI works regularly and continuously with EnM, with a clear division of responsibilities. The highest maturity for EnM practices was for energy policy, followed by organization, investments, and performance measurement. The study also shows that communication between middle management and operations personnel has potential for improvement. The most important categories of drivers were economic, whereas for barriers they were organizational. Nevertheless, knowledge-related barriers and drivers were amongst the most important, suggesting that the absorptive capacity for energy issues could be improved.