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Opportunities and Barriers in the Implementation of Energy Efficiency Measures in Plastic Manufacturing
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The plastic industry in the U.S. employs approximately 9%  of the manufacturing work force and consumes approximately 6%  of the total energy used by the U.S. industries. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), manufacturers of plastic and other resins are consuming nearly 1,070 trillion Btu  of energy in their operations every year, valued at $6.0 billion. As escalating energy prices continue to be a concern for industry, many plastic manufacturers are striving to reduce their energy consumption to stay competitive. An alternative to reduced energy consumption is to put in place an energy efficiency strategy. However, while most plastic manufactures are aware of the energy efficiency opportunities in their facilities, the implementation of these opportunities face certain market barriers. These barriers are identified as customers lack the information about energy efficiency technologies, and have limited capital funding to implement the energy efficiency measures. Additionally, it is hard to identify the energy savings opportunities and difficult to quantify their impacts. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the various energy efficiency opportunities in plastic manufacturing and address the market barriers in implementing them. We will identify the energy savings opportunities in plastic manufacturing that can be introduced to reduce energy consumption and decrease production costs, thus giving the customers more competitive edge in both the regional and global markets. We will also discuss various popular energy efficiency measures, the energy savings associated with each measure and their projected simple payback. In terms of policy implication, this paper will discuss various strategies of mitigating potential market barriers in implementing energy efficiency measures on plastic manufacturing industries.
Kanunho, A; Yong, J. C. (2012). Opportunities and Barriers in the Implementation of Energy Efficiency Measures in Plastic Manufacturing. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from