Energy Efficiency Experts: Interview with Hans Spaans
29 Юли 2016

Hans SpaansSPiCE3 had the chance to have a quick chat with Energy Expert Hans Spaans. Having worked for more than than 20 years on energy efficiency plans and projects for the chemical industry, Hans tells us in his own words about his experience in this field and talks about the next steps companies and governments should take towards energy efficiency.

1993 - present: Vision, Project management and consultancy in technology management. Cooperation with specialists in the field, forming dedicated project teams which are complementary in skills and experience.

1970 - 1993: R&D and technology management in the chemical Industry. All functions were characterized by a strong interface between R&D and marketing and R&D and production.

Other projects

  • Desk studies on markets and opportunities for new ventures in chemical industry. A cooperation with regional (e.g. NOM) development agencies usually exists.
  • Characterisation of the Dutch Chemical Industry: who makes what and where and how are these activities related in terms of chemicals and processes.
  • Content and information structuring of the "Chemiewijzer", a web-based technology information system for the chemical industry.

SPiCE3: Can you provide a short description of your experience and your responsibilities related to energy efficiency in chemical companies?

HS: I have worked since 1994 on the subject of Energy Efficiency in chemical industry, advising companies on their efficiency plans and monitoring the progress of the Long Term Agreements (LTAs).

SPiCE3: Normally, where is the biggest potential for energy savings in a chemical company?

HS: As for potential savings, I can give you some data for a group of medium-sized companies (having a total energy consumption of 37 PJ):

  • Energy savings over the last 3-year period: 2806 TJ
  • Process oriented: 1475 TJ (operational procedures: 279 TJ; process optimisation 343 TJ; and process equipment: 467 TJ)
  • Utilities and services: 1318 TJ (steam: 396 TJ; energy supply systems: 206 TJ; cooling: 116 TJ; buildings and HVAC: 138 TJ; and motors and motor control: 142 TJ)
  • Product oriented: 13 TJ

SPiCE3: According to your experience, what are the approaches used to handle energy efficiency in chemical companies?

HS: The LTAs are in place since 1994 so companies have a certain routine in periodical (once every four years) analysing the energy consumption patterns and singling out improvement options.

SPiCE3: What are the main obstacles for the implementation of energy efficiency measures?

HS: There are several obstacles: like overlooking the obvious, investments are often too great to be justified purely by energy saving, general budget constraints, time gap between emerging new technologies and proven technology (who pays for the risk and who will pay for disinvestment in case of new technology).

SPiCE3: What can national governments and the EU do more to support energy efficiency in the EU chemical sector?

HS: I leave this open, it can be a difficult discussion, the EU seems to be more on the track of enforcing energy efficiency instead of stimulating innovation and pick up of new technologies. The upcoming bio-based chemistry also confuses the issue of whether or not we should optimise the petrochemical-based industry.

SPiCE3: Thank you for your time Hans.

HS: My pleasure.

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