Uses of industrial energy benchmarking with reference to the pulp and paper industries

John Geoffrey Rogers, Samuel J. Cooper, Jonathan B. Norman

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Plant operators and policy makers frequently use energy benchmarking to assess the potential for reducing energy consumption from industrial plants. As benchmarking studies require considerable resources and the cooperation of plant operators it is tempting to try to merge or compare data from different studies. This paper reviews published benchmarks and energy-saving estimates from the paper and pulp industries to explore how comparable data from independent studies are. A literature review was conducted which identified that benchmarks were either produced through a top-down process using annual production and fuel consumption data or through a bottom-up process from process-level data. It was concluded that top-down benchmarks are useful in measuring national trends but are of little value to individual plants. For common process such as Kraft pulp production it is possible to compare values from different studies but only if sufficient information is given in the original studies to confirm that their scope is identical. However, it is unlikely that improvement rates in energy use can be inferred from the difference between studies that use different sources, as the degree of disagreement between contemporary studies is of the same order as the identified potential energy savings. Benchmarking studies were found to provide good summaries of potential technological improvements although there is some inconsistency in estimations of potential impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-37
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date13 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Comparisons of industry benchmarks, energy saving technology in paper making
  • Energy benchmarking
  • Paper and pulp industry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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