About IETD


This database aims to help decision makers identify technologies and measures that improve productivity and profits while reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions in industry, and assist companies in assessing the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency investment options. 

The Industrial Efficiency Technology Database is among the Institute for Industrial Productivity's package of databases on technology, policy, financing and supply chain initiatives that are publicly available and offered free of charge, as part of our mandate to increase industrial energy productivity in energy-intensive sectors.

Why this database?
What is in the database? 
Who is this database for? 
Who are the main contributors?
What are the next steps?

Why this Database? 

The Industrial Efficiency Technology Database (IETD) aims to catalyse the widespread adoption of technologies and practices in industry that improve productivity and profitability while reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. 

It is estimated that energy efficiency in the industrial sector can be improved by as much as 26% and the sector's CO2 emissions can be reduced by 32% with proven and commercially available technologies (IEA, 2007. p.23). However, business leaders often cite the lack of information on relevant options and benchmarks, and difficulties with building a clear-cut financial case for energy efficiency investments as the two main barriers to widespread deployment of energy efficiency technologies and measures (Enerdata and Economist Intelligence Unit,  2011). This database aims to help decision makers to realise this significant energy savings and GHG mitigation potential by providing free, comprehensive and easily accessible information that will help to overcome information and financial barriers.


What is in the Database? 

Currently the database covers information on the cement, iron and steel and pulp and paper sectors as well as on electric motor driven systems, which are included as a cross-sectoral topic. Work is underway on glass industry and information will be available shortly. The information contained in the database is primarily compiled from a wide array of publicly available sources and published literature. In some cases, this information is supplemented by the knowledge and opinions of IIP's expert network.

The following types of information are provided in the database: 


Sector specific information

Sector-specfic information includes an introduction to the most relevant characteristics of the sector including its size, its importance in terms of its energy consumption and GHG emissions, as well as estimated potential for technical improvements for improved energy and carbon efficiency. A typical flow diagram with the main production processes is designed to allow users quickly access some of the information, as well as understand major industrial processes for non-technical experts.


Technology description

This part provides an overview of the production technologies commonly used in the production of main products in the sector. More detailed information about these technologies are provided as part of the process descriptions. 



Processes are a distinct set of activities necessary for the production of an intermediate or final product, or inputs into another process. A brief description of the main processes commonly used in the sector is provided. 


Key Data 

Detailed data is presented on areas such as trends and current levels of production, the sector's position in the overall industrial energy use and CO2 emissions, energy savings and GHG mitigation potential, and key countries and/or players in the sector.



Benchmarks include information on best performance levels reported in the literature, broken to the level of main processes employed within a sector.


Technologies & Measures 

Technologies and measures cover technical and/or operational practices that can be used to improve productivity and reduce energy consumption and emissions. A wide range of options are included such as: 

  • Operational practices, that can be implemented without any major changes in the physical setting of the plant; 
  • Retrofit components or systems refer to technical elements that are added to the existing plant infrastructure to enable an improvement; 
  • New equipment or system refers to substitution of one or more equipment used within a process
  • Material substitution includes partial or complete substitution of conventional inputs with better performing alternatives
  • New processes includes a new set of technologies/activities the output of which is either the same as, or can be a substitute to, the output of an incumbent process. 

For each technology/measure, the following types of information is provided: 


Technology/Measures Description

This is a description of the key and distinct characteristics of the technology or measure that can help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Co-benefits or non-energy benefits, such as enhanced productivity, reduced maintenance costs, improved product quality, and reduced environmental impact offered by the technology or measure are also included in the description, whenever possible. 


Energy Savings

Information is provided on the reductions in different forms of energy use (e.g. electricity, heat, fuel) that can be enabled by the technology or measure. These values are primarily extracted from literatre and are often reported in the form of specific energy savings such as GJ/t-clinker or kWh/t-hot metal.  In some cases, saving potentials are also reported as cumulative annual savings achieved in a plant with a particular size or as the total saving that can be achieved with the application of this technology at different scales (e.g. national or global). In order to maintain consistency and allow comparisons, unit conversions are performed on the values reported in the literature. 


CO2 Reductions

In this section information on the potential reductions in CO2 emissions that can be achieved with the implementation of the technology or measure is provided. In the majority of the cases, these are figures have been extracted from various literature sources. In a limited number of cases, CO2 reduction potentials are calculated based on the energy saving potentials and country and sector specific emission factors are reported. As the CO2 emissions may differ depending on the context specific factors – such as the characteristics of dominant raw materials and fuels and prevailing electricity supply system  chacteristics – whenever possible, the country for which the CO2 saving potentials are realized/estimated is also reported.  



In this section, available information on the implementation and operational costs of the technology or measure is reported. Whenever possible, additional information on cost savings, payback times, and other financial indicators such as internal rate of return (IRR) or Return on Investment (RoI) are also included. In the majority of the cases, these figures are reported as they appear in literature, without any further processing (other than basic unit conversion).

It should be noted that technology/measure specific information is offered as guidance. Gains and costs that can be realized in individual sites will require site-specific assessments. It should also be noted that a large majority of the technologies/measures included in the database will also enable facilities to realize additional co-benefits or non-energy benefits such as improved product quality, enhanced productivity, reduced input and maintenance costs. These are benefits are not quantified in the current version of the database but instead mentioned qualitatively.



A wide range of resources that provide further information on the technology/measure is provided in the database.  These include reports, guidelines, standards, reference documents, peer reviewed publications, websites, presentations, animations, case studies and company experiences.  


Organizations & Programs

In the organizations and programs section, information is provided on the main organizations and programs, whose work and/or objectives focus on improving energy efficiency and productivity in the sectors and areas covered in this database. Here both global and national organizations and programs are included.  


Who is the database for?

Decision makers in industry,  who, with the information provided in this database, can accelerate the implementation of energy saving and efficient technologies and measures are  the primary target group of this database. The database also aims to provide support to practitioners and non-technical experts in energy efficiency policy making and implementation, finance, and research and education. 


Who contributed to the database?

The development of this database is coordinated and led by an IIP team, which has, among others, also carried out parts of the research and information compilation, and processed other contributions for publication.

Following organizations and individuals have contributed to the development of this database:

Original research and information compilation for cement industry was performed by Ali Hasanbeigi, with assistance from Cecilia Fino-Chen and Lynn Price, of China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Kamal Kumar of Holtec Consulting Pvt Ltd reviewed the information and helped with its customization for the Indian context.

Marlene Arens, Wolfgang Eichhammer, Clemens Rohde and Sohaib Tariq of Fraunhofer ISI performed the original research and information compilation for iron and steel industry. Prof. Yanjia Wang of Tsinghua University of China and Arvind Thekdi of E3M Inc. reviewed the information. Mr. Thekdi also helped with customizing the information for the contexts of China, India, and the US. 

Anibal T. de Almeida and Joao Fong of Institute of Systems and Robotics at the University of Coimbra and Hugh Falkner of Atkins Global performed the original research and information compilation for the motor systems section.

Patrick Plötz, Clemens Rohde and Sohaib Tariq of Fraunhofer ISI performed the original research and information compilation for pulp and paper industry. This information was reviewed by the China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and by a former chief technical officer of UPM-Kymmene. IIP is currently processing this information for publication. 

Felipe Toro, Luis Plascencia, Andrea Herbst and Felix Reitze of Institute for Resource Efficiency and Energy Strategies performed the original research and information compilation for glass industry, together with Clemens Rohde, Sohaib Tariq of Fraunhofer ISI. China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reviewed this information. IIP is currently processing this information for publication. 


What are the next steps? 

This database is seen as an initial step towards creating a platform for free and easy access to relevant and reliable information. Although compilation of information from the literature is seen as a highly valuable and meaningful step, it also has limitations. More up-to-date, representative and reliable information can be provided by practitioners having experience with the technologies and measures that improve energy efficiency and productivity. IIP intends to use this current version of the database as a stepping stone towards building a community of relevant stakeholders, who will collectively develop and deploy the power of social networks to enable unprecedented advances in industrial energy effiicency.