Opportunities for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response in the California Cement Industry

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This study examines the characteristics of cement plants and their ability to shed or shift load to participate in demand response (DR). Relevant factors investigated include the various equipment and processes used to make cement, the operational limitations cement plants are subject to, and the quantities and sources of energy used in the cement-making process. Opportunities for energy efficiency improvements are also reviewed. The results suggest that cement plants are good candidates for DR participation. The cement industry consumes over 400 trillion Btu of energy annually in the United States, and consumes over 150 MW of electricity in California alone. The chemical reactions required to make cement occur only in the cement kiln, and intermediate products are routinely stored between processing stages without negative effects. Cement plants also operate continuously for months at a time between shutdowns, allowing flexibility in operational scheduling. In addition, several examples of cement plants altering their electricity consumption based on utility incentives are discussed. Further study is needed to determine the practical potential for automated demand response (Auto-DR) and to investigate the magnitude and shape of achievable sheds and shifts.

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