The energy-intensive industries in Texas are faced with several challenges to their survival. Most of the large energy-intensive industrial sites, specifically chemical manufacturing and refining, are located east of IH-35 and there is significant environmental pressure to reduce air emissions of Nitrate Oxide (NOx). NOx emissions can result from the combustion of fuel for power and heat. In addition, natural gas prices in Texas are among the highest in the world.
Because the chemical sector relies extensively on natural gas as both feedstock and fuel, energy costs account for a large percentage of manufacturing costs, putting this sector at a disadvantage in a global market. Finally, these two sectors have been identified as one of six target industry clusters by the Texas Workforce Commission. Target clusters compete across regions and tend to be the core drivers of regional economic competitiveness. Many other businesses in Texas depend upon the health of these core industry clusters.
Developing aggressive energy management strategies, incorporating energy management into business systems and adopting new technologies and BestPractices will play a critical role in the continued viability of all manufacturers in Texas. Texas Industries of the Future addresses this need through offering specialized training, energy management forums, conferences and Technology Showcases, and developing targeted software tools to assist all Texas manufacturers to evaluate energy-saving opportunities and their impacts on air emissions.
Texas Industries of the Future is a partnership strategy of the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and SECO, which provides outreach, technical assistance and training for Texas industrial energy consumers. Texas Industries of the Future conducts conferences, workshops and forums, providing training and outreach to engineers and consultants in process industries on a variety of industrial energy-efficiency topics. All manufacturers, however, are faced with the rising costs of energy, ranging from semi-conductor manufacturers to food processors. The ability to manage and control this cost is critical to their global competitiveness.