Energy Intensity— Global Primary Products
Energy Intensity - Global Primary Products
View Graph
Energy Intensity— Global Rolled Products
Energy Intensity - Global Rolled Products

View Graph

Energy Intensity— Engineered Products and Solutions
Energy Intensity—Engineered Products and Solutions

View Graph


Securing a Sustainable Energy Future


Energy is critical for our global operations. We strive to reduce the amount of energy we consume while increasing our use of renewable energy sources.


Globally, we control more than 2.8 gigawatts of generating capacity to provide for the energy needs of our smelting and refining system and regional wholesale markets. We supplement this with purchased electricity, of which more than 64% is from renewable sources. In addition, more than 62% of the purchased electricity used by our smelters globally is renewable.


We have set the following long-term strategic targets to reduce energy use in all three of our business groups:

  • From a 2005 baseline, a 10% reduction in the energy intensity of Global Primary Products by 2020; 15% by 2030; and
  • A 20% reduction in the energy intensity of Global Rolled Products (GRP) and Engineered Products and Solutions (EPS) by 2020 from their baselines of 2005 and 2010, respectively; 30% by 2030. 


All three business groups again made progress against their energy-intensity goals in 2014 through energy-efficiency improvements, with marginal impacts due to capacity reductions that occurred during the year. GPP reduced its energy intensity by 1.2% compared to 2013 and 4.2% since 2005. GRP achieved a 3.3% reduction compared to 2013, moving close to its goal with a 17.8% reduction since 2005. EPS reduced its energy intensity by 3.2% compared to 2013 and 13.2% compared to the 2010 baseline.


Energy Intensity—Global Primary Products
Gigajoules per metric ton of aluminum produced
Goal: 10% reductionProgress: As of Dec. 2014 
The energy intensity values have been adjusted to reflect the net energy value after energy sold to the grid, which is a change in the energy intensity calculation methodology used in the past. This impacted the 2005 baseline and years forward.


Energy Intensity—Global Rolled Products 
Gigajoules per metric ton of production
Goal: 20% reductionProgress: As of Dec. 2014 


Energy Intensity— Engineered Products and Solutions
Gigajoules per metric ton of production
Goal: 20% reductionProgress: As of Dec. 2014 
2014 Total Energy Consumption
Energy Gigajoules Megawatt Hours
Direct Energy 251,778,691 63,117,171
Purchased Electricity
   Purchased Electricity—Global Primary


   Purchased Electricity (local grid)—
   Global Rolled Products and Engineered
   Products and Solutions


Net Gigajoules of Energy 466,488,541 123,235,929
Self-generated Electricity (coal) 26,360,225 7,380,863
Gross Gigajoules of Energy 492,848,766 130,616,792
2014 Direct Energy Consumption by Source—All Business Groups
Source Gigajoules Percent
Natural Gas 144,574,611 57
Coal 62,817,884 25
Oil 39,698,918 16
Diesel 3,669,784 1
Steam 522,540 < 1
Propane 364,302 < 1
Distillates 130,652 < 1
Total 251,778,691 100
2014 Purchased Electricity by Source—Global Primary Products
Source Megawatt Hours Percent
Hydro 33,650,057 59
Coal 11,853,988 21
Natural Gas 7,240,947 13
Other Renewables 2,008,875 4
Nuclear 1,854,696 3
Local Grid 370,755 < 1
Oil 39,715 < 1
Total 57,019,033 100


For energy consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, we use the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) GHG Protocol to establish boundaries and account for mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, startups, and shutdowns of operating facilities. We report energy consumption based on management control as defined in the WRI GHG Protocol. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency databases (such as the Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database for the source of data on the characteristics of electric power generation) are used as the source of heat content values for fuel sources. 


Energy Efficiency

We continued reducing the energy intensity of our manufacturing operations as a challenge partner in the Better Buildings Better Plants program run by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). We placed all of the U.S. manufacturing locations in our GRP and EPS business groups in the program and pledged to reduce their combined energy intensity by 25% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline, which is more aggressive than our global goal of a 20% reduction. In 2014, we achieved an 11.8% reduction.


We hosted an in-plant training and assessment session with the DOE at our Davenport, Iowa, USA, location in October 2014. During the session, we closely evaluated the location’s process heat and steam, resulting in multiple opportunities to improve energy efficiency.


Globally, Alcoa Energy connects our businesses and locations to share best practices and capture savings. In 2014, the group conducted a weeklong energy-savings workshop in Europe to:

  • Bring together employees from different locations who are energy contacts, or single points of accountability (SPAs);
  • Encourage best-practice sharing;
  • Teach SPAs how to conduct energy kaizens (facility energy assessments) across their locations to find savings; and
  • Discuss implementation of the new ISO50001 Energy Management Standard and other energy efforts taking place at Alcoa locations worldwide.


At the workshop, participants conducted a sample energy kaizen on the host location’s operations. Their efforts identified significant opportunities for energy savings. 


Actual energy kaizens conducted at various locations in 2014 identified more than US$2.1 million in energy-saving opportunities.


We joined the ENERGY STAR program as an industrial partner in 2014. As a partner, we have committed to measure, track, and benchmark our energy performance; develop and implement a plan to improve energy performance; adopt the ENERGY STAR strategy; and educate our staff and the public about our partnership and achievements with ENERGY STAR.


Renewable Energy

Our operations around the world use a variety of renewable energy sources, with hydroelectricity being the primary form. We believe that the environmental and social impacts of well-designed hydroelectric systems can be minimal if the projects are properly planned and constructed.


We are a partner in four operating hydroelectric power plants in Brazil—Barra Grande, Estreito, Machadinho, and Serra do Facão. The Pai Querê plant, in which we are also a partner, is in the licensing stage.


We have established a social agreement with stakeholders and government authorities to promote the sustainable development of the 12 municipalities located near the Estreito plant, which became fully operational in 2013. Along with our partners and Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development, we have developed a fund to invest in social projects for these municipalities. Through the end of 2014, approximately US$10.2 million was invested in 116 social projects in five major areas: social development, education, health, sanitation, and economic development.


Our Canadian smelters in Deschambault, Baie-Comeau, and Bécancour are supplied almost entirely (97%) with hydroelectricity. In 2014, these smelters became “Distinction” members of Hydro-Québec’s Ecolectrique Club, which is the highest recognition in energy efficiency in the province of Québec. 


Related Links
Alcoa Energy