January 26th, 2012 – Palazzo Stelline, Milan – Final speech for the launch conference of the HEAT4U Project
Thank you for coming.
Twenty years ago, there were not many people talking about rational energy use and even fewer who made it their core business.
Only a few innovators were involved in taking the first steps towards environmental sustainability.
This was back in 1991, and Robur had 35 years of good economic history behind it, characterized by a strong emphasis on innovation and the conviction that the combination of energy savings and environmental sustainability would be a valid long term strategy.
Our company was facing an important and courageous decision.
Robur acquired a company located in Evansville, Indiana (United States), which operated in the air conditioning sector manufacturing gas fired absorption chillers.
Only a few years later, we came to realize that the potential that this technology had to offer, back then only applied in air conditioning, was still largely unexplored. The absorption cycle could also be applied in the heating sector, achieving considerably higher efficiency than any other system.
The DOE (US Department of Energy) shared our vision and, from 1997 to 1999, provided us with financing to research the application of this technology in order to develop a gas absorption heat pump designed for use in the heating sector.
In 2004, Robur was the first company in the world to start production.
Trusting this good intuition turned out to be a winning decision and the results we see today are more than flattering.
The numbers produced confirm our success, despite the well-known fact that the more disruptive an innovation is, the longer it takes for it to be widely accepted.
We have an infinite supply of heat in the air, soil and surface water.
Robur has chosen to exploit these natural resources that we can access so easily.
To date, Robur has made more than 6,000 gas absorption heat pumps for the light commercial heating sector, using more than 1/3 of renewable energy. This means saving 9,600 equivalent tons of oil and avoiding the emission of more than 25,000 tons of CO2…every year…the equivalent of planting more than 3.5 million trees.
By reducing polluting emissions thanks to the use of a gas absorption heat pump, every family could avoid emitting the same amount of CO2 as their family cars produce.
If this technology were to be applied on a wider scale in the domestic heating sector, it would lead to enormous savings in economic terms for the end user: the investment is one of the least expensive among renewable energy systems and more than a third of consumption expenses would be cut straight off.
Furthermore in Europe the gas utilization, thanks to the available gas grid, does not require more investment.
This market is ten times larger than the light commercial sector.
For more than twenty years, I have been convinced of the importance of the contribution that this technology can offer on a global level, improving the rational use of energy and environmental sustainability.
I would like us all to share in the joy and pride of this day: we have launched an ambitious project, which will see the official introduction of absorption technology to the domestic heating sector … an historical turning point.
I am sure that you will understand how much pleasure the HEAT4U project gives me as an entrepreneur, but even more so as a citizen and as a man.
We are living in a period that inspires us to raise our eyes and accept the challenge to move towards a wider vision.
We can create together a story where what counts is not just business, but also a ethical vision of work and social responsibility to the benefit for the whole of society.
So thank you for coming and showing an interest that, by forming opinions and cooperation, will contribute to preparing the way for this extraordinary innovation.