Keywords: energy analysis, industrial districts, food industry, cluster analysis, multiple regression, SMEs, Italy, energy recovery, energy consumption
Energy analysis in industrial districts: a statistics-based approach
Considering the particular structure of the Italian productive system, characterised by local concentration of a great number of small and medium-sized enterprises in industrial districts, this study aims at developing a 'district-oriented' approach to energy analysis. A combination of statistical methods is proposed in order to describe similarities, variability and relations among different industries within the same district, so that opportune indicators can be introduced. In this way, several small-sized industries can be analysed and similar solutions can be evaluated, without consuming excessive resources. As a case study, a research carried out in the worldwide known ham producing district of the 'Prosciutto di San Daniele', in northeastern Italy, is presented. Information has been gathered onsite, in order to acquire an accurate description of the systems, and to identify the opportunities for energy recovery. A statistical analysis has been conducted, determining relations between energy consumption and productive features. Thereby, homogeneity and heterogeneity in the energy needs and behaviour within the district could be highlighted and possible improvements could be proposed.