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Pictures of the Future
Special Edition Rio+20 | 2012
Formulas for Efficiency The Next Economy Sharing a Brighter Future Technologies that cut demand
for energy and resources The changing structure of the global value chain More quality of life for everyone
Paths to a Sustainable
Pictures of the Future | Editorial
he United Nations Conference on Sus-
tainable Development (Rio+20) comes
at a crucial time. The recent crises have ex-
posed a lack of sustainable thinking not
only with regards to energy policy. After
political upheaval, economic downturns
and environmental disasters in the past
years our challenges seem bigger than
ever. Some might go as far as to say that
during the last decades we have failed in
our aim to make this planet more sustain-
able. But is it true?
Barbara Kux is a Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and is the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
companies can step in to fill the technology
gap. Siemens, for example, has continuous-
ly invested in research and development
over the years to provide state of the art
products and solutions that help reduce
emissions and the consumption of re-
sources. As a consequence the company
can make a significant contribution to cre-
ating a more sustainable world, for exam-
ple by supporting Germany and other coun-
tries to reach its sustainability targets. Thus, the research and development of
global companies like Siemens are key
when dealing with environmental threats
like climate change. Siemens is an excellent
example: today we have research centers
across the globe, and our innovative prod-
ucts and ideas come from Germany, other
european countries, the U.S. and also from
countries like India, China and Brazil. This is
why today, our technological capacity to
build a more sustainable future has never
been stronger, and our understanding of
the challenges we face has never been
This is what we will be dealing with: By
2050 the world’s population will rise to ap-
proximately 10 billion people, forcing us to
deal with resources in a more efficient way.
Substantial improvements will be necessary
to face food crises, water shortages, or se-
vere climate change. The importance of ac-
tion is clear. The business case for greater
energy and resource efficiency is strong
this is what we must promote more effec-
tively. Gatherings like the Rio+20 Confer-
ence are an important forum for this. This is what we can do: There are count-
less ways for us to make a difference, in-
cluding small-scale solutions, technological
breakthroughs, changes in our behavior,
and by embracing innovations that actually
save us money. And many of these tech-
nologies are already available today. Some
of these innovative ideas and products will
be on display at Rio+20. If there is one message to be heeded, it
is this: We can act now so we must act now!
If governments, private sector companies
and non-governmental organizations suc-
cessfully close ranks to create a sustainable
world, we have a perfect blueprint of the
Let us continue to move forward togeth-
er, pulling in the same direction with a
common sense of purpose and commit-
This conference is an important oppor-
tunity with regards to what we can achieve
and the impetus and inspiration it can give
to us all. But it is up to us to take these in-
spiring ideas and apply them.
Cover: In June 2012, experts and politi-
cians attending the Earth Summit in Rio
de Janeiro will discuss how the world
could be made more sustainable. Medical
equipment for native villages in Brazil’s
Amazon basin illustrates Siemens’ commitment to the principles of Rio+20.
Twenty years ago when the world came
together here in Rio de Janeiro at the first
United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (UNCED), we left with a
clear vision and sense of purpose. The Rio
Declaration from 1992 established some
ambitious goals, for example the eradica-
tion of poverty, and protecting our planet
by eliminating armed conflicts and warfare.
And although skeptics might argue that
progress on some of these fronts has been
slower than many of us had hoped, there
have also been some impressive advances.
Nowadays, cooperation between coun-
tries in the development and application of
sustainable technologies is indeed stronger
than ever before. Moreover, something sig-
nificant has changed for the better: as a re-
sponse to the crises governments and busi-
nesses have realized that a new sustainable
architecture was needed.
Germany for example has been particu-
larly courageous in its response to the
earthquake and Tsunami in Fukushima with
their devastating effects on Japan. Like no
other country it devoted itself to radically
reshaping its energy policy in the name of
sustainability: By 2050 Germany wants to
reduce CO
emissions 80 percent below
1990 levels, increase the relative share of
renewable energy in gross energy con-
sumption to 60 percent, and cut primary
energy consumption by 50 percent com-
pared to 2008.
So, there are two lessons to be learned:
Firstly, where there is a crisis there is an op-
portunity and secondly, sustainability can
only be achieved through a joint effort. When governments create favorable
business conditions for the development of
sustainable products and solutions, private
A Vision of Sustainability
for the 21
2 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 3
Sharing a Brighter Future
Formulas for Efficiency Features
Scenario 2035
Let the Games Begin!
Efficiency Is the Key
Energy Efficiency in China
Sustainability Boom
Interviews: Powering China’s Dream
Prof. Li Junfeng, Prof. Du Xiangwan, and Dr. Shi Zhengrong on the Future of China’s Energy Supplies
20 Facts and Forecasts
Growing Market for Energy Efficiency Technologies
22 Germany’s New Energy Policy A Complex Puzzle
Wind Power Lower Prices in the Air
Combined Cycle Gas Turbines
Record-Setting Power Plant
Load Management
Buildings that Change their Behavior
Hydrogen: The Most Versatile Fuel
Scenario 2035
King Customer
The New Global Economy
Project Financing
Solid Partnerships
Innovation in Brazil
Sugar, Oil and Inventive Minds
42 Interview: Brito Cruz and Ozires Silva
Research and Development in Brazil
Oil and Gas Production
The Call of the Deep
47 Investing in Latin America
Full Steam Ahead
49 Hospital Economics
Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas is a perfect example of efficient Technologies
Facility Planning in India
Sweet Spot Science
Urban Planning
City in a Digital Nutshell
Traffic Systems
How IT Can Boost Capacity
Scenario 2035
Energy Comes Home
Tapping New Sources of Hope
Safe Water Kiosk
Mobile Solution for a Thirsty World
Wind in Mali
Do-it-Yourself Power
66 WE!Hub in Africa
A Glimmer of Hope for Lake Victoria
68 Photovoltaics in Mexico’s Mountains
New Lives with Light
Waste Recycling in Bolivia
From Trash to Cash
Mobile Medics
Tracking Illnesses in India
No One Left Behind
Healthcare in a Rain Forest
Clinic under the Palms
Citizen Participation
Let’s Make a Deal!
4 Short Takes News from Siemens’ Labs
8 Sustainable Development | Rio+20
Rekindling the Spirit of 1992
82 Feedback 83 Recommendation
Pictures of the Future | Contents
The Next Economy
The statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro is now more efficiently illuminated thanks to LEDs.
t night, with its arms outstretched, it seems to
float high above Rio de Janeiro. And recently the
glow it casts over the city has been even brighter and
more colorful. The city’s 30-meter-high statue of
“Cristo Redentor” has been illuminated with LED pro-
jectors from Osram since March 2011.
The monumental statue was erected 80 years ago
at a height of 710 meters, on Mount Corcovado,
which, along with the Sugarloaf, is one of the most im-
pressive peaks in the city. In the past, the statue was il-
luminated in a wasteful way. The lights that were
placed around it in the surrounding jungle consumed
74 kilowatts (kW). The 300 new projectors that Osram
installed together with its subsidiary Traxon — at no
cost to the city — now consume a maximum of 17.2
kW. Each of them combines the light of 27 or 36 LEDs.
This technology not only saves energy but also gener-
ates less heat than conventional light bulbs — a fea-
ture that benefits plants and animals. A further advantage is the fact that the projectors
focus their light even more precisely, with the help of
special lenses. This makes it possible to illuminate indi-
vidual parts of the statue, such as the left or right
hands, the heart or the head. Thanks to the use of dif-
ferent colored LEDs, it is now also possible to change
colors faster to create different moods; this was previ-
ously done by placing different colored foils in front of
the lights by hand. This opens up new possibilities for
light shows, according to light designer Peter Gasper,
who is the artistic director of the new system. “It used
to be a laborious task, and sometimes entirely impossi-
ble, to change the mood lighting of the monument,”
he says. “But with the new projectors we can adjust the
lighting quickly and easily.”
Light in the Night
Pictures of the Future | Short Takes
4 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
iemens and the Allgäuer Überlandwerk (AÜW) energy company in Kempten, Ger-
many, are testing a smart grid in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University and
the Kempten University of Applied Sciences. The joint “Integration of Renewable En-
ergy and Electric Mobility” (Irene) project, which is scheduled to run for two years, is
being funded by Germany’s Ministry of Economics and Technology. The project’s
goal is to intelligently integrate and operate the numerous photovoltaic units, wind
turbines, and biogas facilities that AÜW has linked into the grid. A self-organizing en-
ergy automation system from Siemens will make this possible. Thanks to software re-
cently developed by the company, it will be possible to improve energy distribution
planning and coordination and thus to operate the grid more efficiently. As part of
the project, a charging infrastructure will be established for electric vehicles, which
will be able to utilize electricity produced in an environmentally-friendly manner — for example, from photovoltaic units. For instance, as compo-
nents of the smart grid, they would store surplus electricity and subsequently return it to the grid during periods of peak demand. Participating
companies see the project as a win-win situation. Consumers will save money through changed energy consumption habits and energy suppliers
will be able to market their electricity more efficiently.
Win-Win Energy
Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 5
he area near the Royal Victoria light railway station has seen better
days. In the 19th century, this part of East London was one of the
city’s leading trade centers because of the shipping industry. Goods
such as wood, rubber, wool, and sugar were unloaded here. But after
the docks were closed, the area experienced a period of prolonged de-
cline. Recently, however, this former industrial wasteland has been ex-
periencing a revival. One of the world’s most prominent financial cen-
ters has sprung up on the opposite bank of the Thames, at Canary
Wharf. Not far from there is the O2 entertainment center, better known
as the former Millennium Dome. The 2012 Olympics will bring numer-
ous brandnew buildings, thus further improving the neighborhood.
What’s more, the Royal Victoria station will soon acquire a striking new
neighbor that will represent the area’s urban and economic renewal — a
conference, exhibition, and office building on the waterfront, called the
Crystal. It is being built by Siemens and will open its doors to the public
in summer of 2012. The Crystal will be home to the world's largest exhi-
bition focused on urban sustainability, bringing together city decision
makers and the public. The building’s office areas are expected to use
only a third of the energy that would be used in a conventional building.
This very high level of energy efficiency will be the result of cutting-
edge architecture and intelligent technology. Ground source heat
pumps will cool or heat the building throughout the year. Intelligent
building management technology and energy-efficient devices such as
LED lamps will do their part to save enormous amounts of electricity.
The facade will provide high levels of natural daylight while being ther-
mally efficient to keep heat in during the winter and out during the
summer. Photovoltaic panels covering the roof will help power the
building; rainwater harvesting will provide water for bathrooms and
landscape irrigation surrounding the site. Thus the center will not only
inform visitors about the numerous possibilities of sustainable urban de-
velopment, but will also be a living demonstration of the same. The new
centre will be at the heart of London’s new Green Enterprise District, an
area designed to attract low-carbon businesses amongst others. Such
companies provide products and services that generate low CO
sions or help to reduce emissions. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,
explains, “We envisage the District as a vibrant international hub incu-
bating dozens of low-carbon businesses to transform what have histori-
cally been some of the poorest parts of the capital.” This neighborhood,
which has experienced both the highs and the lows of the coal-driven
industrial revolution, will now host the urban spaces of the future. The
area will offer a home to companies that earn money by conserving en-
ergy rather than wasting it. Top Efficiency in the Docklands The city of the future will be on display in an energy-efficient Siemens building in London’s Docklands.
Pictures of the Future | Short Takes
6 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
he wind blows softly over the rich green hills that dot the countryside
around the small coastal town of Strangford in County Down,
Northern Ireland. Just a few steps away is the natural port of Strangford
Lough — a deep-blue harbor that today fully lives up to its Celtic name
Cuan, which means “the calm bay.” Nevertheless, large dark waves
sometimes rip through the harbor. It’s therefore no coincidence that
Strangford was called “the powerful fjord” by the Vikings who once
settled there. The bay is 30 kilometers long and its total area of 150
square kilometers makes it the largest in the Irish Sea. It not only
contains picturesque fishing boots but also a black and red steel tower
that protrudes out of the water just off the coastline. This tower is part
of SeaGen — the world’s first commercial tidal current power plant.
The facility, which began operating in 2008, produces 1.2 megawatts
(MW) of electricity solely from the power of the tides. That’s enough to
supply a town of 1,500 households. Tidal flows represent a largely untapped source of clean energy. This
underutilization is due to the fact that the technology has remained in
the development phase up until now, and installing it offshore is very
expensive. Nevertheless, its potential is huge. Tidal current power
plants can be built anywhere where the ebb and flood of the tides
generate strong currents. The list of places offering ideal conditions
includes Scotland, France, Canada, and East Asia. Strangford Lough’s natural harbor is an attractive location for various
reasons. First and foremost, it is relatively shallow. This has made it
possible to anchor the power plant at a depth of around 30 meters,
explains Kai Oliver Kölmel, who is responsible for Ocean Power at the
Siemens Solar & Hydro Division. “Shallow water makes it easier to
anchor a facility into the seabed,” he says. “In addition, the ebb and
flow of the tides is stronger in shallow waters. For instance, the flow
rate in the so-called Strangford Narrow gets as high as four meters of
water per second; SeaGen needs a flow of at least one meter per
second to generate electricity.” Underwater Electricity Factory. The Strangford Lough plant is operated
by Marine Current Turbines, a British company which Siemens acquired
in March 2012. The facility is similar to a wind turbine, the only
difference being that it is driven by water instead of air. Each of its two
drive trains weighs 27 tons and is equipped with a rotor measuring 16
meters in diameter. The rotor blades can be turned through 180 degrees, which means
they can produce electricity for up to 20 hours a day regardless of
whether the tide is coming in or going out. The tower to which the two
propeller turbines are attached via a cross-member has a diameter of
three meters. Depending on the tide, the tower can protrude as much
as 20 meters above the sea. The rotors can’t be seen above the water —
and it’s even possible to take a small boat directly past the turbine
because the rotors are located at least three meters below the surface.
“Maintenance is easy,” says Kölmel, “because the facility can be easily
accessed and the cross-members to which the turbines are attached
can be raised out of the water using a hydraulic lifting system.” Although extensive installation costs make an investment in tidal
current power plants around twice as high as that for offshore wind
power facilities, the resulting electricity offers several benefits. For
example, the energy density of water is 800 times higher than that of
wind, which makes generating electricity with water much more
efficient. A 1.2 MW tidal plant like the one at Strangford Lough can
produce as much electricity in a year as a 2.5 MW offshore wind
turbine. The electricity yield from tidal facilities is also more precisely
calculable, which enhances planning security. After all, tidal currents
are determined by the moon and the Earth’s gravitation, so they’re not
dependent on the weather and can be predicted years in advance.
The International Energy Agency estimates the global output potential
of tidal power plants to be as high as 800 terawatt-hours per year —
enough to supply 250 million households with electricity. Marine
Current Turbines continues to invest in tidal technologies. Among other
things, the company plans to start building a tidal turbine park near the Isle of Skye in northeastern Scotland in 2013. When it’s completed,
the facility will supply up to 4,000 households with electricity from the sea. Tapping Invisible Rivers
Tidal flows represent a largely untapped source of clean energy. But with an energy density 800 times that of wind, water offers a highly-
efficient and reliable source of power.
French Connection
Low losses: An 800-kV transformer for overhead HVDC transmission in China. S
iemens is building power converter stations for a high-voltage direct cur-
rent (HVDC) transmission system with a record capacity of 2,000
megawatts (MW). Starting in 2013, the new HVDC Plus technology will trans-
mit 2,000 MW as direct current over a distance of 65 kilometers under-
ground. The system, which was financed in part by the European Union, will
link the French and Spanish grids. At the moment, the two countries’ grids
are linked only by low-capacity lines. Power grids will have to be substantially
upgraded throughout Europe if more renewable energy is to be used in the
future. If large amounts of power are to be transmitted over long distances
underwater or underground rather than via overhead lines, alternating cur-
rent is not suitable. That’s because cable capacitances would cause high-loss
charging and discharging phases. In contrast, in an HVDC system, transmis-
sion losses are 30 to 40 percent lower than in a comparable three-phase alter-
nating current line. Siemens technology will enable two cables to transmit
1,000 MW of power each at around 320 kilovolts, which is the maximum
voltage that today’s cables can handle. Compared to their predecessors, the
HVDC Plus power converter stations have much to offer. In addition to being
more flexible and robust, they are also less susceptible to breakdowns. Fired up for Coal and Algae
Microcultures can be harvested every few hours.
iemens is testing the combined combustion of coal and
biomass. In collaboration with PetroAlgae Inc., a U.S. alternative energy company, a Siemens burner was recently
fired with coal dust and plant-based microcultures from
PetroAlgae for the first time ever at the University of Utah.
Nitrogen oxide emissions were around 20 percent lower
than the levels that would have been produced by coal
operation alone. Microcultures such as algae are a climate-
neutral fuel. This is because plants release only as much CO
as they originally absorbed from the atmosphere while
growing. Due to their high carbon content, they deliver a
large amount of energy relative to their mass and can thus
provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to straight
coal combustion.
he Taipei 101 skyscraper has been granted “Leader-
ship in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) cer-
tification in Platinum. The tallest green building in the
world, the tower uses 30 percent less energy than conven-
tional structures. Lighting and air conditioning systems are
automatically switched off in unoccupied rooms and of-
fices, while ice produced using cheap electricity at night
helps to cool the building during the day. Thanks to these
and other measures, the building has reduced its CO
emissions by around 3,000 metric tons per year. Siemens
played a major role in this success story by serving as a
LEED consultant. The company installed building manage-
ment, safety, and lighting solutions in Taipei 101 in 2004. Towering Results
Taipei 101 has cut its energy costs by $700,000 per year. Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 7
With Rio+20, the United Nations hopes to
rekindle the spirit of 1992 and once more call
on the international community to exert itself
on behalf of increased sustainability. One new
focus at the summit will be an appeal for more
support for the green economy. On the one
hand, this emphasis is intended to safeguard
sustainable development, but on the other it
can also serve as an instrument for combatting
poverty through the creation of jobs and in-
creased independence. Today as before, gov-
ernment representatives will meet with ex-
perts and the representatives of institutions
and stakeholder groups to discuss how access
to medical care, water, energy, education, and
food can be ensured in sustainable ways. Projects around the world demonstrate that
much can already be achieved. For example,
driverless subways and hybrid buses in a num-
ber of major cities are helping to reduce traffic
jams while offering people a quick and envi-
ronmentally friendly way to get around. In ad-
dition to photovoltaic power stations, wind tur-
8 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
he 1992 United Nations Conference on En-
vironment and Development is considered
to have been a milestone of international de-
velopment aid policy. Against the backdrop of
increasing environmental pollution and mas-
sive consumption of natural resources, the
United Nations called on governments to re-
think their definition of growth. Development
aid policy was to be formulated not only with
the objective of economic development in
mind but also with a sense of environmental
awareness and with due regard for the ideal of
sustainability. But that was not all. Living con-
ditions were also to be taken into account in
countries’ growth plans, since adverse environ-
mental impacts can result not just from exces-
sive consumption on the part of wealthy coun-
tries but also from poverty if there are no funds
available for environmental protection meas-
ures or if there is reliance on obsolete and
therefore inefficient technology. At the end of
the summit, all 178 participating countries
signed a document known as Agenda 21, thus
committing themselves to sustainable environ-
mental, economic, and development policies.
This agenda included resolutions on fighting
poverty, changing the conditions of produc-
tion and consumption, and protecting oceans,
forests, natural resources, and biodiversity.
Since 1992, however, little has changed
with respect to the challenges that were ad-
dressed at that time. The number of endan-
gered species continues to grow, as does the
proportion of cleared rain forest. And we are
still using environmentally harmful methods of
production and raw materials extraction that
accelerate climate change and exacerbate re-
source scarcity, thus magnifying the chal-
lenges caused by the global trends of urbaniza-
tion and demographic change.
But there is cause for hope as well. Renew-
able energies are gaining ground; efficient
state-of-the-art technologies offer many op-
portunities to act in environmentally friendly
ways; and awareness of sustainable develop-
ment issues is growing in many countries. How can we make the world economy more sustainable? Policymakers asked themselves this question
back in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Twenty years later, countries around the world will
hold a follow-up conference in the same location in hopes of finding new ways to generate prosperity
and sustainable development. Technology can make an important contribution.
Sustainable Development | Rio+20
The SkyHydrant mobile water filter (far right), the WE!HUB photovoltaic project (center), and medical
equipment for native villages (left and this page) in
Brazil’s Amazon basin illustrate Siemens’ commitment
to the principles of the 2012 Earth Summit.
Rekindling the Spirit of 1992
bines and efficient natural gas turbine power
plants are already providing a sustainable sup-
ply of energy in many places. But even in places that lack the funds for
such cost-intensive projects, it is still possible
to achieve changes immediately with just a lit-
tle effort and the right technology. Sustainable
technologies are not expensive luxury goods
reserved for only a few wealthy countries. On
the contrary, small and efficient technological
solutions can make life comfortable and envi-
ronmentally friendly even in poor regions and
without expensive high-tech products.
Clean Water Wherever it’s Needed.Con-
sider the question of providing potable water,
for instance. According to figures compiled by
the World Health Organization (WHO), 780
million people are under threat from disease as
a result of drinking contaminated water. Every
year, around two million people die as a result
— mostly children and the elderly. As one of its
Millennium Development Goals, the United
Nations therefore plans to halve the number of
people without access to clean, potable water
by 2015. Achieving this goal to the greatest extent
possible requires overcoming major technical
and logistical challenges. The technology used
must be robust, reliable, and inexpensive, and
it must be easy to use and maintain. One solu-
tion of this kind is the “SkyHydrant.” This mo-
bile water treatment system filters river water,
for instance, by means of tiny pores on 10,000
hair-thin membrane fibers. Developed by Rhett Butler, who works for
Siemens Water Technologies in Sydney, Aus-
tralia, the device, which weighs only 16 kilo-
grams and is 1.5 meters in height, produces at
least 10,000 liters of drinking water each day.
It currently operates within the framework of
local partnerships in more than 40 countries
and costs approximately $0.30 per person per
year. In addition to the issue of clean drinking
water, many regions also lack electrical energy.
Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 9
In such cases, people in remote areas often re-
sort to using diesel generators, but these spew
out large amounts of pollutant emissions. The
Siemens Stiftung foundation, the Global Na-
ture Fund, lamp manufacturer Osram, and
Thames Electricals, a Kenyan company, want
to generate solar power in remote regions of
Kenya within the framework of a joint project
called WE!HUB, which is being funded by the
European Union. Remote regions lack the large power plants
and expensive distribution networks that
would be required to provide their inhabitants
with electricity. But with photovoltaic cells on
their roofs, villagers will be able to generate
power themselves in an inexpensive and envi-
ronmentally friendly way. Using rechargeable
batteries and energy-saving light bulbs, they
can then use this power to light living areas,
charge mobile phones, and obtain drinking
water using pumps or treatment systems such
as SkyHydrant, and thus achieve a sustainable
increase in their quality of life (p. 66). Wind energy is another way to bring elec-
tricity to remote regions. Belgian Siemens en-
gineer Piet-Willem Chevalier recognized this
back in 2009. Using refuse and simple materi-
als, he built wind energy facilities in Mali in col-
laboration with Rondom Baba, a local founda-
tion. The wind turbines were manufactured
locally, and residents were trained to assemble
and service the systems so that they would lat-
er be able to guarantee their continued opera-
tion themselves or even build more wind tur-
People Make It Possible.In Rio, these and
other examples of the sensible and sustainable
linking of technology and development work
will be presented by Siemens, participating
NGOs, and the Siemens foundation under the
heading “Technology in Action.”
Also in attendance at Rio+20 will be repre-
sentatives of the Community Impact Develop-
ment Group, a network of social entrepreneurs
that was established by the Siemens founda-
tion in cooperation with Ashoka, one of the
world’s largest international organizations for
the support of social entrepreneurs. The initia-
tive is supplying technical equipment to sup-
port projects in Africa and Latin America in a
great variety of fields, such as waste manage-
ment, environmentally friendly resource uti-
lization, communications technology, sanitary
equipment and plumbing. SkyHydrant, WE!HUB, and other examples
illustrate that solutions are now available to
improve people’s living conditions through rel-
atively simple measures that have only a mini-
mal impact on the environment. It is important
to bring home the appeal of this approach to
young people in particular, since they are the
ones who will shape the world of tomorrow.
Together with its partners, Siemens is there-
fore bringing dedicated young people from
around the world to Rio in order to provide a
platform for their ideas. Known as “Students
for Sustainability,” groups of young people
from South Africa, Brazil, Germany, the UK,
and China will present their sustainable solu-
tions for local challenges and work with ex-
perts to identify ways in which different re-
gions can benefit from their approaches. At
the same time, the Siemens foundation is
launching an international competition to find
new low-tech solutions. Anyone, whether he
or she is a professional inventor or simply likes
to tinker as a hobby, is welcome to submit an
invention that contributes to the improvement
of living conditions in developing countries
and emerging markets. The deadline for sub-
missions is the end of 2012. Awards will be
presented in mid-2013.
The sustainability of our world will depend
to a large extent on seemingly small solutions.
Nevertheless, many big challenges will remain
even after Rio+20. But with the right general
framework and the right technologies, those
challenges will be tackled in the campaign’s
next stage. That’s very much in keeping with
the Siemens motto for Rio+20, which is: “We
can act now!” Andreas Wenleder
10 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
12 Less is More
Whether we are confrontating the challenges of climate change or the problems posed by the growing scarcity of commodities such as car-
bon fuels and metals, technologies that boost efficiency have never been
as important as they are today.
15 China’s Sustainability Boom
China’s top priorities include boosting
efficiency, reducing emissions, and creating environmentally-sustain-
able cities.
22 Germany’s „Energiewende“
Germany’s new energy policy in-
cludes far more than just phasing out
nuclear power by 2022. It will require
a wide range of measures that will have to fit together perfectly like the parts of a puzzle.
24 Lower Prices in the Air
Engineers at Siemens are developing technologies that could radically in-
crease the competitiveness of wind- power.
27 Record-Setting Power Plant
Siemens’ newest combined cycle power plant converts up to 60.75 percent of the energy contained in natural gas into electricity — a world record.
31 The Most Versatile Fuel
When it comes to storing the power generated by excess wind and solar energy, nothing beats hydrogen.
A modern copy of Pompeii is about to open
its doors. Funded by private investors and
cultural institutions, the new city will offer
apartments and villas for thousands of resi-
dents. It will also offer research opportuni-
ties for students and scholars, and a venue
as a living laboratory for combing the effi-
ciency of ancient urban plans with the latest
in energy-saving technologies.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 11
Hi! Let me introduce myself.
Almuntasir Ben Zeyyad, chief
visionary and architect of something complete-
ly novel, yet thousands of years old: Pompeii
Novum — an innovative city based on its an-
cient eponym; a city designed to invisibly meld
everything we know about energy efficiency
with the best of what the ancients knew about
living in harmony with the environment and
with each other. And we’ve almost made it!
Just a few years ago there was nothing here
but an abandoned naval base, a magnificent
Extravagant, emotional, and self assured, the “chief visionary”
of a modern version of Pompeii explains how the city’s ancient
counterpart has served as a model for a new kind of future.
Let the Games Begin!
Formulas for Efficiency | Scenario 2035
view of the sea, and an idea. But in a few
months, people will be shopping for genuine
“hand-made-equivalent” copies of ancient Ro-
man products, and sipping freshly-pressed
pomegranate juice at sidewalk tabernae in the
shaded, frescoed nooks of arcaded forum
buildings — exact copies of the originals.
Tourists and locals will be exploring the city’s
ochre-colored streets, relaxing in our baths and
deliriously cheering their favorite contestants
at our fully-functional coliseum. Students and
scholars will be studying mosaic and fresco de-
12 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 A transformer platform at Sweden’s Lillgrund offshore wind farm steps down the voltage of electricity generated from wind energy and then feeds it into the grid. T
oday, prizes and awards, even in the field
of technology, are a dime a dozen. But the
Innovation Prize of German Business, which
has been awarded annually since 1980, has
managed to retain its cachet, not least because
it is the oldest award of its kind anywhere in
the world. The inspiration behind the award was the
recognition that the growing scarcity of raw
materials means that the only way to remain
competitive in global markets is to engage in
constant research and innovation. In addition
to computer technology and medical engineer-
ing — two of the major topics common to
signs, Roman engineering techniques and his-
tory in meticulously duplicated versions of the
original city’s majestic homes. Entrepreneurs
will be opening restaurants, many of them sell-
ing foods very similar to those sold in ancient
Pompeii. And, yes, thousands of people will ac-
tually live here in updated, zero-net-energy
versions of ancient Pompeian villas and apart-
ments. Our order books are full!
Sure, living here may take some getting
used to. If you’re looking for 24-hour car wash-
es, gas stations buzzing with aggressive mo-
torists, or blindingly-lit, heat-trapping parking
lots, you’ll have to look elsewhere! If you miss
streets that can’t be cleaned because of wall-
to-wall vehicles, mopeds that run grandmoth-
ers off of sidewalks, trucks that barrel down
residential streets in the small hours of the
night, “walk” signs that are timed for sprinters,
and a thousand other vehicle-related indigni-
ties and eyesores, please, do yourself a favor,
and don’t come to Pompeii Novum! Here, unlike most other cities, we have an
inspired vision of efficiency. First of all, Pom-
peii Novum will be energy self sufficient. If you
look over my shoulder, past the forum, out to
the sea, you’ll notice a forest of giant wind-
mills, their blades rotating in perfect synchro-
nization with one another to minimize drag-
producing cross currents. Each one produces a
huge amount of electricity. With a view to powering a range of auto-
mated construction equipment, the wind park
and parts of the related energy distribution
and storage infrastructure were one of the first
things we installed. The energy generated by
our windmills is used to desalinate sea water,
fill reservoirs with potable water, and run
dozens of underground electrolyzers. You can
see one of them over here, next to the multi-
story underground tunnel system with one lev-
el for passenger transit via automated electric
vehicles and another level for delivery traffic.
The electrolyzers generate hydrogen gas using
surplus electricity from the wind farm and a gi-
gantic solar system in the desert. The gas is
then converted back into electricity in fuel
cells, or is reacted with atmospheric carbon
dioxide to produce methane. The methane can
then be used as vehicle fuel or as gas for heat-
ing, just like natural gas.
So much for energy generation and storage.
How do we plan to manage energy consump-
tion? First of all, let me tell you about Pompeii
Novum’s Planning and Simulation Center, which
you can see right behind me. There, we started
out with a digital model of the ancient city,
adapted the model to the present site, and
then optimized its buildings and neighbor-
hoods in terms of their individual and collec-
tive energy and infrastructural dynamics and
needs. A program then combed the entire city
model to find the best locations to install mo-
tion, temperature, and carbon dioxide sensors
— proxies for occupancy detection, and thus
the basis for ensuring that heating, cooling,
and lighting would not be wasted. The sensors
are equipped with microchips that can receive
software upgrades via radio. They were in-
stalled by robotic “craftsmen” that provide con-
tinuous feedback as to their own progress. Once the city is inhabited, these systems
will automatically adjust temperature, humidi-
ty and lighting levels in public and commercial
buildings based on how many people are pres-
ent in any given room or common area, and
will do the same in private homes, giving
precedence to the specific demands and habits
of regular users. During warm weather, for in-
stance, these sensing systems will ensure that
the right amount of cool air is drawn from cis-
terns fed by impluvia to provide refreshing,
natural ventilation wherever needed. To give Pompeii Novum’s future inhabitants
an incentive to use as little power as possible,
the price of electricity will vary from hour to
hour as supply and demand change. A stan-
dardized protocol will allow all homes and
businesses to receive, interpret, and adjust for
price signals from the city’s power utility. Peo-
ple will be able to set their thermostats at
whatever temperature they wish. But individu-
als competing within family units, households
competing within neighborhoods, and even
departments within larger organizations will
receive rewards such as bonus hours in the
city’s spectacular baths or free tickets to colise-
um events — details provided via smart phone
messages with classic Roman lute or kithara
sound signatures — if they manage to keep
their energy use below given targets. In production shops, city maintenance facil-
ities, food preparation centers, and other ener-
gy-intensive operations, many of which will be
underground and entirely automated, groups
of smart tools will organize their processes ac-
cording to the spot price of electricity, thus
helping to keep their products competitively
priced. And of course, a city ordinance will re-
quire all privately and publically purchased en-
ergy-consuming devices in Pompeii Novum to
meet the latest requirements for energy self di-
agnostics and associated maintenance.
Oh my, it’s getting late! Let me just add that
the investors and institutes backing our project
are so excited by the response we’ve had that
they are already thinking ahead to new settle-
ments based on other ancient cities, such as
Alexandria, Leptis Magna, and Herculaneum.
Major hotel chains, retirement community op-
erators, healthcare and fitness associations,
and sports clubs are clamoring to invest with
us. They are saying: “Let the games begin!”
Arthur F. Pease
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 13
Whether we are confronting the challenges of climate change or
the problems posed by the growing scarcity of commodities such
as carbon fuels and metals, technologies that boost efficiency
have never been as important as they are today. Efficiency is the Key
Formulas for Efficiency | Trends
Many of the technologies required for this
purpose are available today, including intelli-
gent facility automation and energy manage-
ment systems (see p. 29). In an interview with
Pictures of the Future, Prof. Ernest J. Moniz, an
energy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and a member of President
Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science
and Technology (PCAST), explained exactly
what savings can be made with such technolo-
gies: “The National Academy of Sciences pub-
lished a study in 2008 showing that just the
modernization of today’s stock of real estate
would reduce total energy use in the U.S. by
around one fifth by 2020.” In the future, more-
over, buildings will not only use less energy,
but will also help relieve strains on the power
grid. Software will fine tune power demand in
thousands of buildings in response to changes
in the price of electricity, thus reducing collec-
tive demand in real-time. This will help to flat-
ten peaks in overall demand — a cost-efficient
means of stabilizing the power distribution
grid. According to Bettenhausen, more research
is required to make national economies as sus-
tainable as possible. “I’m thinking primarily of
areas such as energy storage and the capture,
sequestration, and usage of CO
as a raw ma-
terial,” he says. The re-use of carbon dioxide
could be of particular interest to industry.
Siemens, for instance, is researching the use of
algae to convert CO
into biomass — thereby
generating a raw material for biofuels, bioplas-
tics, or animal feed — and it is also investigat-
ing ways of using CO
in chemical processes
(see p. 31). Elsewhere in industry, R&D activities are fo-
cused on ways of boosting energy efficiency.
Electric motors offer by far the richest potential
for savings here, since they account for around
60 percent of the electricity consumed by Eu-
ropean industry. In China, the proportion is as
high as 80 percent. The use of efficient motors
and smart control technology can reduce pow-
The think tank Global Footprint Network es-
timates that we are already using natural re-
sources at a rate that is 50 percent higher than
these can regenerate. If this trend continues
we would need two to three earths to support
us by 2050. In other words, increased efficien-
cy, recycling, a circular economy, and consump-
tion geared toward conserving resources are
needed today more urgently than ever before. The good news is that opportunities to
boost efficiency are at hand practically every-
where. What’s more, such solutions are ex-
tremely attractive for everyone concerned.
Those who manage to reduce their use of en-
ergy or resources, whether at home or in an in-
dustrial environment, without cutting per-
formance or output not only help preserve the
environment but are also rewarded in the form
of reduced expenses and a higher level of com-
petitiveness. Environmental technology has long since
shed its image as expensive and inessential.
Siemens posted revenues of €30 billion in fis-
cal year 2011 from sales of the exceptionally
efficient products and solutions in its Environ-
mental Portfolio. What’s more, this market has
a substantially larger potential. In fact, the
World Business Council for Sustainable Devel-
opment (WBCSD) estimates that business op-
portunities in the environmental sector will to-
tal as much as $6.3 trillion a year by 2050. Making Buildings More Efficient. Much of
this expected business volume will be generat-
ed by improvements made to the energy effi-
ciency of buildings, which are currently re-
sponsible for around 40 percent of all energy
use worldwide and thus for 20 percent of
worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. “The
best way to save energy is to not use it in the
first place. And one of the best ways of doing
this is to develop energy-efficient buildings,”
says Kurt Bettenhausen, who heads the
Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) Research
Center in Princeton, New Jersey. prizewinners over the years — recurrent
themes have been solutions to boost energy
efficiency and intelligent ways of using raw
Never before has the need for efficient
technology been as critical as it is today. Along-
side renewable sources of energy (p. 24), the
main weapon in the fight to contain climate
change at a manageable level is greater effi-
ciency in the generation, transmission, and
consumption of power. At the same time,
growth in world population and rising levels of
purchasing power in many countries threaten
to cause shortages of raw materials. ciency. The government’s Industrial Technolo-
gies Program, for example, offers companies
financial incentives to install energy-efficient
technology. At the same time, the country is
steadily converting its coal-fired power plants
to natural gas, a much cleaner fuel, which can
be used in highly efficient combined-cycle
power plants to produce electricity. “In the cur-
rent decade alone, plants with a combined
output of between 60,000 and 90,000
megawatts could be converted to natural gas,”
says MIT energy expert Moniz. And more gas-powered generating capacity
is on the way, much of it involving turbines
made by Siemens. Operating with a steam tur-
bine in a combined cycle, a gas turbine from
Siemens has set a new world efficiency record,
with 60.75 percent of the energy contained in
the natural gas fuel being converted into elec-
tricity at an output of 578 megawatts —
enough to supply a major city the size of
Berlin. At present, the average efficiency of com-
bined-cycle power plants in the U.S. is less
than 40 percent. In other words, replacing
these with the most efficient turbines from
Siemens would reduce gas demand by one
third. As of 2013, six of these turbines will be
operating in Florida, where upgrades to the
state’s power plants will yield the operator,
Florida Power & Light, net savings of almost $1 billion over the full life cycle of the turbines. This is another example of how a cleaner
environment and a stronger economy can —
and, in the future, must — go hand in hand.
Many experts agree that this kind of sustain-
able model is the only possible option for fu-
ture economic growth. Technologies such as those in Siemens’ new
gas turbine are now leading the way. The jury
of the Innovation Prize of German Business
was of a similar opinion, and in February 2012
it presented the honor to this record-breaking
Sebastian Webel
with research by Arthur F. Pease
14 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
er demand in this area by as much as 60 per-
cent. Normally, this kind of investment will pay
for itself within two years, following which the
customer begins to profit from the substantial
reductions in energy consumption. Other effective ways of reducing energy
use and associated costs include, for example,
the installation of sophisticated energy man-
agement systems, smart software for enhanc-
ing entire production processes, and technolo-
gies to improve the exploitation of waste heat
in industrial facilities. “At present, around half of the primary en-
ergy used for industrial processes and power
generation is lost as waste heat,” explains Dr.
Martin Tackenberg, a specialist in thermal
management at CT in Erlangen. “We are now
running a project to identify and develop a
range of processes to make much better eco-
nomic and environmental use of this wasted
energy. Our goal is to bring down such losses
to a maximum of between 30 to 40 percent by
2020. That would translate into enormous sav-
ings in energy and costs.”
At the same time, industry needs to look at
methods of production that reduce its use of
other resources. This will not only save money
but also reduce exposure to the risks associat-
ed with the increasing scarcity of raw materi-
als. According to a German government
agency that focuses on the efficiency of mate-
rials, introduction of the very latest processes
designed to conserve and recover resources
would save companies in Germany around
€100 billion a year. That’s reason enough for
companies such as Siemens to be developing
new methods to make the most of valuable
raw materials.
On the other hand, industry already pos-
sesses numerous methods for boosting the ef-
ficiency of industrial processes. What really
counts, however, is to ensure that these meth-
ods are put into widespread use. Globally ori-
ented companies such as Siemens, which op-
erates in 190 countries, have a major role to
play in this regard. “Thanks to our expertise
and our global network, we can take the
knowledge we have acquired in one region
and apply it in other markets,” explains Betten-
hausen. Irrespective of whether such know-
how has been acquired in India, China, Ger-
many, or the U.S., senior figures like
Betten hausen intend to pool and harness such
knowledge to an ever-increasing extent. “We are setting up a facility in the U.S.
where we will investigate all the best practices
developed by Siemens employees around the
world. We’re calling it the Affordable Urban
Living Lab. This is where our researchers will
be able to build and test their prototypes under
realistic conditions. No matter whether we’re talking about au-
tomation, building systems, or energy efficien-
cy, the goal will always be to gather informa-
tion, process that information, and convert the
results into measures that are specifically de-
signed to improve efficiency,” Bettenhausen
From Coal to Gas. In tandem with business,
governments around the world are now start-
ing to show a more responsible attitude to-
ward the planet. Included is China, which is
now the world’s largest energy user and emit-
ter of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the Inter-
national Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by
2035 China will be using around 70 percent
more energy than the U.S. The country is already suffering from the
environmental results of its massive economic
growth over recent decades. According to the
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), 16 of the
world’s 20 dirtiest cities in 2008 were in China.
To meet the country’s needs as sustainably as
possible, the Chinese government has now re-
solved to uncouple economic growth from the
consumption of resources and to systematical-
ly promote renewable energy sources and en-
hanced energy efficiency (p. 15).
In the U.S. too, where electricity consump-
tion per capita is almost twice that of Europe,
there are increased efforts to improve effi -
New technologies are making fossil-fuel facilities more efficient. Left: A combined-cycle plant in Irsching, Germany and the Waigaoqiao 3 coal-fired plant in Shanghai. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 15
International Energy Agency (IEA), oil con-
sumption is set to rise by 70 percent between
2009 and 2015. By 2015 China is expected to
account for 42 percent of global oil demand. In
a similar vein, the IEA estimates that China’s
power consumption rose by 200 percent in the
past decade and that its water consumption
could double by 2030 (see Pictures of the Fu-
ture,Fall 2011, p. 82).
For a long time, these trends took a toll on
the environment. In fact, China is currently re-
sponsible for around one fourth of energy-re-
lated CO
emissions worldwide and is already
the world’s largest producer of greenhouse
gases, ahead of the U.S. According to a 2008
report by the World Wide Fund for Nature
(WWF), 16 of the 20 cities with the worst air
quality around the globe were Chinese. Yet the
country is mindful of this problem and has be-
gun to take action to remedy it. “In 2006. China’s 11th five-year plan mar ked
a paradigm shift in the country’s attitude to-
ward sustainability,” says Martin Klarer, who is
responsible for corporate strategy at Siemens
China. “Environmental protection and en-
hanced efficiency are now major elements of
China’s economic plans.”
World Champion Wind Harvester. The use
of wind power is a prime example. “Less than
ten years ago, there was almost no wind gen-
eration here,” Klarer explains; “but today China
is the world’s largest wind energy market and
home to some of the world’s largest wind pow-
er companies.” What’s more, this is a growing
market. According to the newspaper Shanghai
Daily, in 2011 China generated some 70 ter-
awatt-hours (TWh) — 70 billion kilowatt-hours
(kWh) — by means of wind power, an increase
of 40 percent over the previous year. A
t a celebrations to mark the Chinese new
year on January 23, 2012, there were
many more fireworks in evidence than had
been the case in previous years. That’s because
2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which is said to
bring happiness and success. As a conse-
quence, the whole country expects birthrates
to soar. According to popular belief, children
born under the sign of the dragon are blessed
by good fortune.
If forecasts produced by the United Nations
are accurate, China’s population, currently at
1.34 billion, will reach 1.4 billion by around
2025. At present, with half of the country’s
people already living in cities, the economy is
growing at around ten percent a year and has
been doing so for quite some time. Although
this trend has rescued millions from poverty, it
has also unleashed an immense hunger for
goods, resources, and energy. According to the
China is regarded as this century’s economic miracle. Yet for a long time, its stunning growth came at the expense of the environment. But times have changed. Today, the country’s top priorities
include boosting efficiency, reducing emissions, and creating environmentally-sustainable cities. Sustainability Boom
Formulas for Efficiency | China
Sunshine in Beijing: Things could one day look this
bright all over China, thanks to a series of measures including the promotion of electrical mobility or wind power. Today China is the world's largest wind
energy market.
Exploiting Savings Potential At present,
mega cities such as Beijing and Shanghai can
only dream of tapping any form of clean power
in quantities such as these. They still rely large-
ly on electricity generated by coal-fired plants.
Here, ways of bringing about a lasting reduc-
tion of CO
emissions include improved gener-
ating efficiency, smarter usage of power, and
demand reduction strategies — primarily in in-
dustry, but also in private households. As of
2008, for example, all Chinese homes have
been able to purchase subsidized energy-sav-
ing bulbs for a tenth of their original price. In
the first year of this campaign, 62 million low-
energy lamps were sold; the figure has since
exceeded 120 million. In Beijing alone, there
are 15 to 20 million energy-saving bulbs in use
thanks to this campaign. Compared to conven-
tional incandescent bulbs, this means savings
of up to one billion kilowatt-hours per year.
When it comes to industry, however, the
authorities have opted for binding legislation.
This is because industrial electric motors are
the largest consumers of power in China. Ac-
cording to China’s National Development and
Reform Commission (NDRC), they account for
around 60 percent of domestic power con-
sumption. “Less than three percent of industri-
al motors in China carry the Chinese energy ef-
ficiency rating of 2 or better,” says Du Bin,
product manager at Siemens Drive Technolo-
gies in China. Yet this is set to change. Since July 2011, all
industrial motors sold in China must have an
energy efficiency rating of at least 2. Potential-
ly, this represents a massive reduction in costs.
“If all the industrial motors in China were
swapped for more energy-efficient models,
consumption would fall by around 60 TWh a
year. CO
emissions would decrease by 50 mil-
lion metric tons,” says Du Bin. In collaboration
with colleagues in Germany, Siemens Drive
Technologies in China has developed a more
16 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
China is planning to install wind turbines
with a total capacity of 150 gigawatts (GW) by
2020. That’s equivalent to almost the total
combined renewable and conventional in-
stalled capacity in Germany. It is also worth re-
membering that at the end of 2006 China’s
wind power capacity was a mere 2.6 GW.
In other words, wind energy is a major mar-
ket of the future in China. As the world leader
in offshore wind power installations, Siemens
is thus looking to capitalize on this expansion,
not least because of the huge potential in this
segment of the industry. With shallow waters
extending many kilometers from its coastline,
China offers ideal conditions for offshore wind
farms. With this in mind, in spring 2011
Siemens opened a facility that produces na-
celles for wind power plants in close proximity
to an existing rotor blade plant. Located close
to Shanghai, right on the East China Sea, the
facilities have an annual capacity equivalent to
a generating output of 500 megawatts (MW).
“We’re supplying not only China but practi-
cally the entire Asian market as well,” says Vic-
tor Li, head of turbine production at Siemens,
China. “For now, we’re producing 2.3 MW tur-
bines; but later we’ll build 3.6 MW models and
even 6 MW ones.” The fruits of this labor are al-
ready visible in Jiangsu province on China’s
east coast, where Siemens has installed an off-
shore wind farm with 21 wind towers and a to-
tal output of 50 MW. “We also have firm orders
from other countries, including Thailand,” adds
Bjarne Joergensen, head of the rotor blade
Traditional Hydroelectricity. Whereas the
use of wind power is a recent phenomenon,
hydroelectricity has been an integral part of
China’s energy mix for 100 years. A century
ago Siemens installed generators with a com-
bined output of 480 kilowatts (kW) in the
country’s first hydroelectric plant, located in
Yunnan province in southwest China. It was
the start of a unique boom. Today China has
more hydroelectric facilities than any other
country. With a combined output of 197 GW,
these plants contribute some 15 percent of the
power consumed in China. According to the
China Electricity Council, around 4,700 TWh
were consumed in 2011 — almost eight times
Germany’s annual energy requirements.
Nonetheless, the lion’s share of the power
consumed in China’s huge cities is still generat-
ed by coal-fired plants. Along with the rapidly
rising tide of traffic, this is one of the major
causes of the country’s serious smog prob-
lems. “The challenge is that the majority of
China’s hydropower is generated in remote
southwest provinces, hundreds of kilometers
from the nearest population centers,” says
Klarer. The remedy is to use high-voltage di-
rect-current transmission lines. These low-loss
lines can transmit huge amounts of power
over hundreds or thousands of kilometers.
One such HVDCT line built by Siemens and
electricity provider China Southern Power Grid
(CSG) has been operating since 2010. It sup-
plies the major cities of Guangzhou and Shen-
zhen in the southern Chinese province of
Guangdong with 5,000 MW of clean power
generated by hydropower plants in Yunnan,
some 1,400 kilometers away. Compared to the
emissions associated with coal-fired genera-
tion, the region produces 30 million metric
tons less CO
a year thanks to the new line (see
Pictures of the Future,Fall 2009, p. 24). China’s utilities are planning a crop of addi-
tional HVDCT lines, 14 of which are due for
completion by 2015. Two of these are being
built by Siemens, CSG, and other Chinese part-
ners. Featuring transformers, converters, and
other key Siemens components, these two
lines will transmit an additional 11,400 MW of
clean power to Guangdong from 2013 on-
The Huaneng combined-cycle power plant (left) and the Waigaoqiao No. 3 coal-fired plant are setting new global standards for efficiency. efficient electric motor for the Chinese market,
where it is already being manufactured. “Our
motor is designed to be inexpensive, robust,
and very easy to operate. Because it also con-
forms to the standards of the International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), it is sure to
be marketed worldwide,” adds Du Bin. There is also huge potential for improving
the efficiency of China’s coal-fired power
plants, which cover around four fifths of the
country’s electricity needs. Take Shanghai, for
example, with its population of 23 million.
Here, daily power consumption can rise to as
much as 20 GW and is currently increasing by
around 1 GW every year. In order to provide a
sustainable response to this huge demand, city
authorities have turned to new technology.
Here, projects include the coal-fired Waigao-
qiao No. 3 power plant. With turbines and gen-
erators from Siemens, the plant boasts a net
efficiency of 46 percent, one of the highest in
the world for a facility of this type. This plant,
which was commissioned in 2008, consumes
around 700,000 metric tons per year less than
a standard Chinese coal-fired plant; its corre-
sponding CO
emissions are around 1.8 million
metric tons lower.
China’s most efficient combined cycle pow-
er plant, which also relies on Siemens turbines
and generators, is located nearby. The facility,
which is operated by Huaneng Shanghai Com-
bined Cycle Power Co., LTD, has an output of
1,200 MW and an efficiency of 58 percent.
Commissioned in 2006, its job is to cover the
huge peaks in demand that can rock Shang-
Thanks to high voltage direct current technology, China can use hydroelectric power to reduce air pollution in its mega cities. Above: supports for thyristors. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 17
hai’s power grid on particularly cold or hot
days. “Compared to a coal-fired plant, the ad-
vantage of a combined-cycle power plant is its
enormous flexibility,” says the plant’s general
manager Xie Deyu. “The plant comprises three
blocks, each with a rating of 400 MW. We can
ramp up and ramp down any of these blocks
fast enough to cover peaks in demand almost
immediately. Last year alone, we had to deal
with over 310 such incidents. If we didn’t have
the combined-cycle power plant, we’d proba-
bly need to operate more coal-fired plants for
backup — and that would result in much high-
er emissions.” Another flexible option for buffering fluctu-
ations in supply and demand
would be to exploit the batteries
of electric cars as an intermedi-
ate storage facility, particularly
when cities such as Shanghai
start to make greater use of
variable sources of power such
as wind energy. At times of ei-
ther peak demand or low wind, this backup
supply could then be reintroduced to stabilize
the grid. Obviously, such a system would re-
quire a much larger fleet of electric vehicles
than is currently available. However, the au-
thorities are now planning to put as many as
one million hybrid and electric vehicles on Chi-
nese roads by 2015. To help achieve this ambi-
tious target, work has already begun to pro-
vide the requisite infrastructure. At the end of
2011, for example, Siemens installed 140
charging stations for electric cars in Shanghai.
Sustainable City. “China has covered a lot of
ground in terms of improved efficiency,” says
strategy expert Klarer, “but it still faces big
challenges, particularly in metropolitan areas,
where the population is set to grow by an addi-
tional 350 million over the next 15 to 20
years.” Forecasts indicate that by 2025 there
will be around 220 cities with more than one
million inhabitants. Many of these urban areas
will mushroom out of nothing. “To ensure the
greatest possible sustainability, these cities will
require integrated holistic concepts rather than
the discrete isolated solutions implemented in
the past,” Klarer adds. One such concept is cur-
rently being realized just outside Tianjin, a port
near Beijing. Tianjin Eco-City will provide
homes and work for around 350,000 people
from 2020 onward. It should also provide Chi-
na’s urban planners with an answer to the
most pressing question of their time: how to
build a sustainable city on the basis of a repro-
ducible model under realistic conditions.
Such a project looks viable. Around 20 per-
cent of the Tianjin’s electricity is to come from
renewable sources; water consumption will be
half of today’s level; and 90 percent of traffic
will be based on green forms of mobility such
as bicycles, public transport, and electric cars.
Naturally, the buildings will have intelligent
management systems and good insulation. At the same time, the new eco-city will
serve as a living research experiment. It will be
possible to make continual adjustments de-
signed to improve the overall efficiency of the
project. In order to advance the cause of green
urbanization, the project company Sino-Singa-
pore — a joint venture between the govern-
ments of China and Singapore — intends to es-
tablish a joint venture with Siemens. The aim is
to harness a wide range of state-of-the-art
technologies, develop and demonstrate fu-
ture-oriented technologies, and create a vision
that will make Tianjin Eco-city a sustainable
and replicable city model for the rest of China.
Last and by no means least, a project like Tian-
jin Eco-City underscores China’s continuing
commitment to enhanced efficiency — and
that’s an achievement that is much too pre-
cious to be left to the vagaries of the Chinese
zodiac.Sebastian Webel
By distributing around 120 million
compact fluorescent lamps, China has
significantly cut its electricity bill. 18 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011
Prof. Li Junfeng (56) is the Chairman of the Academic Com-
mittee of the Energy Research In-
stitute and is currently serving as
Deputy Director. His work focuses
on renewable energy and climate
change issues such as the Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM)
and carbon trading. He headed the
first CDM project in China and is a
representative in East Asia of the
global Renewable Energy and En-
ergy Efficiency Partnership. What role do you see for renewable energy in China?
Li Junfeng: China is investing a lot in clean
energy. We currently have more than 200 gi-
gawatts of installed hydro capacity and more
than 30 gigawatts of wind, with more projects
down the line. I think that by 2050 the share
of clean energy in China will be much larger
than many currently think it will be.
Du Xiangwan:
By 2050 renewable energy,
including exotic forms such as marine and ge-
othermal energy, could account for 25 percent
of China’s total energy production. If these re-
newables can be expanded, rather than build-
ing coal-fired power plants with the equivalent
capacity, it could add up to a reduction of
roughly four billion tons of CO
Shi Zhengrong:
You may call me a dreamer,
but I believe that one day China will be able to
satisfy all its energy needs by means of renew-
able sources. It is all a question of determina-
tion. If you are determined to do something,
than you should be able to achieve it — espe-
cially in China.
On the other hand, at the moment a large share of new capacity for electricity
production in China comes in the form of
coal-fired plants…
Shi Zhengrong:
China is still a developing
country. We need strong economic growth,
and we need to produce affordable energy to
enable this growth. However, the government
does realize the need for environmental pro-
tection. There are strict regulations on emis-
sions in place, and a lot of high technology
goes into new facilities. Coal-fired plants will
become cleaner, but we need some time to
get it right.
Du Xiangwan:
It is a fact that coal is not go-
ing to go away overnight. It is an important
part of our energy mix, accounting for more
than three quarters of total energy production.
And new plants will be built in China. This in
turn means that 100 percent renewables is an
unrealistic goal. However, together with nu-
clear power and natural gas, renewables will
at least help us to reduce the growth of CO
emissions over time.
Formulas for Efficiency | Interviews
Powering the Chinese Dream
Li Junfeng:
I agree. Gas in particular will play
an important role. It is a cleaner fuel than coal,
and compared with Europe and the U.S. it cur-
rently makes up only a tiny share of our ener-
gy mix. We have to catch up in this area, and
we will. I am convinced that in the long run
the share of coal in China’s energy mix will
gradually decrease rather than increasing.
When it comes to setting the right targets
for reducing CO
emissions, which of the
two should we focus on: emissions per
capita or by country?
Li Junfeng:
In my opinion we should base re-
duction targets on emissions per capita. Any
other approach would be unjust. Take the ex-
amples of China and the EU. China has approx-
imately 30 provinces. The EU has 27 states —
but only about 40 percent of China’s popula-
tion. Why would we count China as one coun-
try, but not the EU?
Du Xiangwan:
I think it is much fairer to cal-
culate emissions per capita, since every indi-
vidual should have an equal right to draw on
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011 19
Prof. Du Xiangwan (74) is the
former Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineer-
ing, Senior Scientific Advisor of
the China Academy of Engineer-
ing Physics, and a Member of
the Standing Committee of the
China Association of Science
and Technology. He serves as
the deputy head of the National
Energy Advisory Committee and
is chairing a series of studies on
China’s energy development
Dr. Shi Zhengrong (48) is Chairman of the Board of Directors
and Chief Executive Officer of Sun-
tech, the largest producer of pho-
tovoltaic (PV) panels worldwide.
He is also said to be one of the
richest individuals in China. Prior
to founding Suntech in 2001, he
was a research director and execu-
tive director of Pacific Solar, an
Australian PV company engaged in
the commercialization of next-
generation thin film technology. The pace of China’s economic growth is lifting millions of people out of poverty. However, it is bring-
ing its own problems. While energy efficiency remains relatively low, demand for energy is rising
rapidly. Pictures of the Future spoke with three experts about the future of China’s energy supply.
resources. China has a very large population.
Taking aggregate figures distorts the picture. Shi Zhengrong:
This is a political question.
Suntech’s objective as a private company —
besides being profitable — is to make a posi-
tive overall contribution by enhancing the sus-
tainability of energy production. Suntech has
to date delivered a total photovoltaic capacity
of 2.5 gigawatts. This is equivalent to five
medium-sized coal-fired plants. In 2010 alone
we delivered panels with a capacity of 1.5 gi-
gawatts. And our production is rising, helping
to avoid CO
emissions all over the world.
China may be the world’s largest produc-
er of photovoltaic panels, but only a mi-
nuscule number of them are used locally.
What has to happen to make China a user
rather than just a producer of PV?
Shi Zhengrong:
The government has to pro-
vide subsidies so that manufacturers and in-
vestors can make a reasonable profit. There
would be an additional benefit in this ap-
proach. Actually using the technology makes it
cheaper through economies of scale and by
fostering further efficiency gains through in-
novation. To reach grid parity in China, we
must bring the costs down to about ten euro
cents per kWh. That’s an ambitious target, but
we can get there. And we have to be ambi-
tious. In the past we only heard about the
American dream. Nowadays there are many
Chinese dreams.
What role do power grids play in the context of increasing the share of renewables in China?
Li Junfeng:
The buildup of capacity in both
wind and solar power will aggravate fluctua-
tions; the patterns of production are bound to
change extensively. This will require a more
stable and more intelligent grid. China is cur-
rently making investments in this area. In ad-
dition, wind, solar, and hydro power plants
tend to be in remote areas, far away from the
centers of consumption, which tend to be con-
centrated on the east coast and in certain ar-
eas in the south. This calls for high-voltage di-
rect current transmission lines like the one fin-
ished in 2010, which links Yunnan and
Guangzhou. I understand that it draws on
Siemens technology.
One element in making renewables more
relevant is innovation. Do you believe
that Europe and the U.S. are ahead of the
game in this regard?
Du Xiangwan:
Innovation is crucial to both
the U.S. and China. However, I admit that we
have not been particularly strong in this area.
This does not mean we should emulate the Sil-
icon Valley model. China’s problems have their
own shape — and we will come up with our
own ways of nurturing innovation to solve
them. If we take a look at research on energy
in particular, it becomes clear that China has a
growing advantage. Many more new power
plants are being built on our soil than any-
where else. Those who want to study new en-
ergy technology at work have a good reason
to come to China.
Interview by Andreas Kleinschmidt.
20 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 A
n average of more than 50 percent of the inherent
energy in primary fuels such as coal, oil, and gas
continues to be lost as heat in the processes that con-
vert these fuels into useful forms of energy. In other
words, there is still huge potential for increasing effi-
ciency, especially in the areas of electricity generation,
industrial production, and building systems. According
to a 2011 study conducted by BCC Research, the global
market volume for energy-efficient technologies will in-
crease from $200 billion in 2010 to approximately
$312 billion by 2015. Germany’s Federal Environment Agency reports
that state-of-the-art coal-fired power plants currently
have efficiency ratings as high as 46 percent. However,
average coal power plant efficiency in all of Europe is
only 36 percent, and the global figure is 33 percent. Im-
proving efficiency by just one percentage point would
lower CO
emissions by up to 3 percent. To put it anoth-
er way, the construction of just one 500-megawatt
(MW) plant with an efficiency rating of 45 percent in-
stead of 36 percent would reduce annual CO
by 380,000 tons. The World Coal Association reports
that if coal-fired plants over 25 years old with a capacity
of less than 300 MW were replaced by bigger and more
modern facilities operating at over 40 percent efficien-
cy, the CO
emissions generated by power plants in that
range would decline by nearly 25 percent. Experts also
believe that the use of technological innovations could
raise the efficiency of such plants to more than 50 per-
cent by 2020 (see Pictures of the Future, Spring 2008,
p.32). The potential increase in efficiency is even greater
for combined cycle (gas and steam turbine) power
plants. The current average efficiency rating of com-
bined cycle power plants around the world is roughly
40 percent. But thanks to Siemens technology, the
most efficient such plant at the moment was able to
convert 60.75 percent of the inherent energy in natural
gas into electricity in May 2011 — a new world record.
This type of state-of-the-art combined cycle facility can
therefore lower both gas consumption and CO
sions by one third. Experts also claim that the use of im-
proved technologies in the form of new materials, for
example, could make it possible to raise efficiency lev-
els to more than 63 percent by 2020.
Energy efficiency is becoming more and more im-
portant in industrial operations as well. According to
the International Energy Agency (IEA), the five most en-
ergy-intensive industrial sectors (iron and steel, ce-
ment, chemicals and petrochemicals, paper and cellu-
lose, and aluminum) now account for 77 percent of
direct industrial CO
emissions, which translates into
nearly 8.5 billion tons per year. Here as well, efficiency
improvements can accomplish a lot. A study called
“Blue Scenario” developed by the IEA calls for a 24 per-
cent decline in industrial CO
emissions from 2007 lev-
els by 2050. Analyses conducted by the IEA and the
OECD in 2011 produced various reduction targets to be
achieved by the energy-intensive industries mentioned
above within the framework of the Blue Scenario. For
example, market experts calculate that the global iron
and steel industry could lower its CO
emissions by
Formulas for Efficiency | Facts and Forecasts
Growing Market for Energy Efficiency Technologies
more than 1.5 billion tons between now and 2050
through the optimization of the smelting process,
among other things. The analyses produced correspon-
ding reduction figures of roughly 1.3 billion tons for the
chemical and petrochemical industry, 0.85 billion tons
for the cement industry, and 0.26 billion tons for the
paper and cellulose industry. The main savings in the
chemical and petrochemical industry (around 0.74 bil-
lion tons) would be achieved through energy-efficiency
improvements. According to a 2011 study conducted by Roland
Berger Strategy Consultants, higher electricity prices
are one of the key challenges electricity-intensive in-
dustries in Germany will face as a result of the country’s
abandonment of nuclear power. They will also face ris-
ing fuel prices as the country transitions to increased
use of energy from renewable sources. The transition
will also necessitate the upgrading and expansion of
power grids and energy storage systems. In other
words, energy enhancement measures are becoming
more and more important due to inevitable electricity
price increases. Such measures will include the use of
more efficient electric motors and the optimization of
machine and production process control systems,
among other things.
Buildings are another major area that offers great
potential for enhancing energy efficiency. If all of the
world’s office buildings, hospitals, schools, and univer-
sities were renovated in ways that resulted in energy
savings of about 30 percent, total CO
emissions would
decrease by about 500 million tons a year, according to
As Combined Cycle Power Plants Are
Added, the Average Efficiency of Electricity Generation Increases 20
Source: Enerdata (2009)
Projected Growth in Key Energy Efficiency Industries
Source: BCC Research (2011) Average efficiency of fossil fuel-fired power plants in %
Share of energy produced by combined cycle power plants
10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28
Latin America
North America
Middle East
Co-generation plants (electricity and district heating)
Heat-insulated windows
Heat-insulated buildings
Hybrid/electric vehicles
Energy produced from waste
Geothermal heat pumps
Biomass power plants
Smart electric meters
Global market volume in $ billions
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 21
Siemens estimates. This figure is equivalent to the total
emissions generated by the UK today. For example,
savings ranging from 10 to 30 percent can be achieved
through improved heating, air conditioning, and light-
ing systems, whereby the costs of the required meas-
ures could be recouped within six months to three
years. A study commissioned by Siemens to examine
ways of increasing energy efficiency in London found
that building system optimization could reduce CO
emissions by around 1.9 kilograms per euro spent —
which is five times the savings that can be achieved
with external insulation measures.
Lighting accounts for around 19 percent of global
electricity use. More efficient lighting technologies
could reduce consumption by around one third while
maintaining the same output. Lighting systems account
for 1.3 billion tons of annual worldwide CO
which means that the decline in electricity consumption
resulting from implementation of more efficient sys-
tems would reduce emissions by 450 million tons. According to a 2011 study conducted by market
consulting firm Pike Research, the global market vol-
ume for energy-efficient building technologies will
probably increase from $68 billion in 2011 to $103.5
billion in 2017. Such technologies include energy-
efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, new lighting concepts, and energy-saving per-
formance contracts that allow customers to pay for effi-
ciency measures in installments that are financed with
the guaranteed energy and operating cost savings
achieved. Government regulations will help to promote such
efficiency enhancement measures in buildings. The Eu-
ropean Commission, for example, recently adopted a
1970–1990 1990–2010 2010–2030
Less and Less Energy Is
Now Being Consumed per
Unit of GDP Increase Global growth rates in %
Gross domestic product
Energy consumption
Per capita energy consumption
Energy consumption per
unit of GDP
Source: BP Energy Outlook 2030 (2011)
Potential Efficiency Gains in Electricity-Intensive Industries
Investment costs largely
consist of the additional
costs generated by the procurement of more efficient machines, as well as measures to increase process efficiency in these industries.
Electricity requirement
of industry segments in Germany in 2010
(in petajoules — PJ)
Electricity costs for
major industry seg-
ments in Germany in
2010 (in € billions)
Total energy costs as a share of GDP
Basic chemicals
Paper and cardboard
Metal production
Soil and stone
~€23 billion
~€102 billion
Investment costs for energy efficiency
measures (in € billions)
Cumulative savings between now and
2050 (in € billions)
Source: Roland Berger Strategy Consultants: Efficiency enhancement in electricity-
intensive industries (2011)
new directive concerning energy efficiency in buildings
that requires all new structures to be certified as “nearly
zero energy buildings” by the end of 2020; their re-
maining low energy requirement is to be covered most-
ly by renewable sources.
An analysis conducted by McKinsey in 2011 found
that many efficient building technologies such as heat
pumps, double and triple-glazed windows, and energy-
efficient lighting systems are already available. Addi-
tional potential can be tapped through systems
equipped with sensors that automatically register when
and where heat or air conditioning is needed at any giv-
en moment. Several other new technologies, such as
active windows that block incoming light when temper-
atures rise and could pay for themselves in less than
three years, are still being developed and might be
commercially available by the end of the decade. The good news is that China, Russia, and the U.S.
have made significant initial progress in improving their
energy efficiency. China, for example, succeeded in
lowering its CO
emissions from 1.2 kilograms to 0.5
kilograms per unit of gross domestic product between
1990 and 2009. Among other things, this was accom-
plished by increasing the average efficiency rating of
coal-fired power plants by several percentage points
and improving industrial production processes. For ex-
ample, energy consumption per ton of steel produced
in China declined by 5 percent between 2005 and
2009, and energy consumption in the cement industry
fell by 17 percent per ton of cement manufactured.
Sylvia Trage
22 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
Germany’s new energy policy includes far more than just phasing out nuclear power by 2022. The expansion of renewables like wind and solar power (80% of the energy mix by 2050) and the reduction of greenhouse gases (80% by 2050) planned by the German government will require a wide
range of measures — measures that will have to fit together perfectly like the parts of a puzzle.
Formulas for Efficiency | Germany’s New Energy Policy
A complex Puzzle
then be fed into the natural gas grid, stored in
underground caverns, reconverted into elec-
tricity and used in fuel-cell vehicles. Batteries
in buildings and electric cars can also serve as
intermediate storage facilities. Siemens is con-
ducting research in all these fields. 4
Using high-efficiency, quick-start gas
power plants When the wind suddenly drops or clouds
move across the sun, fluctuations in power
output have to be quickly offset. This is where
quick-start gas power plants are particularly
effective. Combined with steam turbines,
they’re also extremely efficient. Working to-
gether with German energy giant E.ON,
Siemens has built the world’s most efficient
power plant in Irsching, Bavaria. The plant,
which can convert natural gas into electricity
at an efficiency of 60.75%, consumes a third
less fuel per kilowatt hour than the average
gas power plant worldwide. Substantially cut-
ting greenhouse gas emissions, the facility,
which can reach its full capacity from standstill
in less than 30 minutes, generates 578
megawatts of electricity — enough power to
meet the energy needs of a city the size of
Making coal-fired power plants more
efficient Coal will continue to be a key pillar of power
generation worldwide for many years to come
— global coal reserves are very extensive and
coal-based energy production is, accordingly,
relatively economical. The challenge will be
make power generation from coal cleaner and more efficient. Siemens’ coal-fired power
plants have an efficiency of 46%, with a 50% efficiency expected in the future. The
world average is currently about 31%. A power
plant with an efficiency of 50% generates
more than a third less CO
than the average
power plant worldwide. Making all the world’s
coal-fired power plants that efficient would
cut carbon emissions by 3.7 billion tons a year
— nearly as much CO
as the entire EU emits in a year. 1
Making renewables competitive
If about half of Germany’s energy is to
come from renewables by 2030 (and some
80% by 2050), then they’ll have to be competi-
tive without subsidies. This goal can be
achieved by wind power, in particular — the
innovations that Siemens Wind Power is cur-
rently creating are expected to make electricity
from wind power as economical as energy
from coal. These innovations include scimitar-
shaped rotor blades, gearless turbines, adap-
tive software that optimally adjusts wind loads
to rotors, the automation of production
process and ten-megawatt offshore wind tur-
Building low-loss power superhigh-
Renewable resources are best exploited where
they’re most plentiful: wind on the high seas
and sun in warm regions. With power super-
highways such as high-voltage direct-current
(HVDC) transmission lines, energy can be
transported to consumers without substantial
loss. For example, a Siemens HVDC system in
China is showing how 5,000 megawatts of
electricity can be transported over a distance
of 1,400 kilometers with a loss of only about
5%. Had conventional alternating-current
power lines been used, the loss would be two
to three times as high.
Developing and expanding energy
storage facilities
And yet another challenge: as weather condi-
tions change, so does the output of wind and
solar systems. That’s why facilities that can
store excess energy for hours, days and, if nec-
essary, even weeks, are indispensable. To ex-
pand pump storage power plants in Germany
would be very difficult. However, excess elec-
tricity can also be used in electrolytic plants to
generate ecofriendly hydrogen, which can
Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 23
Saving electricity and using it more
The cleanest energy is always the energy
that’s not consumed. And here, there’s still
considerable potential for savings — in indus-
try, for example. Electric motors currently con-
sume nearly two-thirds of the power used in
industrial applications — in drives and pumps,
for instance. Energy-saving motors and intelli-
gent controls from Siemens consume up to
60% less power than their conventional coun-
terparts. As a result, investments in this area
pay for themselves in less than two years.
Through insulation, heat pumps, intelligent
building technologies and efficient lighting
systems, it’s also possible to achieve substan-
tial energy savings in buildings, which account
for 40% of energy consumption worldwide.
Household appliances likewise harbor enor-
mous savings potential. Modern appliances
use less than half the power that comparable
devices did in the 1990s. 9
Balancing supply and demand
In most cases, it doesn’t matter if the pow-
er for a refrigerated warehouse or an air con-
ditioning system is shut off briefly — just as
it’s hardly noticeable if an elevator travels
somewhat more slowly than usual. These are
just two of the many possibilities for cutting
energy consumption when supplies are low
and prices are high. Known as demand man-
agement, this approach eases the burden on
power grids. Siemens researchers are currently
working, for example, on building automation
systems that adapt energy consumption to
price fluctuations in real time, thus helping
flatten demand peaks. 10
Offering intelligent financing
solutions Municipalities and cities in particular require
intelligent financing solutions that can enable
them to cut energy consumption substantially
despite budget constraints. In the area of
building infrastructure modernization, one
proven approach is Siemens’ energy-saving
performance contracting — a combination of
consulting, installation and financing services.
Customers do not need to make any upfront
investment; project costs are amortized with
the energy savings achieved. Using this mod-
el, Siemens has upgraded more than 4,500 facilities worldwide — generating savings of
roughly €1billion and slashing CO
by some 9.7 million tons, or more than the
amount emitted annually by a city the size of Munich. Sebastian Webel
Separating and using CO
from power
plant waste gas
It’s technically feasible to separate CO
the waste gas produced by power plants. Al-
though underground storage of the CO
tured in this process is possible, it often faces
resistance from local residents. A better solu-
tion is to use the captured gas for industrial
purposes. Here, Siemens researchers are work-
ing, for example, on algae that convert CO
into biomass and, thus, into the raw materials
needed to produce bio-fuel and bio-plastic as
well as on the generation of methane (a com-
ponent of natural gas) and methanol from CO
and hydrogen. 7
Making power grids smarter
Fifteen years ago, there were only a few
hundred energy producers supplying electrici-
ty to Germany’s power grids. In the future,
there’ll be millions — generating power from
solar, wind and biomass systems and from
small, basement cogeneration units. Today’s
energy consumers will increasingly be pro-
sumers — both producers and consumers of
electricity. This fact — coupled with the in-
creased use of renewable energy sources that
cause strong fluctuations in electricity prices
— will make smart grids indispensable. With
partners in Germany, Siemens is already
demonstrating how these grids will function.
Local energy producers in Wildpoldsried, a
municipality in the country’s Allgäu region, are generating twice as much electricity with
photovoltaic, biomass and wind power sys-
tems as they consume themselves. They’re
also using electric cars. Smart grids are ensur-
ing network stability while balancing produc-
tion and consumption. Almost 200 gigawatts of wind power are installed worldwide — enough to power 35 million average
households in the U.S.. In Germany, one out of every ten kilowatt-hours is generated with wind. But the
price of this power is often higher than that of electricity generated by coal-fired plants. Engineers at
Siemens are developing technologies that could radically change the picture. New Zealand’s West Wind Farm produces electricity for the same price as coal-fired generation,
mainly thanks to strong winds. However, engineers
like Per Egedal (right) are working on innovations to
make this possible worldwide.
Lower Prices in the Air
24 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
from Siemens whose development required a
huge amount of skill and engineering expert-
ise. It all starts with the fiberglass rotor blades,
which were built as a single unit without any
welding whatsoever. This makes them very ro-
bust, as there are no weak points where the
blades can break. Sensors installed in the hub
and nacelle also permanently monitor operat-
ing parameters and sound an alarm if suspi-
cious deviations are detected. Like all Siemens
facilities, the wind turbines at West Wind Farm
are designed to operate for 20 years and there-
fore have to be able to withstand hundreds of
millions of rotations. Wind power is one of the most promising
renewable energy sources today. Wind tur-
bines already supply ten percent of the elec-
tricity generated in Germany; in Denmark, the
“birthplace” of wind power, they account for al-
most 25 percent of the electricity produced,
and China — now the world’s biggest market
for wind power facilities — is a major cus-
tomer. Worldwide installed wind power output
is currently just under 200 gigawatts, and this
figure is doubling every three years. The Euro-
pean Commission estimates that by 2030 up
to 135 gigawatts could be installed in Euro-
pean coastal waters alone. That’s almost as
much as the installed output of all the power
plants in Germany, which totals 170 gigawatts.
The Commission believes the share of power
output in Europe accounted for by wind facili-
here’s something special about the 62
wind turbines whose rotors turn tirelessly
at West Wind Farm, located 15 kilometers west
of New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. For one
thing, they’ve traveled around the world to get
here from Brande, Denmark — a distance of
roughly 20,000 kilometers. Each of the 62 tur-
bines has an output of 2.3 megawatts, which
adds up to a total of 140 megawatts, enough
to supply electricity to 70,000 homes. What’s
more, West Wind Farm produces its electricity
for the same price as a coal-fired power plant.
One reason for the competitive price of this
energy is the powerful, even wind that blows
through the Wellington region; another is the
fact that the wind turbines are high-tech units
Formulas for Efficiency | Wind Power
should not always turn at full speed, as this
causes its components to wear out more quick-
ly than they’re supposed to. That’s why
Siemens wind power units have sensors
mounted on their hubs that monitor blade
loads. Egedal’s software uses these measure-
ments to determine the stress load the unit is
exposed to at any given time and compare that
value with an ideal stress profile. Depending
on the degree of deviation, the software might
temporarily cut back the unit’s output. “It’s
more important for opera-
tors that a wind turbine sup-
plies electricity for as long as
possible rather than always
generating as much electric-
ity as possible — even when
conditions are tough,” says
Egedal. Optimal calibration of the rotor blades also
lowers stress on the tower, which means the
tower’s steel walls can be made thinner — and
“that will quickly reduce the amount of materi-
al you need by several percent and thus cut
costs,” says Egedal. These savings can be con-
siderable, given that some wind turbines are
now as much as a hundred meters in height. Egedal has also developed a monitoring
program that identifies rotor blade damage at
updates, which can be sent through the Inter-
net to any of 4,000 monitored turbines. “Many small steps need to be taken to make
wind power competitive,” says Stiesdal. “Our
innovations cover the whole value chain, from
manufacturing to maintenance.” In the future,
for example, individual filaments instead of
fiberglass mats will be used for molding rotor
blades. That makes sense, because it’s very
time-consuming and expensive to weave the
mats, which are produced by various compa-
nies in Europe, the U.S., and China. Siemens
has already built a 45-meter-long prototype us-
ing the filament technique. Plans call for the
technology to be gradually introduced at the
end of 2012, with large-scale production
scheduled to begin in 2014. “This and other
process optimization measures that are in the
pipeline will cut the cost of rotor blade produc-
tion in half,” says Stiesdal.
Less Is More. Gearless wind turbines are an-
other innovation created in Brande. Conven-
tional wind power units have a gearbox and a
generator that turns quickly — but both can be
replaced with a slowly rotating, high-torque
synchronous generator. The resulting gearless
turbines have only half as many parts as nor-
mal turbines. This simplifies maintenance and
substantially reduces the unit’s weight. This
approach saves Siemens and its customers
money on replacements, because the ma-
chines are more reliable. For example, the
gearless 6-MW turbine introduced in 2010 is
more than ten tons lighter than a conventional
2.3-MW unit. This weight reduction is particu-
larly important for offshore wind facilities be-
cause their installation costs are very high and
they are difficult to access for repairs.
A Type B52 rotor blade lies outside on the
extensive grounds between the production
halls and the engineering offices in Brande.
The blade is a pristine white and 52 meters
long, with an elegant shape that resembles a
thin whale. “Our rotor blades are the world’s
biggest fiberglass structures built as single
components,” Egedal says proudly. Their pro-
duction process is something like baking a cake
in a sandbox. First, fiberglass is placed into two
molds, both of which are folded together,
evac uated, filled with resin, and heated. The
fiber glass is baked into a rotor blade within 24 hours (see Pictures of the Future,Fall 2007,
p. 60). Experts then glue small plastic teeth
ties could increase tenfold, from five to 50 per-
cent, by 2050. The European Wind Energy As-
sociation (EWEA) estimates that annual invest-
ment in wind power in the EU will double to
€26 billion by 2020. That doesn’t mean we’ll
be seeing wind farms everywhere, however, as
a large portion of this investment will flow into
re-powering — i.e. replacing older units with
new and more powerful turbines.
High Tech in the Countryside. Denmark is
home to one of the global centers for wind
power. Brande is a small town that at first
glance looks like a quiet, idyllic hamlet in the
midst of a hilly landscape nestled between the
North and Baltic Seas. At the edge of town,
however, is a Siemens facility that has several
thousand employees, including around 500
en gineers who develop new solutions for mak-
ing wind turbines more efficient and thus
cheaper. One of these engineers is Per Egedal,
36, who was named Inventor of the Year 2011
by Siemens. Thanks to Egedal’s work, Siemens
Wind Power turbines are now among the
world’s most efficient — and efficiency is the
key to competitiveness. After all, if a turbine’s
energy yield rises by one percent, for example,
the price for a kilowatt-hour of electricity falls
by one percent. A lot still needs to be done,
however, because a kilowatt-hour of wind
power currently costs five to seven euro cents
on land and 15 cents offshore, due to the
higher installation and maintenance costs. “We
need to get down to four to five cents per kilo-
watt-hour if we’re to compete with coal on a
global scale,” says Henrik Stiesdal, Chief Tech-
nology Officer at Siemens Wind Power. Sties-
dal has no doubts that this is possible — for
one thing, because of the inventions made by
his colleague Per Egedal.
One of Egedal’s creations is a software pro-
gram for regulating wind force on a turbine so
that the unit can operate absolutely undam-
aged throughout its service life of 20 years.
Despite what lay people might think, a rotor
an early stage by using sensors to measure vi-
bration frequencies inside the nacelle. The fre-
quency patterns provide information about the
condition of the blades. The software sounds
an alarm if a change in the frequency pattern is
detected. Technicians can then decide whether
repair work is necessary and, if so, what needs
to be fixed before other components are dam-
aged. Repairs must be carried out as quickly as
possible because the rotors shouldn’t be shut
down for too long. Siemens turbines are monitored by
Siemens’ three worldwide wind power control
centers, which are located in Brande; Bremen,
Germany; and Newcastle, U.K. The control
centers also manage software installations and
Gearless wind turbines are attractive
because they have fewer parts, weigh less, and are more reliable.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 25
has also developed a program that regulates
the load on each rotor in a wind farm in a man-
ner that optimizes overall performance. Wind
farms where rotors are placed at only short dis-
tance apart tend to experience significant loss-
es due to wakes behind the turbine rotors. “In
such a situation, it makes sense to cut back
somewhat on the power output of the first and
second turbines in a row,” Egedal explains (see
Pictures of the Future,Spring 2011, p. 97).
Powerful Future. Bigger, lighter, and more
powerful — there’s still plenty of room to fur-
ther optimize wind turbines. Some of the six-
megawatt units developed by Stiesdal and his
team were produced in 2011 and are being
tested in Aalborg. Large-scale production will
begin in 2014. The one-megawatt unit next to
the company’s engineering offices in Brande
looks tiny compared to these super turbines.
And six megawatts isn’t the end of the story.
For some time, Stiesdal and his team have
been striving to achieve the many small im-
provements that will enable construction of a
ten-megawatt unit with 100-meter-long rotor
blades. The higher the output, the more effi-
cient the turbines, and the cheaper the price of
There are limits to this megawatt expan-
sion, however. “Ten megawatts will likely be
the maximum for offshore turbines,” says
Stiesdal, “and don’t expect to see turbines with
an output of much more than four megawatts
in wind farms on land.” Still, the optimized su-
per wind turbines are sure to give coal-fired
power plants a run for their money when it
comes to cost-effectiveness, efficiency, main-
tenance-free operation, and longevity — and
not just in New Zealand. Jeanne Rubner
26 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
that look like dragon scales along the blades.
These ensure that air is pressed onto the rotor
blade more strongly — another small detail
that improves efficiency by two to three per-
cent. Production of the 2.3-megawatt genera-
tors, which are especially in demand, is also
being optimized. An LED display hangs sus-
pended in the large hall where the nacelles for
these units are manufactured. The display is
actually a clock that reads 1:44 at the moment
and counts downwards. It tells workers that
the current manufacturing step must be com-
pleted in this time. In other words, everything
here is clocked like in a car factory. Each pro-
duction step takes two hours; after that the
component rolls to the next station. It takes
eight stations to fit the nacelle shell with its in-
terior components, including the gearbox,
generator, hydraulic system, computer, meas-
uring instruments, and doors. The entire
process results in a finished nacelle with a pro-
truding hub for the rotor blades. This new system has cut the time it takes to
complete a single unit from 36 hours in 2010
to just 19 hours today, which saves a lot of
money. Siemens’ success shows it’s on the
right track. Around 800 people were employed
in Brande just under ten years ago; today there
are 3,200. The facility used to manufacture
turbines with a combined output of 450 mega -
watts each year; now it builds units with a total
output of roughly 4,000 megawatts. All of this
has increased the company’s demand for
space, which is why a new manufacturing hall
for 2.3 MW nacelles is now being built.
“There’s always some kind of production build-
ing going up around here,” says Egedal. Wind Power employees are busy putting
wind turbine components through endurance
and other tests. Rotor blades, for example, are
made to rock back and forth on a special crane
for three months without stopping — that’s
about two million oscillations. This is how
Siemens simulates 20 years or so of operation
to test material durability. Another innovation developed
by Stiesdal’s team was also tested
here: the “Arabian scimitar,” which
is viewed as the rotor blade of the
future. The blade is slightly curved
and twists under the force of the
wind, which reduces load. Known
as “aeroelastic tailored blade” technology (ATB),
this new concept is especially useful on the
high seas, where air masses of up to 100 tons
per second strike the blades, often from differ-
ent directions. Elastic blades can adapt to the
wind flexibly. And because blade material is
subject to less wear and tear, its service life in-
creases. The new blade form and its improved
stability make it possible to produce longer ro-
tors that generate more energy without an in-
crease in aerodynamic load. Indeed, the new
blades are 53 meters long, or four meters
longer than their predecessors. “Although the
blades are 500 kilograms lighter,” says Stiesdal,
“they have a five percent higher energy yield.” Siemens has other innovations in the
pipeline as well. Egedal, the software inventor,
Assembly of a gearless turbine for test operation. Siemens has developed a gearless 6-MW turbine designed specifically for the harsh conditions experienced at sea. Shaped like a scimitar, the rotor
blade of the future twists in tune
with the strength of the wind. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 27
Formulas for Efficiency | Combined Cycle Gas Turbines
Siemens’ newest combined cycle power plant converts up to 60.75 percent of the energy contained in natural gas into electricity — a world record. It can be started up and shut down in approximately 30 minutes, which is necessary to compensate for fluctuating infeeds from renewable sources. The SGT5-8000H gas turbine is the product of many years of development. Opposite: The 60-hertz
model for use in Florida. Large image: Celebrating the
trial run of the U.S. turbine in Berlin.
Record-Setting Power Plant
istory was made in a power plant in May
2011. The plant houses a turbine that has
been entered in the Guinness World Records
and recognized with numerous environmental
and innovation awards. The combined cycle
gas turbine — the world’s largest and most ef-
ficient system of its kind — is the centerpiece
of the Irsching Block 4 power plant in Ger-
many. Measuring 13 meters, and weighing
444 metric tons, the turbine, following years
of testing, entered commercial service at E.ON,
a power company, on July 22, 2011. The plant, which has an output of 375
megawatts (MW), achieves an efficiency of 40
percent. In combination with a steam turbine
and a heat recovery steam generator, which
was specially developed by Siemens, the plant
posted a world-record efficiency of 60.75 per-
cent with a net output of 578 MW — more
than originally planned. The power plant is
thus capable of supplying enough electricity
for a city the size of Berlin, with its 3.4 million
inhabitants. Compared to power plants that
had previously been considered the most ad-
vanced, the plant is 2.0 percent more efficient,
thus saving about 43,000 metric tons of CO
per year — equivalent to the emissions of
some 10,000 mid-size cars traveling 20,000
km. And in comparison to the global average
for the installed fleet of combined cycle power
plants, the new plant uses one third less natu-
ral gas and expels one third less CO
per kilo-
watt hour generated. The speed with which the gas turbine can
be started up and shut down is also un-
matched. After being shut down for several
hours, the unit can be brought up to full power
in approximately 30 minutes. This flexibility is
the combined cycle power plant’s second
trump card alongside its environmental com-
patibility. Willibald Fischer, product manager
for the gas turbine, says that “with renewable
power generating facilities, which are now
coming online in increasing numbers, a cloud
or a slight lull in the wind is enough to cause
fluctuations in the grid. Such fluctuations will
have to be offset very quickly in the future, by
using combined cycle power plants as a back-
up solution, for example.” Backbone for Renewables. Some elements
of Fischer’s scenario are now reality. On sunny
days, photovoltaic systems in Bavaria already
provide over half of the electricity needed, and
significant expansion of renewable energy
generating facilities is expected during the
next few years. By as soon as 2020, according to Fischer, it
may be possible to meet Germany’s entire elec-
tricity demand for several hours on windy sum-
mer days solely with electricity from renewable
energies. But when the weather changes suddenly,
fossil fuel power plants would then have to
kick in as quickly as possible. “By 2020 we will
need an additional power plant reserve of
roughly 30 to 50 gigawatts, or 20 to 30 per-
cent of Germany’s currently-installed power
plant capacity. Flexible gas-fired power plants
are very well suited for this purpose. Capital
expenditures are low and natural gas has the
best CO
balance of any fossil energy source,”
says Lothar Balling, general manager for gas-
fired power plants.
More than 750 employees, including 250
engineers, worked on the development, as-
sembly, and testing of the SGT5-8000H and its
combined cycle power plant (see Pictures of
the Future, Fall 2007, p. 54). Siemens invested
over €500 million in a prototype plant before it
was handed over to E.ON. All in all, the turbine was developed from
the ground up, rather than being the next
generation of an existing model. Most of the
effort that went into achieving the plant’s
record-setting efficiency and flexibility in-
volved improvements to the gas turbine and
the overall design. Engineers increased the turbine’s operating
temperature, optimized the material and geo -
metry of the compressor and turbine blades,
reduced air cooling losses, and adapted the
boiler, steam turbine, and generator to the gas
turbine. But the engineers’ greatest contribu-
tion to the plant’s record-breaking efficiency
was increasing its combustion temperature
from about 1,400 degrees Celsius in the previ-
ous model to around 1,500 degrees in the new
gas turbine. Because the temperature on the
surface of the turbine blades is also corre-
spondingly higher, even better protection
against heat is needed. The turbine’s blades are thus made of a
nickel alloy that solidifies as a single crystal in
the direction of load, making them particularly
resistant to fracture. Next there is a two-layer
thermal barrier coating that provides heat in-
sulation. The blades’ air cooling characteristics
were also optimized. Developers also opti-
mized the blade profiles to reduce losses
caused by turbulence at the tip of the com-
pressor blades. They did this by simulating the
three-dimensional fluid dynamics within the
compressor — a particularly challenging case
for computer simulation. Achieving the gas
turbine’s high efficiency also requires all of its
components to be optimally matched. The
steam turbine, for example, (see Pictures of
the Future, Spring 2008, p. 32) was designed
specifically for the turbine’s exhaust gas tem-
perature. The gigantic size of the heat recovery steam
generator between the steam
turbine and the gas turbine is
necessary in order to efficient-
ly convert the huge volume of
exhaust gas into steam. The
boiler weighs 7,000 metric
tons and contains heat ex-
changers with a surface area of 510,000
square meters. “A combined cycle power plant
must be perfectly coordinated down to the last
detail,” says Fischer. “It’s like a car — the best
engine is worthless if it isn’t matched to the
optimum chassis.”
The Fine Art of Engineering. Developers
achieved the plant’s fast startup and shutdown
times by — among other things — cooling the
gas turbine exclusively with air and hydrauli-
cally optimizing the gap between the rotating
blades and the casing. This was achieved by
adjusting the position of the rotors by three
millimeters, which, in turn, prevents collisions
between the blades and the casing during a
fast start. This approach to air cooling is better
suited for the desired flexibility than partial or
complete steam cooling because it eliminates
the need to wait for steam generation when
starting up the turbine. Another secret of the
turbine’s success is the combination of the
best technologies from Siemens and the U.S.
company Westinghouse, which Siemens ac-
quired in 1998. While a superior Siemens tur-
bine rotor design was retained, engineers
chose to use a Westinghouse combustion
chamber because it was easier to test on the
test bed than a combustion chamber from
Siemens. Thorough testing characterized the entire
development of the SGT5-8000H. The partner-
ship with E.ON made it possible to conduct
tests under actual conditions in Irsching from
2007 to 2009. To precisely analyze the plant’s
behavior, 3,000 sensors were installed for the
test runs. They measured parameters including
pressure and temperature, rotating blade vi-
brations, clearance at the tip of the rotating
blades, flows, mechanical stresses, and rota-
tional speeds. The results were used to fine-
tune and optimize the SGT5-8000H. Worldwide Demand. Customers are lining up
for the record-breaking gas turbine. South Ko-
rea has ordered three combined cycle power
plant that are scheduled for delivery starting in
2012, and a power provider in Florida has ordered six of the new gas turbines in the 60-hertz version, which will allow it to save ap-
proximately $1 billion in operating, mainte -
nance, and capital expenditure costs over the
life cycle of the turbines. Combined cycle power plants in the U.S.
currently have an average efficiency of less
than 40 percent. If all of these units used the
new gas turbine from Siemens, additional elec-
tricity equal to that used by 25 million Ameri-
cans could be generated each year — without
causing additional CO
emissions. In order to
thoroughly test the 60-hertz turbine, Siemens
spent over €17 million to upgrade and expand
the testing area at its Berlin gas turbine plant.
A turbine for the customer in Florida has been
undergoing extensive testing there since July
2011. And the record-chasers at Siemens are
determined that their turbines will continue to
be champions. “I expect we can improve the
combined cycle power plant’s efficiency by an
additional percentage point in five years using
an even bigger and hotter gas turbine. That
will make the technology even more economi-
cal and environmentally compatible,” says
Balling.Fenna Bleyl
A U.S. power provider will save about $1 billion over the life cycle of
six of the record-breaking turbines.
28 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011
rom fast food outlets to soaring office tow-
ers, buildings come in all shapes and sizes.
But most of them have two things in common:
a voracious appetite for energy and a huge po-
tential for efficiency improvement. In fact, ac-
cording to U.S. and German government statis-
tics, residential and commercial buildings
consume 40 percent of primary energy world-
wide and are responsible for producing 21 per-
cent of total carbon dioxide emissions.
How much of this energy could be saved?
“Depending on the building, anywhere be-
tween 25 and 50 percent,” says Thomas
Grünewald, head of Siemens Corporate Tech-
nology’s High Performance Building research
project and an authority on energy-saving
technologies for buildings and cities. Statistics from Siemens Retail and Commer-
cial Systems (RCS), a U.S. company that spe-
cializes in energy management for large chains
of stores, bear him out. In spite of the rising
cost of electricity, the company’s customers
have seen their electric bills drop between 15
and 30 percent (for more, see page 86). With
commercial buildings accounting for 46 per-
cent of all the energy consumed by buildings
in the U.S., Site Control’s potential long-term
effect on energy demand could be enormous.
French Fries and an Energy Analysis. Work-
ing along similar lines, Reno, Nevada-based
LoadIQ, a startup funded by the Siemens Tech-
nology-to-Business Center in Berkeley, Califor-
nia, has come up with a technology that could
cut the electric bills of the U.S.’s 70,000 fast
food restaurants by a significant amount. After
a training phase, the technology uses ad-
vanced signal processing to associate changes
in power consumption reaching a restaurant’s
electric meter with individual devices, such as
ovens, fryers, and refrigeration units. “The sys-
tem looks at the change in power each time an
appliance turns on or off,” explains LoadIQ
CEO Dr. Hampden Kuhns. “Each change is char-
acterized by a unique signature. For instance, a
50W resistive incandescent light and a 50W in-
ductive fluorescent light have completely dif-
ferent signatures.” Nevertheless, device identi-
fication can be complicated because many ap-
pliances have a variety of cycles. “But we have
found ways of isolating each cycle and then re-
combining them as a signature for a single de-
vice,” says Kuhns. “This can lead to identifica-
tion of distinct activities within a device, such
as an energy-intensive hot water heating cycle
in a dishwasher. The technology can even be
used in conjunction with a store’s schedule to
detect inefficient timing of systems.”
At regular intervals, information regarding
a device’s actual energy demand is compared
to its publicized demand and to the electrical
demand of competing devices. Finally, if signif-
icant discrepancies are identified, LoadIQ tech-
nology can generate a report for the owner
recommending that the device be serviced or
replaced. The winner of a 2011 California
Clean Tech Open Energy Efficiency Award and
recipient of a National Science Foundation
(NSF) Small Business Innovative Research
(SBIR) Phase II grant, LoadIQ is about to begin
testing its technology in small commercial set-
tings. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 29
Spikes in energy demand are forcing power companies to spend billions of dollars on “peaking” facilities that are rarely used. Smart building automation systems capable of trimming demand for
electricity in response to real time variations in prices could collectively shave many demand peaks and help to cost-effectively stabilize entire generation and distribution networks.
Buildings that change their Behavior
Formulas for Efficiency | Load Management
A Siemens Apogee building automation system at a
UC Berkeley research center (this page and left p. 85)
and new technology from LoadlQ (right), help mini-
mize load peaks in electricity distribution networks.
Shaving Demand for Peaking Plants. The
need to enhance efficiency and reduce electric
bills is not limited to individual businesses and
consumers. Indeed, in many countries, the sta-
bility of entire electricity generation and distri-
bution networks is at stake (see Pictures of the
Future,Fall 2009, p.34). If electrical demand
approaches the limit of capacity, brown outs (a
drop in voltage) or rolling blackouts may occur.
To avoid such disruptions, power companies
generally switch on so-called “peaking” plants.
But because such plants are only rarely activat-
ed, they are extremely expensive to operate.
The result is a sudden spike in the price of elec-
tricity that can amount to several hundred per-
cent per kWh. “In the U.S., ten percent of the entire ener-
gy generation and distribution infrastructure is
there to provide peaking power that is needed
only one percent of the time,” explains Dr.
George Lo, a specialist in automation and a
“Siemens Top Innovator” at Siemens Corporate
Technology in Princeton, New Jersey. In view
of this, utilities clearly want to avoid peaks be-
cause by doing so they defer the cost of invest-
ing in new peaker plants. “Nevertheless,” says
Lo, “if we continue down a business-as-usual
path, over the next ten years, the U.S. will have
to build as many as 1,900 additional peaking
plants in order to keep up with increasing de-
But as companies across the U.S. and
around the world develop their own responses
to sudden peaks in electricity prices, they are
beginning to shine light on how the entire
problem of peak demand can be managed.
RCS’s IT-based Intelligent Load Management
(ILM) building automation platform, for in-
stance, not only reduces everyday electricity
demand, but, thanks to its ability to respond to
market signals from a utility, holds the poten-
tial for responding to variations in electricity
prices on a 24/7 basis. Indeed, with a view to
extending the ability of Siemens-controlled
buildings to participate in building-to-grid pro-
grams, ILM capabilities will be integrated into
Siemens’ Apogee building automation system
product later this year, thus allowing thou-
sands of Apogee buildings to function as if
they were a single electricity user, therefore
further reducing the need for rarely-used peak-
ing power plants.
“If significant numbers of buildings were to
operate on this basis, the collective effect
would be the elimination of peaks and an au-
tomatic real-time leveling of electrical loads,”
says Lo.
A Box that Controls a Building. Figuring
out exactly how to achieve that, particularly in
very large, multi-use buildings, is one of the
ambitious goals of energy efficiency experts at
Saturdja Dai Hall, the newest research facility
on the campus of the University of California,
Berkeley (UCB). Outfitted with a Siemens
Apogee automation system, Saturdja Dai func-
tions as a test bed for building-to-grid tech-
nologies such as automated demand response
(ADR). In order to ensure that a building’s re-
sponse to changing electricity prices is both
automated and intelligent, Siemens Corpora-
tion, Siemens Corporate Research (CT), and
Siemens Building Technologies are working
with UCB to test a CT-developed “Smart Energy
Box” at Saturdja Dai. “The idea is that when a
peak is predicted, the Box goes through a li-
brary of scenarios that range from reduced
cooling and lighting in non-critical areas to a
finely-tuned, distributed response that can in-
clude almost anything that’s plugged into a
wall socket. It takes expected prices and
weather conditions into account, including
where the sun will be in relation to the build-
ing during a DR event,” explains Lo, “Finally, it
chooses the best scenario and implements it.”
To achieve such a response without incon-
veniencing building occupants can be a tricky
task. It calls for the ability to learn from the
schedules, habits and energy priorities of dif-
ferent departments within a building. Exclud-
ing those areas of a building that are off limits
in terms of power adjustments because of vital
or very high-value functions, the Smart Energy
Box minimizes inconvenience by maximizing
the distribution of its demand response over as
many systems as possible. Essential to this entire process is a protocol
that allows building automation systems to
read ADR signals from utilities. Developed by
the Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory
(LBNL) and recently adopted by the U.S. De-
partment of Energy, the “OpenADR” protocol is
rapidly moving toward worldwide acceptance
and may well become the standard for build-
ing-to-grid communications. “This is extremely
important,” says Prof. David M. Auslander of
the UCB Mechanical Engineering Department
and a key advocate of the university’s partici-
pation in this technology. “LBNL is testing Ope-
nADR at several hundred facilities. And Saturd-
ja Dai Hall is one of them — thanks to the
Energy Box. The issue is that the wholesale
price of electricity varies from minute to
minute, but its retail price often looks flat. The
Energy Box could change that — essentially
transforming electricity from a fixed part of
overhead to an expense that can be actively
managed.” Adds Saturdja Dai Building Manager Dome-
nico Caramagno, “Thousands of buildings
could benefit from this box, not only to shed
load during demand-response events and thus
benefit from cash incentives from utilities, but
to maximize their energy savings around the
clock. That is the direction we are heading.”
Arthur F. Pease
30 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
Winter Spring Summer Fall
Load shifting
Underground Storage. On calm or cloudy
days, the hydrogen gas could then be retrieved
from caverns and, for example, burned in a
combined-cycle power plant that drives an
electric generator to produce electricity. At the
moment, of course, there are no turbines that
can burn pure hydrogen — but by 2014,
Siemens hopes to present a prototype (see Pic-
tures of the Future,Fall 2009, p. 7). Although
approximately half of the energy produced by
wind would be lost during electrolysis and sub-
sequent combustion in a gas turbine, wind-
mills would no longer have to be shut off be-
cause of overcapacity. What’s more, the problem of fluctuating
power production would be solved. “In Ger-
many, depending on the nature of future pow-
er consumption, we will need a maximum of
400 cavern reservoirs for hydrogen with a vol-
ume of about 500,000 cubic meters each. At
present, 200 such reservoirs for natural gas
could also be used,” says Wolf. “The maximum
60 terawatt-hours of energy that could be
stored in these facilities corresponds to about
ten percent of annual demand in Germany.
That would be enough to tide consumers over
during relatively long periods of low wind or
solar power production.”
Two small hydrogen caverns in the UK and
U.S. have been in operation for years. These fa-
cilities have demonstrated that this form of
hat a waste! In northern Germany, the
wind is blowing — but many rotors in
nearby wind farms are motionless. “Up to 20
percent of the time, wind systems on the
North Sea coast have to be switched off; other-
wise they’d produce more power than needed
at a given moment,” says Erik Wolf, a technol-
ogy strategist for Siemens’ Solar & Hydro Divi-
sion. “This indicates a central challenge associ-
ated with renewable energies — production
fluctuates as weather conditions change. In
other words, supply isn’t based on demand, as
is the case with conventional power plants.” In-
deed, Germany’s wind energy trade associa-
tion estimates that the German power grid was
unable to accommodate 150 gigawatt-hours
of electrical energy in 2010 simply because it
was already operating at full load.
This explains why wind turbines often re-
main inactive during a storm and why older,
coal-fired power plants with high carbon diox-
ide emissions are reconnected to the grid on
calm days — circumstances that are becoming
more pronounced as Germany produces a larg-
er share of its power from the wind and sun. According to the German Federal Govern-
ment, the country expects to meet about 50
percent of its total demand for power with re-
newable energies by 2030, and to achieve 80
percent from such sources by 2050. These tar-
gets cannot be met without massive energy
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 31
When it comes to power generation and distribution, hydrogen is set to become increasingly im-
portant. It will not only store the power from excess electricity generated by wind and solar plants
but will also serve as a fuel for cars. What’s more, it can be combined with renewably-produced
carbon dioxide to produce a feedstock for plastics production.
Siemens engineers have developed an electrolyzer based on proton exchange membranes. It reacts within milliseconds to the available electrical
current — and is thus ideally equipped to handle power generation fluctuations.
The most versatile Fuel
storage systems — systems capable of captur-
ing excess energy when winds are intense and
feeding it back into the grid later when de-
mand is high. To meet the future challenges of
an energy system based on renewable ener-
gies, a variety of storage technologies is neces-
sary – suitable for everything from periods of
seconds or hours to long-term periods of days
or weeks. And Germany is certainly not alone.
Many other countries that are now moving to-
ward increased use of renewable energy
sources will also need to augment their power
grids with storage systems.
And when it comes to storing the power
produced by excess electricity, electrolysis is set
to play a key role. Here, water is decomposed
into oxygen and hydrogen gas by means of an
electrical current. At a pressure of 200 bars, the
energy density of the hydrogen gas is compara-
ble to that of a lithium-ion battery. Large quantities of the gas could thus be
stored in the underground caverns of salt
domes of the sort used by natural gas suppli-
ers as reservoirs, or in the existing natural gas
grid, which can accommodate up to five per-
cent hydrogen without difficulty. In purely
mathematical terms, the latter could store
130 terawatt-hours of electrical energy in the
form of hydrogen, which represents almost a
quarter of German power consumption per
year. Formulas for Efficiency | Electrolysis
32 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
ing of ten kilowatts, Käppner’s team is now
working on a new electrolyzer that will have a
nominal power rating of 0.1 megawatts and a
peak rating of 0.3 megawatts. It will produce
two to six kilograms of hydrogen per hour and
is scheduled to be operational by the end of
2012. “We’ve optimized the design and all the
peripherals, such as the control system and
the power supply,” says Käppner, describing
the efforts that brought the system out of the
lab and into the field. “We’re
also working on reducing
costs considerably with inno-
vative materials and structural
features.” Hydrogen produc-
tion via electrolysis still costs
upwards of €10,000 per kilo-
watt of installed load. But
thanks to further refinements in design, Käpp-
ner hopes to lower costs to under €1,000 per
kilowatt by 2018, at the latest. By then, the
third generation of Siemens electrolyzers is
expected to be able to accommodate up to
100 megawatts, thus converting excess wind-
generated electricity into hydrogen in large
quantities. A 60 to 90-megawatt electrolyzer
would suffice to convert the surplus energy of
a large wind farm.Between the 0.1 megawatt
model and the 100 MW system, Käppner plans
to develop an intermediate step. This will be an
electrolyzer with a rated power of two mega -
watts. It is scheduled to go into operation
around 2015. In addition to storing energy and
stabilizing the grid, the system will be suitable
for use in future automotive filling stations. This
would obviate transportation of hydrogen to
gas stations since the fuel could be produced
right at the station — using excess electricity
from the power grid and tap water. “Renowned
automakers are ready and waiting to start up
their assembly lines for the production of fuel
cell cars,” says Käppner. “And when they do,
their cars will run on renewably-produced hy-
This highlights one of hydrogen’s major ad-
vantage: its versatility. It can be re-converted
into electricity, it can power cars, or it can be
“methanized” — a process in which hydrogen
reacts with carbon dioxide to form methane,
the primary constituent of natural gas. Hydro-
gen’s energy could thus be stored in the exist-
ing gas distribution infrastructure. But it could
also be used for heating or driving gas-powered
vehicles. “Methanization is a good idea in prin-
ciple,” says Siemens expert Wolf. “But the pro -
cess is only carbon neutral if both the H
the CO
come from a renewable source, such as
a biomass plant. And don’t forget that the con-
version of hydrogen into methane also requires
energy — so in terms of energy, it always
makes more sense to use hydrogen directly.”
Gaseous Dream Team. Hydrogen is not only
a perfect energy carrier but also an important
raw material for the chemicals industry — one
currently obtained almost exclusively from nat-
ural gas. On the one hand, the goal must
therefore be to produce hydrogen via renew-
able electricity at approximately the same cost
as its production from natural gas. On the oth-
er hand, hydrogen (H
) could one day form a
real dream team with the greenhouse gas car-
bon dioxide. How CO
can be used for chemi-
cals production in combination with renew-
able energies is the subject of a research
project in which Siemens, RWE, Bayer Technol-
ogy Services, Bayer MaterialScience, and ten
other partners have been collaborating since
2010. Known as CO2RRECT (CO
Reaction using
Regenerative Energies and Catalytic Technolo-
gies), the project has a value of €18 million and
is being funded with €11 million from the Ger-
man Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The basic idea behind the CO2RRECT project
is that carbon monoxide (CO), which is an im-
portant intermediate product of the chemicals
industry that has traditionally been obtained
from fossil energy sources, could instead be
storage is safe. Experts expect that a typical hy-
drogen storage facility will cost between €10
million and €30 million. Utilities must also in-
vest in gas-fired plants that typically require an
investment of between €50 million and €700
million depending on plant output. Power companies see great potential in hydrogen technology. “We want to sharply re-
duce CO
emissions. So we’re building and de-
veloping new, efficient power plant technolo-
gies and operating more and more wind
farms,” says Dr. Sebastian Bohnes from the re-
search department of Germany’s RWE Power.
“These days, wind turbine speeds are throt-
tled, mostly because of bottlenecks in the
power grid. Efforts to expand the use of re-
newable energies could lead to a rapid in-
crease in overcapacities. Electrolysis offers an
interesting way to store — in the form of hy-
drogen gas — electricity that can not be used
immediately.” This presupposes that the electrolyzers that
produce the energy-rich gas from electricity
have the ability to react quickly to the fluctuat-
ing supply of electrical power. So far, the sys-
tems, which have a reaction time of a few min-
utes, have been too slow. For years, researchers from Siemens Corpo-
rate Technology have therefore been refining
an alternative electrolysis technology that is
much more flexible. In their electrolyzer, a pro-
ton exchange membrane (PEM) separates the
two electrodes at which oxygen and hydrogen
are formed — in contrast to conventional alka-
line electrolysis technology (see Pictures of the
Future,Spring 2011, p. 26). “Our PEM elec-
trolyzer reacts within milliseconds and can eas-
ily handle three times its nominal power rating
for a while. In other words, even if there’s a
sharp increase in power generation, it can
make use of the excess power without any diffi-
culty,” says Roland Käppner, head of the Hydro-
gen Solutions business unit in Siemens’ Industry
Siemens’ PEM technology is now mature
enough to move out of the lab and into practi-
cal applications. Building on results from a re-
search electrolyzer with a nominal power rat-
A 60-megawatt electrolyzer could convert the surplus energy produced by a large wind farm.
produced from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
with water being generated as a waste prod-
uct. “This reaction takes place using special
catalysts that Bayer is developing with partners
from the scientific community,” says Daniel
Wichmann from Bayer, the lead project manag-
er for CO2RRECT. “With a different catalyst, it’s
also possible to make formic acid, which is also
an important basic ingredient for organic
The crucial factor in all of this is that CO
and H
must be available in sufficient quanti-
ties — and that is the responsibility of project
partners Siemens and RWE. In the German
state of North Rhine-Westphalia, energy com-
pany RWE operates a lignite-fired power plant
at Niederaußem, which is equipped with a
flue-gas system that scrubs CO
out of the
power plant’s emissions. The gas is subse-
quently made available to researchers who are
investigating CO
As part of this work, one of the electrolysis
containers from Siemens will be set up here in
late 2012 and tested under realistic conditions.
“We’re going to simulate grid-specific load pro-
files and the infeed characteristic of real wind
farms,” says RWE expert Bohnes. “That way we
can figure out whether the electrolyzer will be
able to handle fluctuating power supplies.”
From CO
to Plastics. In Leverkusen, Bayer
and its partner Invite are building a test facility
that is slated to open in late 2013. At the test
site, CO
and H
will react to form CO. If the
process proves to be effective, the CO gener-
ated this way could eventually be used on an
industrial scale — for example, for the prof-
itable production of isocyanates. These organ-
ic compounds can be used as feeder material
for polyurethane, which is found in everything
from automobiles and furniture to insulation.
“With the test plant, we want to demonstrate
that fluctuating hydrogen production can be
combined with the constant processes need-
ed by the chemicals industry,” says Wichmann.
CO2RRECT will run until the end of 2013.
So far, chemical companies and energy pro-
ducers have been benefiting from its results.
Power plant operators can make good use of
the CO
extracted, instead of just storing it un-
derground. They also avoid expenses for emis-
sions certificates. Plastics manufacturers, in
turn, reduce their dependence on petroleum.
And finally, the climate benefits as well.
“Through the CO2RRECT process and contin-
ued refinements to this technology, it may be
possible to avoid producing several million
metric tons of CO
emissions per year in Ger-
many,” says Bohnes. “And that would be
equivalent to one to two percent of total Ger-
man carbon dioxide emissions.”
Christian Buck
Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 33
Formulas for Efficiency
In Brief
Never has efficient technology been as impor-
tant as it is today. At present, we need not only to bring climate change under control but also to
address the impending scarcity of resources. Effi-
cient solutions don’t just save raw materials and
energy, they also save money. (p. 12) China is regarded as this century’s economic
miracle. Yet for a long time, its stunning growth
came at the expense of the environment. But
times have changed. Today, the country’s top
prio rities include boosting efficiency, reducing
emissions, and creating environmentally-sustain-
able cities. Furthermore, Pictures of the Future
spoke with three experts about the future of
China’s energy supply. (pp. 15, 18)
A stable power grid is needed to significantly in-
crease the proportion of fluctuating renewable en-
ergy in the electricity mix. Almost 200 gigawatts of
wind power generation is already installed world-
wide — at full output, that’s equal to 200 large
power plants. But wind power is often more ex-
pensive than electricity from coal-fired plants.
That’s why Siemens engineers are working on new
ways to optimize wind turbines. (p. 24)
Electricity suppliers in the U.S. have to spend bil-
lions of dollars on rarely-needed peak load power
plants that are used only in times of particularly
high power consumption. When applied to large
numbers of buildings, automation systems from
Siemens can change this picture. Such systems ad-
just power consumption in accordance with price
fluctuations in real time, which flattens out de-
mand spikes and helps to stabilize power genera-
tion and distribution networks. (p. 29)
In the future, hydrogen will play an increasingly
important role in the power supply chain — either
as a way to store excess energy produced by wind
and solar power plants or as fuel for cars. What’s
more, the chemical industry can use renewably-
produced hydrogen together with the greenhouse
gas carbon dioxide as a feedstock for polyurethane
and other plastics. (p. 31) PEOPLE:
Solutions for China: Martin Klarer, Siemens China
[email protected]
Wind Power:
Henrik Stiesdal, Siemens Energy
[email protected]
Per Egedal, Siemens Energy
[email protected]
Irsching Gas Turbine:
Lothar Balling, Energy
[email protected]
Willibald Fischer, Energy
[email protected]
Energy Optimization of Buildings:
Thomas Grünewald, Corporate Technology
[email protected]
Dr. George Lo, Corporate Technology
[email protected]
Erik Wolf, Siemens Energy
[email protected]
Roland Käppner, Siemens Industry
[email protected]
Website Rio+20:
Global Footprint Network:
Siemens Renewable Energy:
Webfeature Germany’s new energy policy:
Webpage Power Plant Irsching:
34 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
2035. A young professor of medicine from Nigeria is shopping for a tailor-made suit in Hamburg. In the process,
he gets a look at how products are created in an age of
comprehensive global networking.
King Customer
The Next Economy | Scenario 2035
36 The New Global Economy
The Industrial Revolution took place a
long time ago, but radical changes in
the structure of the global economy
are still in full swing. Today it’s not
only the emerging markets that are
experiencing an uptick in their domestic economies. New markets are also taking shape in Colombia and Turkey, which Siemens calls Second Wave Emerging Countries. Pages 36, 47
40 Sugar, Oil and Inventive Minds
Brazil’s thirst for energy has inspired
the imagination of the country’s en-
gineers, whose technical innovations
have enhanced the efficiency and
stability of the energy supply system. 44 Call of the Deep
Due to growing demand for fossil fu-
els, oil and gas companies are in-
creasingly moving into the deep sea.
Here, extraction would be more effi-
cient and safer if production facilities
were located on the sea floor. 50 Sweet Spot Science
At Siemens, identifying the ideal locations to place factories is becoming a science. 54 How to Boost Transport Capacity
Automation technology is making traffic infrastructures more efficient. In the future, such systems will learn from experience and holistically optimize traffic across regions.
In 2035 hardly any clothing is sold off the
rack. So when Thomas Jones, a professor of
medicine from Nigeria, orders a suit from the
Hamburg branch of a worldwide fashion
chain and asks to have it delivered to him in Lagos, the company uses Web-based software solutions to look for the best combination of growing area, weaving mill, and processing plant in terms of costs and climate-friendliness.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 35
usiness is booming this afternoon at a
shopping mall in Hamburg, Germany.
Thomas Jones, a professor of medicine from
Nigeria, has completed his meetings with Ger-
man colleagues and is now using the early
evening hours to look for a new suit. For quite
some time now, buying clothes off the rack
has been a thing of the past. Jones, who is
now 40, knows of this custom only by hearsay.
His suit will be not only tailor-made but also
produced in an almost fully automatic process
that includes everything from the purchase of
raw materials to production and delivery.
What’s more, the entire process is designed to
be environmentally friendly. Jones smiles expectantly as he enters a
branch of an international fashion company
that keeps his measurements — naturally with
his consent — on file. “Good morning,
Thomas,” says a young salesman. The last time
Jones shopped at a branch of this chain was
two years ago in his home town, Lagos! Obvi-
ously a camera must have scanned his face
and software must have recognized him as he
36 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
Rising up from poverty: Foreign direct invest-
ment in Colombia rose by 56 percent in 2011. Pictured is a 384-meter escalator in Medellín.
uring the Industrial Revolution, spinning
frames and steam-powered looms turned
clothing manufacture into a highly mecha-
nized process. These innovations made north-
western England the world’s leading center for
the production of textiles. It also caused the
decline of India’s textile industry, which could
not compete against the mechanical systems’
higher efficiency. Today, 250 years later, the
industrial landscape in England has completely
changed and many world-famous brand icons
from the UK are owned by foreigners. The
most prominent examples of this are Land
Rover and Jaguar, both of which belong to the
Indian company Tata Motors.
textiles were produced almost exclusively in
low-wage countries,” he says. “Now that everything is tailor-made, we
only need relatively small batches of fabric.
The only requirement is that the transporta-
tion routes have to be as short as possible and
the carbon dioxide balance has to be kept in
mind,” Erikson replies. He tells Jones that the
company almost went bankrupt in the early
2020s. Clothing could no longer be offered at
rock-bottom prices after countries like India
and China started not only producing clothing
but also selling it themselves — and thus keep-
ing a large part of the profits. “My father soon realized that the age of
globally mass-produced products was over and
that only individualized products could gener-
ate a profit,” Erikson recalls. At that time there
was a recession, and lenders weren’t willing to
invest in corporate restructuring. But Erikson’s grandfather was not prepared
to give up. In line with the concept of crowd-
funding, he used social networks to find 1,000
private investors who believed in his vision of a
modern and sustainable fashion firm. Initially
the company only produced clothing on de-
mand, but soon it also incorporated factors
such as pesticide-free cultivation, fair working
conditions, and sustainable production
processes. And because more and more firms
were adopting this approach, the big technolo-
gy companies developed new Web-based soft-
ware programs that gradually created a com-
prehensive network of customers, producers,
and raw materials suppliers. Jones tries on a jacket made of the fabric he
has selected. “It’s very pleasant to wear,” he
says. In a wall “mirror” he sees a picture of him-
self wearing the new suit he has ordered.
“Hmm, the color’s still not ideal. I think I’ll take
a lighter tone,” he says, having changed his
mind. Then he realizes that he’s leaving Ham-
burg tomorrow and that the suit has to be de-
livered to Lagos. “
No problem,” says Erikson, typing this in on
a keyboard. Three minutes later, the ordering
system comes up with a completely new deliv-
ery chain. “Your cotton will now come from
Chad, and the weaving mill is in Benin,” Erik-
son says. The sewing will be done in Nigeria.
The design is available to all of the chain’s con-
tract tailoring shops via our Web-based servic-
es. “The hardest thing was to get all of our sup-
pliers to comply with a uniform quality
standard.” But ever since the governments in
West Africa began focusing on education and
professional qualification programs, this has
been no more problematic than in other coun-
tries. “Nowadays a good suit can be produced
in the same way on every continent. And it no
longer has to have a dark color!” Erikson con-
cludes with a smile. Katrin Nikolaus
stepped into the store just now, uploading his
data onto the salesman’s information device. The two men begin a detailed discussion of
suits. “My grandfather always wore a shirt and
a dark suit when he went to his job at his com-
pany,” Jones recalls. “Mine too,” replies the
salesman, who turns out to be one of the man-
aging directors of the fashion chain. He intro-
duces himself as Paul Erikson, the son of the
company’s founder. At the moment he’s
spending a week working at the Hamburg
branch in order to get a sense of what cus-
tomers are asking for these days. The market
analyses he receives are optimally differentiat-
ed, but human intuition is still a crucial factor
for a fashion company’s survival. Jones steps onto a platform and has his
measurements taken with a laser scanner. A
computer compares the current data with the
data registered from earlier visits. “Just a bit
wider around the hips,” says Erikson with a
smile. Then the two men choose a color from a
table of more than a hundred shades and de-
cide on the desired type of cloth. Jones choos-
es a lightweight cotton that will be appropriate
for the Nigerian climate. Six weeks earlier, Buthan Singh stood in his
cotton field in the state of Punjab in India,
checking to see whether his crop was ready for
picking. “We should start the first harvest in
two days,” said his foreman. Singh does not
use fully automated harvesting methods. In-
stead, he picks his cotton according to the indi-
vidual plants’ degree of maturity. That results
in much higher quality and earns him good
prices on the world market. The farm has been
owned by Singh and his ancestors for five gen-
erations, but only in the past 20 years have
Singh and his family been able to make a good
living from cotton cultivation. That’s because
during this period the government’s subsidies
for agricultural produce have been gradually
reduced and almost entirely abolished. Singh sells his harvests via an automatic
raw materials exchange. An English weaving
mill that specializes in high-quality suit fabrics
has bought the first batch. The mill’s cus-
tomers consider not only price and quality im-
portant; they also look to see how sustainably
the cotton was produced. This information
reaches the end customer by means of product
tracking software that works with smart RFID
labels. Customers need this information in or-
der to know how much a purchase adds to
their personal emissions’ account. “The cotton for this suit comes from Pun-
jab,” says Erikson after a quick look at his infor-
mation device. “The fabric was manufactured
— just a moment — ah yes, in England.” Jones smiles before replying. “It’s rather
ironic that there are weaving mills in England
once again, after so many decades in which
creates comparatively well-paid jobs, encour-
ages private-sector investment, and paves the
way for the economy’s further diversification.
That’s where you have to begin in order to sys-
tematically generate employment.” Colombia is a case in point. Although it is
not a major emerging market such as Brazil,
Russia, India, or China (the BRIC countries),
Colombia has great development potential and
is sufficiently large to become an increasingly
attractive market for foreign investments. In
2011 foreign direct investments in the country
rose by 56 percent compared to the prior year.
Siemens, which has been operating in this Lat-
in American country since 1954, defines
Colombia and other nations such as Turkey and
Vietnam as Second Wave Emerging Countries
(SEWECs). These countries are not only experiencing
economic growth that is well above average
but also seeing the emergence of new markets
and profitable sites for local production opera-
tions. The new Siemens facility in Tenjo near
Bogotà, for example, has an extremely effi-
cient manufacturing system and meets all of
the latest environmental standards (see Pic-
tures of the Future,Fall 2010, p. 67). The plant
specializes in a number of products, including
distribution transformers for renewable
sources of energy, in particular for large wind
farms and solar plants in the U.S. and Canada.
The transformers were developed by Siemens
engineers in Columbia.
Innovation is increasingly taking place in
emerging markets, largely because there is a
growing need to adapt products to local re-
quirements. As awareness grows that each
market has its own needs, a “one-size-fits-all”
approach is becoming a thing of the past. In
the future, large corporations will have to fur-
ther decentralize their structures and process-
es and operate in a “multi-local” fashion so that
they can be at home and innovate in several
places at once. For example, Siemens is cur-
rently investing around €40 million in a re-
search and development center near Moscow.
The facility will become part of the Skolkovo
And finally, they determine where the next big
idea will be generated to propel the global
economy forward in its continuing process of
creative destruction.
The overall effect of all of these small steps
is so huge that the global economy is continu-
ously changing its appearance. Who could have
predicted China’s rapid rise 30 years ago? Or
the collapse of the Soviet Union? And who
would have thought that much of the mass
production manufacturing sector would mi-
grate from Europe and the U.S. to Asia? Or that
people today would be using the Internet to
conduct logistics operations — including the
ordering of pizza — quickly and cost-effec -
“It has become obvious that the structure of
the global economy is undergoing profound
changes,” says Dr. Tom Kirchmaier from the Fi-
nancial Markets Group at the London School of
Economics (LSE). “In the future, conventional
industrial sectors will primarily grow in today’s
emerging markets. For highly developed coun-
tries this means that they will have to generate
even more innovations in order to achieve
Due to their global organization, multina-
tional technology companies such as Siemens
can benefit from both of these trends. In
wealthy countries, these companies selectively
invest in extremely high-quality manufacturing
industries as well as in research and innovation
projects. One example of this is Siemens’ pro-
duction of cutting-edge gas turbines in Char-
lotte, North Carolina.
Global companies also characteristically es-
tablish production facilities in developing
countries and emerging markets. In addition to
fulfilling important supplier functions, these
facilities optimally meet the needs of local
markets. Manufacturing and production net-
works are now being strengthened and made
more efficient worldwide in order to handle in-
creasing complexity. The importance of manu-
facturing for national eco nomies is empha-
sized by Professor Dani Rodrik, an economist at
Harvard University, who says, “Manufacturing
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 37
The global economy is changing, but one of its fundamental rules still applies:
Innovation makes prosperity possible and lasting.
The New Global Economy
The Next Economy | Trends
The global economy is changing in a
process that economists describe as creative
destruction. Innovations are making new busi-
ness models possible and old ones redundant.
Most of these changes are hardly noticeable
on their own, because they consist of minor
improvements to production methods, acceler-
ated or more cost-effective transportation sys-
tems, and increasingly efficient communica-
tion systems. But when taken together, these
steps amount to major trends. They have an effect on where products are
manufactured as well as how and by whom
they are consumed. They also define where
wealth is created and where it is destroyed.
quired innovations are being designed by high-
ly skilled experts.
Creating a Climate for New Ideas. Tomor-
row’s talented workers are a company’s great-
est asset. Excellently trained engineers have
become scarce all over the world. But even
though the market value of these individuals is
increasing, the pressures they face are rising as
well. Many of these jobs therefore come at a
personal price in the form of overwork and ex-
haustion, which can lead all the way to com-
plete burnout. But there is an economic di-
mension to this development as well. Too
much work and stress at the workplace re-
duces employees’ individual performance and
causes them to miss work. The Hamburg Insti-
tute of International Economics estimates that
this results in losses of around €364 billion in
Germany alone, or about one sixth of the
country’s gross domestic product.
That’s why companies are increasingly striv-
ing not only to make the most of their best em-
ployees’ capabilities but also to make sure that
those capabilities are maintained at a high lev-
el. As a result, work will probably be organized
very differently in the future than it is today.
Experts predict that there will be more project
work, more freelance employment, and more
freedom, but also more individual responsibili-
ty. Companies will create a climate in which it
will be easier to put new ideas and innovations
into practice than was the case in hierarchical
systems. The result could be a flood of ideas
and innovations that will cause the global
economy to boom.
In 1926 the Russian economist Nikolai Kon-
dratiev formulated a theory that the economy
develops in decades-long cycles or waves that
progress from one period of technological in-
novation to the next. Such paradigm shifts
open up new opportunities and boost efficien-
cy, thus increasing prosperity. Unfortunately,
they also encompass transitional periods in
which painful adjustments need to be made.
“There are many indications that we are once
again in the midst of such a transformation,”
says Tom Kirchmaier. “Small, agile companies
are suddenly appearing in the former centers
of North America’s heavy industry. While the
father may have stood at the assembly line in
Detroit, his son now programs apps that are in
demand worldwide.” The global economy is
changing and enabling new success stories in
the process. These are success stories for entire
nations, as well as for individual companies
and individual people. They can be found in
Mexican hill settlements like Adjuntitas Dos
and at Detroit’s brownfield sites. In both cases,
this success was due to innovations whose
time had come.
Andreas Kleinschmidt
38 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
Innovation Park. The Russian government is set
to invest approximately $2.8 billion in the proj-
ect during its first three years. One of Siemens’ long-term aims in invest-
ing in emerging markets is to increase the
number of S.M.A.R.T. products in its global
portfolio. In this context, “S.M.A.R.T.” stands
for “Simple,” “Maintenance-friendly,” “Afford-
able,” “Reliable,” and “Timely to market.” In oth-
er words, S.M.A.R.T. products are entry-level
products that are perfectly tailored to the
needs of specific market segments (see Pic-
tures of the Future,Fall 2010, p. 56).
Such products include the SOMATOM Spirit
CT scanner. Due to its relatively low price, the
scanner will enable many hospitals to offer
computed tomography examinations for the
first time. In countries such as China, the de-
vice will benefit people with access to smaller
hospitals only, e.g. in rural areas. Until now,
hospitals in such places were rarely equipped
with CT scanners. Economic growth and cost-
saving innovations are thus giving millions of
people access to high-quality medical care for
the first time.
In Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest state, Siemens
has supplied hospitals with 44 ultrasound sys-
tems, which have helped to reduce child mor-
tality in the region by around five percent over
the past two years. The inhabitants of the vil-
lage of Adjuntitas Dos in the Mexican state of
Querétaro have seen their quality of life im-
prove for a completely different reason. In
2011 Siemens installed decentralized solar
panels throughout the village, enabling resi-
dents to operate electric lamps without any
power outages. As a result, children find it eas-
ier to do their homework in the evening, and
better education lets them improve their long-
term income outlook as well .
Controlled Globalization. Stories like these
provide hope for the future. However, the
world as a whole is obviously still characterized
by great disparities in wealth. Although pros-
perity is steadily increasing, so is the gap be-
tween rich and poor. At the same time that in-
creasing numbers of people are rising above
the poverty line, more and more people are
being born into relative poverty due to high
birth rates in developing countries. How
should the global economy be organized so
that such disparities can be reduced? Do we
need more globalization — or less?
Perhaps the question should be posed dif-
ferently, as the problem may not be the level of
globalization, but the methods for regulating it
in order to make better use of its advantages
and minimize its drawbacks. The recent finan-
cial crisis has highlighted the risks of insuffi-
cient regulation, showing how the inherent
dynamics of complex systems can turn the
world upside down in unpredictable ways —
and with unexpected speed. “We are just beginning to understand the
disadvantages of an insufficiently controlled
globalization process, such as the upheavals it
can cause in financial markets. Although mar-
kets are a great thing to have, governments
need to get them back on track now and then.
Financial markets in particular are inherently
unstable,” says Rodrik. Until the most serious consequences of the
financial crisis are behind us, trust and strong
partnerships will therefore be indispensable
when dealing with financing issues. Siemens is
responding to this challenge by offering cus-
tomized financing solutions. A lot will depend
on whether regulatory organizations can cre-
ate rules to help tame economic processes. If
this is possible, emerging markets might
achieve growth that is more sustainable and
less susceptible to setbacks. At the same time,
wealthy nations might find ways to remain
prosperous in spite of shrinking populations.
Innovation remains the most important key
to success in highly developed nations and
emerging markets alike. During the Industrial
Revolution, steam-powered looms achieved incredible efficiency increases. Today, similar
productivity potentials can be exploited
through even better access to global networks
by means of computers, communications, and
Internet technologies. Productivity could also
be increased by restructuring global energy
and economic systems in order to better pro-
tect the environment and conserve resources.
This development has just begun, and the re-
Production and innovation are increasing in countries
such as Brasil, Russia, India, and China.
ompanies that want to implement major
infrastructure projects such as power
plants, airports, or hospitals need steady
nerves — not to mention solid financing and
completely reliable partners. For example, the
planning process for a T-Power combined-cycle
(gas and steam) power plant in Belgium began
back in 2005 with the establishment of a new
project company jointly owned by Siemens Fi-
nancial Services (SFS), the Belgian firm
Tessenderlo Chemie, and a project develop-
ment company. A consortium of ten banks
handled the remainder of the financing, and
the new joint venture received the first private
power generation license ever issued by the
Belgian government. But in spite of its strong backing, the project
encountered headwinds. “Just as construction
was getting started the global financial crisis
broke out,” recalls Hans-Joachim Schulz from
the SFS Project & Structured Finance Energy
unit. Nevertheless, construction proceeded
without delay and none of the project or fi-
nancing partners jumped ship. The reason, as
Schulz explains, was that “we were in the right
place at the right time because Belgium’s gov-
ernment wanted to increase competition in
the power-generation sector.” Just as impor-
tant was the fact that Siemens had entered the
€440 million project with 33 percent of the eq-
uity capital. “We’ve been working on develop-
ment projects for over 20 years with interna-
tional partners and have gained a reputation
as being absolutely reliable,” says Schulz.
The 430-megawatt combined-cycle plant
entered service on schedule in July 2011. With
an efficiency level of over 58 percent, it is one
of Europe’s most modern and efficient facili-
ties. Siemens Energy was responsible for con-
struction and supplied the main components,
including a gas turbine, a steam turbine, and a
generator. Tessenderlo uses about half of the
electricity generated for energy-intensive man-
ufacturing processes in its neighboring plant;
the rest is fed into the power grid.
“The T-Power plant offers a perfect example
of how Siemens Financial Services handles
large-scale infrastructure projects that involve
joint ventures,” says Schulz. SFS always works
with reliable local partners to ensure that con-
ditions and requirements such as approval pro-
cedures and the participation of neighboring
communities are taken into account in the
planning process. This is also the case with the Lincs offshore
wind farm now under construction off the
eastern coast of the UK (see Pictures of the Fu-
ture,Spring 2010, p. 81). Siemens is serving as
a financing partner in this project as well — in
addition to supplying wind turbines and grid
connection technologies. “In projects of this
scope, we work with our partners for years,”
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 39
says Schulz. Siemens is often connected to a
project over the long term through service and
maintenance contracts. Modernizing and Saving. Siemens is also
committed to the long haul when it comes to
financing energy system modernization proj-
ects. Office buildings, hospitals, schools, and
universities frequently suffer from investment
logjams when it comes to state-of-the-art
building systems. With this in mind, in 1996
the city of Berlin established a partnership with
Siemens to upgrade the energy efficiency of
around 200 public buildings. Instead of de-
pending on new funding, the project was fi-
nanced through the use of energy perform-
ance contracting. Here, Siemens identified the
savings potential associated with energy and
building operation costs and implemented
modernization measures (see Pictures of the
Future,Fall 2009, p. 60). The city of Berlin pays
for the upgrades in installments with its con-
tractually guaranteed savings. As a result of
these steps, many buildings have been
equipped with new heating systems, ventila-
tion and air conditioning units, and centralized
building management systems. And Berlin is no exception. In similar proj-
ects, Siemens has upgraded 4,500 buildings
worldwide. As a result, operators have saved
more than €1 billion and CO
emissions have
been cut by 9.7 million tons.
In addition, SFS takes care of managing in-
surable risks — among others, those associat-
ed with new technologies that insurance com-
panies are willing to underwrite only to a
limited extent. For example, SFS has engi-
neered an insurance concept for the world’s
most powerful gas turbine in a combined-cycle
power plant in Irsching, Germany, which was
developed and built by Siemens. Says Head of
Gas Turbine Product Management Willibald Fis-
cher: “Insurance for such a project is vital. In
addition to normal risks, such as failure to
meet deadlines and construction accidents, in-
novative technology also has to be insured. It
was the early involvement of SFS that made in-
surance coverage for our project possible.” Siemens also helps partner companies fi-
nance machinery. For example, SFS’s acquisi-
tion of the Vladivostok-based financial compa-
ny DeltaLeasing gave it a nationwide network
with 15 offices. One of those offices is located
in Samara, Russia’s third-largest industrial cen-
ter. Here, ServiceMontageIntegratsiya (SMI),
whose headquarters is located in Kazan, has
leased new machines and units for metal pro-
cessing from Siemens Finance Russia worth
€1.36 million. “Companies in Russia are increas-
ingly demanding good service from experi-
enced financial partners,” says Oleg Rakitsky,
Head of SFS’ Commercial Finance unit in Russia. Whether it’s a major infrastructure project
such as a power plant or an airport, or the
modernization of industrial facilities, Siemens
Financial Services and its financing concepts
are helping to drive developments not only in
established markets, but in emerging ones. For
example, SFS has established a financial servic-
es company in India that will help private com-
panies and public investors finance projects by
various Siemens sectors.Katrin Nikolaus
Siemens Financial Services knows how investments can be put to profitable use — even in a crisis. SFS safely guides large
projects through volatile financial markets all over the world.
Solid Partnerships
The Next Economy | Project Financing Brazil’s hunger for energy is making its engineers ever more inventive. Technological innovations are boosting the efficiency and stability of the power supply. With Siemens’ help, the country is tapping into unconventional energy sources in its fields and under the ocean floor. In 2009, São Paulo experienced a six-hour
power failure. One way to satisfy increasing energy demand is to produce electricity using sugar cane (right page). U
lisses Candido da Silva Junior gazes out at
the green sea around him. The hills in the
northern part of the Brazilian state of Paraná
rise like waves and gently slope away as far as
the eye can see. Candido da Silva manages the
Santo Inácio Sugar Mill, one of five production
sites of the Alto Alegre Group. He wipes the
sweat from his forehead. “The harvest has be-
gun; in a few days big trucks will start bringing
tons of sugar cane,” he says. His mill will turn it
into raw sugar and alcohol, which is now used
to power almost all Brazilian cars. More than
half of the sugarcane produced in Brazil is con-
verted into ethanol, which is then used to refill
tanks at Brazilian fuel pumps (see Pictures of
the Future, Spring 2009, p. 90).
The Alto Alegre company is family-owned,
a tradition among many Brazilian sugar mills.
But changes are now occurring at a brisk pace;
international energy companies are buying
their way into the market and building larger
and more efficient production sites, and these
new plants are increasingly using automation
and state-of-the-art technology. Candido da
Silva points to the other side of the Parana-
panema River, which separates the states of
Paraná and São Paulo. A few kilometers away,
40 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 you can see the outlines of another sugar mill.
“That mill was bought by a Norwegian compa-
ny recently. If we don’t grow, that will happen
to us too,” says the manager of the Santo Iná-
cio mill.
Whether or not it is sustainable to produce
large amounts of fuel from crops is sometimes
a subject of heated debate. One thing, at least,
is clear: Biofuel is currently being produced in
Brazil more efficiently than anywhere else in
the world — because of efficient production
methods, and not least because of the blazing
sun. But comparisons with other countries im-
ply that sugar alone won’t satisfy Brazil’s grow-
ing hunger for energy. For the sake of compar-
ison, a U.S. resident today consumes more
than six times as much energy as a Brazilian. Six-Hour Blackout. But Brazil is catching up
with U.S. energy demand. The affluence and
the demands of the growing middle-class —
which is now said to include half of the popu-
lation — are rising steadily. Using a rule of
thumb, observers expect energy demand in
emerging markets to increase by about one
percentage point more than the rate of eco-
nomic growth. The Brazilian economy grew by
about 7.5 percent in 2010; electricity demand
grew by slightly less than eight percent. The
electrical grid is already overloaded, and insuf-
ficient production capacity is setting the stage
for blackouts.
In 2009, for instance, a blackout crippled
São Paulo for six hours, resulting in economic
losses totaling about $2.5 billion, according to
an estimate by Gilberto Schaefer of Siemens
Energy in Brazil. One year later, the lights went
out in parts of eight states in the northeast of
the country. In view of all this, the 333 sugar
mills in the states of São Paulo and Paraná can
clearly help in the struggle against blackouts.
They can produce not just sugar and alcohol
but electricity as well — something the mill in
Santo Inácio is already doing.
The idea is a perfect example of how to use
resources efficiently. It begins with sugar pro-
duction itself. In several stages, sugar cane is
cut, shredded, and crushed. But in the past,
the residue that remained after pressing,
known as “bagasse,” was considered refuse to
be burned under the open sky at the mills.
That is no longer the case, however. “We can’t
afford to just squander the sugarcane stalks
anymore,” says Candido da Silva, pointing to a
Sugar, Oil and Inventive Minds
The Next Economy | Research in Brazil
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 41
the south of Brazil, near Curitiba, in 2011.
MSCs are also a perfect example of so-called
S.M.A.R.T. (simple, maintenance friendly, affordable, reliable, and timely to market)
products, such as the very affordable, locally-
produced capacitors that are perfectly matched
to the needs of market segments at the basic
level. Indeed, to an ever-increasing extent,
such products are being developed in emerg-
ing economies (see Pictures
of the Future, Spring 2011,
p. 56). Specialists at Siemens Cor-
porate Technology in Ger-
many have helped to further
optimize MSCs. As a result,
higher power ratings are now
possible without increasing the capacitors’ di-
mensions. What’s more, Siemens Manage-
ment Consulting has helped to formulate a
business plan for the production, sale and dis-
tribution of MSCs, as well as to develop a proj-
ect schedule. “For this solution, we’re going to
manage all the international business from
Brazil,” says Tiburcio. Several export orders have been received.
Also, the power capacitor factory in Brazil has
Sugar Power Plants for São Paulo. One sug-
ar cane-based power plant is great, but how
about a network of such plants? Such a setup,
which is also known as a virtual power plant, is
an idea Siemens engineers are now examin-
ing. “If we turn more sugar mills in the state of
São Paulo into power producers and link them
to the grid, we could provide an additional 4.5
gigawatts,” says Schaefer. For the sake of com-
parison, São Paulo’s total electricity demand is
approximately 30 gigawatts. The strategy of combining multiple small
power plants into clusters has advantages.
Most sugar mills produce only about 30
megawatts, and the investments required for
connecting them to the grid would be dispro-
portionately high if each mill had to bear them
individually. But if neighboring plants are connected to
one another through mini grids, the connec-
tion costs for each individual plant are re-
duced. “If we also integrate small, flexible nat-
ural gas power plants and small hydropower
plants into the grid, we could raise the amount
of power generated by renewable sources to
almost nine gigawatts — and it would be close
to customers in São Paulo,” adds Schaefer.
But such risks, along with the costs associ-
ated with manual inspections of individual
transformers at fixed maintenance intervals,
are rapidly diminishing. Siemens customers
can now have their transformers monitored
automatically around the clock. Temperature
and output measurements, for instance, are
sent via Internet to a Siemens server; and an
analysis and evaluation of these values is for-
warded to the customer twice per day via fax
or e-mail. “We’re online doctors for transform-
ers,” says Scaquetti. “We can recommend that
customers leave their transformers in service
longer than planned if they’re in good shape.
But we can also warn them — for example, by
telling them that if they don’t do something
immediately, there will be problems in the next
30 days.” This solution is now being used to
monitor over 120 transformers. The fact that it
pile of bagasse as high as a house. He adds:
“Now we burn this waste in a controlled way,
and using two 35-megawatt steam turbines,
we generate electricity that we can feed back
into the grid. We get about 170 reals per
megawatt-hour.” That’s the equivalent of
about €80. The company’s initial investment in power
generation equipment was amortized within
two years through income from electricity
sales. The majority of the equipment needed,
including a power substation, frequency con-
verter, and process automation for sugar and
alcohol production, was supplied by Siemens.
Siemens even developed a steam turbine —
which is widely used in Brazil — specifically for
this application in sugar factories. And it was
able to cut the turbine’s price compared to al-
ternative models by 30 percent (see Pictures of
the Future, Spring 2009, p. 88).
That would practically rule out the possibility
of blackouts caused by overloads, such as the
one that occurred in 2009.
Not far from São Paulo, in the city of Jundi-
aí, Carlos Tiburcio, an employee of Siemens
Energy, is working on another idea for stabiliz-
ing the power grids in Brazil and other emerg-
ing markets. “Of course, you can simply ex-
pand the electrical grid, but that takes time; it’s
also very expensive,” says Tiburcio. His cost-saving alternative involves me-
chanically switched capacitors (MSC) — in sim-
ple terms, a cabinet full of capacitors. As soon
as these capacitors are switched on or off me-
chanically, they can absorb or release energy in
the blink of an eye. In other words, they can
act as buffers for electricity. The MSCs can thus
rapidly balance out fluctuations before the latter jeopardize the stability of the grid. The
first MSCs from Siemens entered service in been established as a worldwide provider of
capacitor banks for Siemens projects. In other
words, the MSCs are a Brazilian innovation that
is successfully entering the global marketplace.
Dangerous Explosions. Schaefer’s colleagues
in Jundiaí are also working to make the Brazil-
ian power supply more efficient. Their solution
extends the service life of transformers and re-
duces maintenance costs. “Energy providers in
Brazil have to spend a lot of money on new
power plants. So if they can cut maintenance
costs and minimize transformer failures, there
is more left over to invest in renewable ener-
gies,” says David Scaquetti of Siemens Energy.
“Transformers rarely break down, but if any-
thing does go wrong, then it goes wrong in a
big way,” Scaquetti adds. That can lead not
just to power failures, but also to the potential
for dangerous explosions, he says. Siemens’ customers can now have their transformers monitored
automatically around the clock.
42 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 Prof. Brito Cruz, 55, has
been Scientific Director of
the Fundação de Amparo à
Pesquisa do Estado de São
Paulo (FAPESP) — an agency
that intends to boost innovation and promote research and development
in the Brazilian state of São
Paulo — since 2005. From
2002 to 2005, Cruz was
President of the renowned
Brazilian university UNI-
CAMP, where he earned his
PhD in physics. He earned
his bachelor’s degree at the
Instituto Tecnológico de
Aeuronáutica. Prof. Cruz has
worked for various research
organizations, including
AT&T Bell Labs in New Jersey.
Innovation: The Key to Generating Brazil’s economy grew by 7.5 percent in
2010. If the country keeps up this pace it
could become one of the world’s top five
economies in 20 years. Today, Brazil
mainly exports raw materials. What role
do research and development play in the
Brazilian economy?
Cruz: Only a small one, unfortunately. The
universities are doing good work. Around
12,000 doctorate degrees are awarded in
Brazil every year, and Brazilian researchers
publish about 30,000 scientific articles in in-
ternational publications. An area where there’s
still a problem is the creation and use of rele-
vant innovations in business. There’s still in-
sufficient communication between academia
and the business community, so a lot of po-
tential remains unexploited. Companies and
universities need to talk to each other more
and do so in a more structured manner.
I agree. There’s no doubt that we Brazil-
ians are innovative. Just take a look at the in-
dustries for renewable energy sources or avia-
tion, for example. Our work there is definitely
world class. But we are still finding it very diffi-
cult on the whole to transform innovations
into successful products. This is due in part to
the conditions under which entrepreneurs
have to work. For example, Brazil ranked
127th in the World Bank’s Doing Business In-
dex for 2010 — between Mozambique and
Tanzania. Entrepreneurs have to deal with too
many regulations, prohibitions, and obliga-
tions. Business people call this drawback the
“custo Brazil,” the “Brazilian surcharge.”
Why is it so difficult to turn an idea into
an innovative product in Brazil?
It has to do with our history. Until the
1980s our country’s top economic objective
was to replace expensive imports with local
products. High import tariffs and barriers re-
duced competition for local goods, making it
easier for them to hold their own in the mar-
ket. Unfortunately, it also enabled low-quality
The Next Economy | Interview
Brazilian products to become successful. It certainly wasn’t a recipe for top quality, and it didn’t serve as an incentive for innovation. A period of great economic uncertainty began
in the 1980s, when inflation skyrocketed. Back
then, a company benefited more from hiring a
clever accountant who was good at planning
the cash flow than from recruiting an innova-
tive engineer. Many companies are just now
slowly learning how important innovations
There are also some very concrete ob-
stacles. They include the fact that many com-
panies have innovative technologies and a fea-
sible business plan but don’t have access to
the necessary capital. This problem is further
exacerbated by Brazil’s very high interest rates.
What’s more, people whose business idea has
failed often don’t get a second chance in
Brazil. By contrast, if you fail in the U.S., peo-
ple don’t immediately consider you a loser;
they believe you’ve gained valuable experi-
ence. The attitude of many Brazilians — par-
ticularly the younger ones — is problematic.
Many of them think it’s more desirable to get a cushy job at a government ministry than to
establish one’s own company. Innovation be-
gins in your head.
What kinds of problems have you experi-
enced in setting up a business in Brazil?
Ozires Silva:
Recently we tried to launch a
new company whose products were a natural
latex-based skin cream and pharmaceutical
applications. Two researchers at a university in
São Paulo had contacted me in 2002 and told
me that latex contains special proteins that
can slow down the aging of skin and acceler-
ate the healing of wounds. Even though I now
hold several international patents, the banks
refused to give us any money. Instead, my
friends and I have had to pool our savings and
talk to investors from the U.S. The major diffi-
culty for the company is the lack of investment
was devised in Brazil is no coincidence, Sca-
quetti believes. Energy providers here must op-
erate even more economically than in the U.S.
or Europe, he says. They are therefore even
more interested in making systematic use of
any available opportunity to reduce costs —
without sacrificing safety. More and more
Brazilians agree that careful use of resources is
crucial for the economic development of their
country. “Sustentabilidade” — sustainability —
has become something of a voguish word
used by an increasing number of politicians
(see Pictures of the Future, Fall 2010, p. 47).
Since new oil reserves were discovered in
2007, however, Brazil must now deal with a
seductive abundance too. Located off the
coast of Rio de Janeiro is the Tupi oil field,
which could hold up to eight billion barrels of
oil. But the oil is buried deep underground —
in some instances, it is located more than five
kilometers below the ocean floor. Reaching it
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 43
More Value in Brazil
Prof. Ozires Silva, 81, is
president of Unimonte, a
renowned private university
in the state of São Paulo. He
helped establish Embraer, a
Brazilian aircraft manufac-
turer that has been interna-
tionally successfully for
decades. Silva has served as
chairman of the Boards of
Management of energy
company Petrobras and the
airline Varig. He has also
served as Brazil’s Minister of
Infrastructure. Silva studied
aviation engineering at the
Instituto Tecnológico de
Aeuronáutica and was a pilot in the Brazilian air force for four years.
I once had my own small company,
when I was 19. With my partners we were the
first to commercially make lasers in Brazil, and
we even sold a few. To some extent, it was a
bit of tinkering around, of course, and I gave it
up when I began to study. But it allowed me to
make enough money as a student to buy a car.
Had the economic climate been different back
then, I might not have pursued a career in aca-
demia but instead tried to become an entre-
What sorts of things can Brazil do to be-
come more innovative?
There are some very specific things that
we can do. For example, we can look at target-
ed subsidies and tax incentives. It would make
sense to support Brazilian companies a bit
with start-up subsidies in areas where they
have an advantage. I’m thinking here of com-
mercial use of the biodiversity in the Amazon
region by the pharmaceuticals industry, for ex-
ample. Other possibilities include the develop-
ment of innovative technologies that could
move us forward in the area of bioenergy or
make offshore oil drilling more efficient. The
same applies to tax incentives, which should
make it easier for companies to invest more in
The aviation university where I studied
is an example of how governments can suc-
cessfully invest in education. Without this uni-
versity and its graduates, we would never
have been able to establish Embraer, which is
now one of the most successful companies in
Brazil. Nevertheless we have to get to the root
of the problem and improve education in gen-
eral — from elementary school all the way up
to university level. For example, there simply
aren’t enough foreign professors and students
in our country. Believe it or not, for years
many Brazilian colleges were not allowed to employ professors from abroad. That was
one of the results of the protectionist mentality. What role do big international companies
play with regard to research and develop-
ment in Brazil?
Foreign companies often bring their
highly developed innovation culture to our
country, and in this way they serve as role
models for Brazilian businesses. They also do
this by showing how investments in innova-
tion can boost profits. A culture of innovation
can be communicated, for example, when in-
ternational companies work closely with local
suppliers, or if people change employers and
bring a lot of informal knowledge to their new
jobs. More than half of the money spent on re-
search and development in Brazil comes from
international companies such as Siemens.
We must also create innovative compa-
nies of our own that can succeed on the world
market. And I’m not talking about firms that
extract raw materials out of the ground and
ship them abroad. We need to generate more
value within the country, but that isn’t possi-
ble without innovation.
After achieving success with aircraft
manufacturer Embraer, in which industry
do you expect Brazil to achieve its next
big global hit?
Probably in information technology and health. It would obviously be great if our
country further expanded its exploration of
our very well known biodiversity.
Which location is better for conducting
research, São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro?
Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in
the world and I was born there. We Brazilians
joke that if you live in Rio, during your working
hours you think about where you will enjoy
yourself afterwards. In São Paulo, on the other
hand, you think about work while you’re en-
joying yourself. But joking aside, both of these
cities are strong centers of innovation that will
complement each other.
Interview by Andreas Kleinschmidt
means drilling through several layers of rock
and a corrosive layer of salt — an ideal chal-
lenge for innovative engineers. As a result, Rio
de Janeiro is becoming a global center for re-
search into technologies for the recovery of oil
using drilling equipment at the bottom of the
sea at extreme depths (see p. 109). In view of this, in 2012 Siemens will open
its own research and development center spe-
cializing in this field at the Parque Tecnológico
do Rio in Rio de Janeiro, on an island known as
Ilha do Fundão, in the middle of Guanabara
Bay. Professor Segen Estefen already has his
office on the island. He directs COPPETEC, the
private-sector branch of the Universidade
Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Among other
things, COPPETEC facilitates projects between
private companies and the university, and is
seen as a driving force behind the technology
park. “Oil opens up a new path for us,” says Estefen. “But we also have to explore the vari-
he deep sea is a remote and forbidding
place. It’s cold and dark. Blind, pale crabs
skitter across the sea floor and ghostly trans-
parent fish float through the water, thousands
of meters below the surface. At these depths
the water pressure is immense, amounting to
several hundred bar. Slowly but surely, mankind
is advancing into this realm, because large de-
posits of oil and natural gas can be found be-
neath the sea floor. The International Energy
Agency estimates that global energy demand
will increase by at least one third until 2035,
with growth primarily being driven by develop-
ments in China and other emerging markets.
Renewable sources of energy alone are not ex-
pected to be able to cover this demand. As oil and gas reserves dwindle on land, in-
terest in the deep sea is steadily increasing. In
2007, 1.4 billion tons of oil were pumped up
by offshore facilities worldwide, accounting
for a relatively large share of about 37 percent
of total annual output. The situation is similar
for natural gas. Most offshore facilities are locat-
ed in comparatively shallow waters, where the
average depth is just under 100 meters. But
the oil and gas industry is gradually venturing
into deeper and deeper waters.
Subsea systems are not only safer than conventional oil and gas extraction processes;
they are also more effective. For example, they
can service more than one well at once. 44 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 ous branches we encounter on this path. In
concrete terms, that means that we have to
take the technologies associated with oil ex-
traction and further develop them. The goal
must be to turn them into independent fu-
ture industries. For example, we must push
the boundaries forward in the fields of mate-
rials technology, smart grid technology, and
robotics,” he says.
From the moment the technology park was
founded, there was huge interest in its land.
“We’ve allocated ten percent of the island to
corporate research centers,” says Maurício
Guedes, director of the technology park.
“That’s 350,000 square meters in all, but we
very quickly had more interested parties than
available space.” Part of the site is reserved for
a high-rise in which small, innovative compa-
nies can rent space and grow. “In order to en-
sure an appropriately diverse, innovative cli-
mate, we need areas for both small and large
projects,” he says. Siemens is devoting itself to
the latter — in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil as a
A Siemens R&D Center in Rio. Between
now and 2016, Siemens will invest $600 mil-
lion in the country. The company’s Rio R&D
center alone involves an investment of $50
million. At least 800 people will be employed
there, around 150 of whom will be working in
research and development within the next
three years. Some of these people will come
from Chemtech, a fully-owned Siemens sub-
sidiary. Chemtech has been involved in Petro-
bras projects for many years and was named
Brazil’s most innovative company in 2009 (see
p. 111). “At Chemtech, we have a great deal of ex-
pertise in software development, in planning
refineries, and in supplying equipment for off-
shore projects,” says company CEO Daniel
Moczydlower. “For example, we have supplied
instrumentation and monitoring systems for
oil platforms.” In the future, his team will form
part of an international network of innovation
and will work with Siemens in places such as
Norway and Houston to develop subsea solu-
tions (see p. 108). All in all, Siemens’ prospects in Brazil are
bright. One major challenge, however, is
finding enough people for its new projects.
The salaries of researchers and engineers are
rising all the time, and their private-sector
compensation is already five times higher
than the income of doctoral students. In-
stead of studying for a doctorate, many stu-
dents therefore go straight to work for com-
panies. Giovanni Fiorentino, Chairman for Latin
America at consulting firm Bain has this to say
of the competition for talent in Rio: “It’s a
huge challenge because everybody is com-
peting for the same resources.” And he
doesn’t mean sugar or oil, but well-trained
specialists — who may turn out to be Brazil’s
most valuable resource. Andreas Kleinschmidt
Much of Brazil’s Oil is Five Km beneath the Sea Floor
Brazil’s Tupi field (above, right) may hold up to 8 billion barrels of oil. Extraction will require new
technologies. Petrobras (below right) is working
with other companies to develop solutions. Ocean
0 m
”Post-salt” layer”
Salt layer
“Pre-salt” layer
1000 m
2000 m
3000 m
4000 m
5000 m
6000 m
7000 m
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 45
The Next Economy | Oil and Gas Production
Most subsea deposits are still extracted
from the surface. Compressors and pumps on
the decks of platforms and drill ships press oil
and natural gas out of reservoirs and pump it
up from the sea floor through kilometer-long
pipes. After reaching the surface, the oil is
cleaned and processed. But according to experts it would be much
more profitable and safer if the extraction sys-
tems were not located on drilling rigs and plat-
forms that are susceptible to storms, but in-
stead directly on the sea floor. Not only could
deposits be exploited more easily if pumps and
compressors were located closer to boreholes;
the mixture of oil, sand, and water could also
be cleaned and processed at the source. In addition, such subsea installations would
not only require less extraction technology
than do surface platforms but could cover a
larger area. A drilling rig has a limited radius in
which it can extract fuel. If all its associated
pumps and compressors were located on the
sea floor instead, oil could be pumped out by a
central extraction system from numerous bore-
holes in a wide radius and then pumped up to
the surface. Such a system would reduce the
number of pumping stations required and
therefore significantly lower the risk of leaks.
The processing of oil and gas in the deep sea
already generates slightly more than $20 bil-
lion in sales, and Siemens estimates that this
market could double by 2020. A Grid for the Sea Floor. “As specialists for
power supply and transmission systems, we
are in the process of developing a complete
subsea power grid with which subsea process-
ing equipment can be controlled and supplied
with electricity,” says Atle Strømme, Senior
Vice President and Head of Subsea Solutions at
Siemens Energy. Siemens also plans to develop compressors
suited for deep sea use. In such a deep sea elec-
tricity supply system, all of the electrical devices
for controlling pumps and compressors would
be located close to one another right on the
sea floor. Such a system would primarily in-
clude transformers, variable speed drives, and
switchgear. Although such a complete subsea system is
not yet fully developed, Siemens has already
supplied individual components for underwater
applications. Since the late 1990s Siemens has
supplied transformers for use at a depth of
1,000 meters off the Brazilian coast. However,
power supply systems are still generally found
on platforms or on land, depending on the loca-
tion of the oil and gas deposits. Only a few
components are installed on the sea floor.
However, compact facilities on the sea floor
would have substantial advantages, since they
would require only a single supply line to
transmit electricity to the area in question.
“Components would be attached to a common
template on the sea floor,” says Bjørn Einar
Brath, Senior Vice President at Siemens Ener-
gy. “They could then be centrally monitored
and supplied with electricity.” With the help of an optical data cable, a
subsea facility could also be operated and con-
trolled from a service station on land. In addi-
tion, the cable could be used to transmit data
from numerous surveillance sensors, enabling
high-tech equipment to continuously monitor
the system. “The template concept would be
very beneficial in terms of maintenance,” says
Brath. “In such a situation, Remote Operated
Vehicles (ROV) could safely disassemble indi-
vidual components on the standard template.”
Over the next few years Siemens plans to
develop a subsea grid to prepare it for every-
The Call of the Deep
Due to growing demand for fossil fuels, oil and gas companies are increasingly moving into the deep sea.
Here, extraction would be more efficient and safer if production facilities were located on the sea floor.
Siemens wants to provide reliable power systems supporting extraction technology making this possible. 46 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 day use. The first practical test of a complete
system is scheduled to begin by early 2013,
with full commercial availability planned for
2014. Until then, the main task will be to prop-
erly seal components against water intrusion
and protect them against the tremendous
pressures found on ocean floors.
With this in mind, Siemens has entered into
a partnership with several key energy compa-
nies lead by Chevron but also including Statoil,
Petrobras, Exxon and Shell to develop a deep
sea power grid to supply oil pumps and gas
compressors with exactly the right operating
voltage. The core components will be filled
with oil to offset the water pressure. Frequency converters and other compo-
nents are usually installed in casings on land
before they are lowered into the water. Al-
though this approach works well in shallow
seas, a conventional air-filled container has to
be very large to withstand the pressures at a
depth of several thousand meters. By contrast,
a frequency converter within an oil-filled hous-
ing is much easier to handle. The Deepwater Market. Because Siemens re-
gards deep sea production as a promising mar-
ket, it acquired Bennex and Poseidon, two medi-
um-sized Norwegian subsea companies about a
year ago. Bennex, which is based in Bergen, has
specialized in manufacturing electrical compo-
nents, cables, and connections for use at great
depths. Poseidon, which has its headquarters
in Stavanger, is an engineering company that
specializes in subsea assignments. Among oth-
er things, it modifies technologies for a range
of underwater applications. The companies are now working together
to plan a subsea grid in detail. And far more is
at stake than just big components. At great
depths, even minor details can make a huge
difference. Experts from Bennex and Poseidon
are highly skilled in developing solutions for
deep sea environments. Their company’s product
range includes water tight titanium connections,
durable power cables with a
copper core, glass-fiber re-
inforced epoxy casings, and
doubly secured contacts
with rubber seals and pro-
tective covers made of stain-
less steel. In March 2012,
Siemens announced that it is
acquiring the Connectors and Measurements
Divsion of Expro Holdings UK. The unit engi-
neers and manufactures subsea components
such as cable connectors, sensors and measur-
ing devices. This equipment forms a crucial
part of the power grid. These electrical connec-
tors enable both power transmission and com-
munication on subsea installations.
But even a power electrical supply system is
not enough to extract raw materials. That’s why
Siemens also offers a very robust compressor for
transporting gas. Known as the STC-ECO, the
device was initially conceived for use on land.
But since 2006 it has been used to pump natu-
ral gas from a field in the Netherlands into the
country’s supply network. The fact that the ma-
chine doesn’t need any seals makes it ideal for
use in the deep sea. Unlike conventional com-
pressors, where the drive motor and the natural
gas compressor are separate, STC-ECO’s key
components are located in the same capsule.
The motor is usually connected to the com-
pressor housing by a drive shaft. As a result,
the location where the shaft penetrates the
housing has to be reliably sealed. The STC-
ECO, by contrast, doesn’t need any seals and is
therefore ideally suited for deep sea use. “High reliability is essential underwater,” says
Brath. Repairs require special ships, which are
extremely expensive. Components therefore
must be able to operate nonstop and without
any defects. The STC-ECO, for example, is de-
signed to operate under water around the clock
for at least five years without any maintenance.
The system operated by Siemens in the
Netherlands already meets these requirements.
And its bearings do not need lubrication with
oil. This is important, because an oil change is
impossible on the sea floor. Instead, the sys-
tem uses electrically excited magnetic bearings
in which the shaft effectively “floats.” Improve-
ments in the reliability of the bearings’ electri-
cal control are now planned, so that subsea
operation will become even more reliable.
Touchdown bearings made of small ceramic
balls that catch the shaft in the event that the
magnetic control fails are also to be further op-
timized. The complete system will thus be sub-
jected to even more intensive stress tests. It
will take at least three years of development
and testing before the system is ready for deep
sea use.
Oil extraction at great depths is more expen-
sive than comparable operations on land. But
subsea facilities can improve the exploitation
of gas and oil fields, thus substantially increas-
ing profits and reducing costs. That’s reason
enough to expand the company’s research ac-
tivities in this field. Siemens has established part-
nerships with government research institutes in
Singapore and Brazil and has set up its own labs
in Houston, Texas, and Trondheim, Norway. “We
are not only focusing on the technology,” says
Strømme. “Training is also a major concern. After
all, only a few engineers worldwide currently
specialize in subsea applications.” Tim Schröder
Siemens’ STC-ECO subsea compressor
has to operate underwater for at least
five years without maintenance.
Future seafloor extraction facility. To ensure reliability, subsea systems will require the sort of expert engineering featured in the STC-ECO compressor (above) and cooling technology from Siemens inventor Wolfgang Zacharias.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 47
razil has been experiencing rapid econom-
ic growth for years. In 2011, according to a
report issued in December of that year by the
London-based Centre for Economics and Busi-
ness Research, it overtook the UK to become
the world’s sixth-largest economy. The discov-
ery of new oil deposits is contributing to this
trend, enabling Brazil to make substantial in-
vestments in new infrastructure — especially
power supply systems, which have long been a
weak spot in the country’s development. How-
ever, special converter stations and high-per-
formance transformers are still needed for
high-voltage direct current transmission lines
(HVDC), which transport energy across large
distances (see Pictures of the Future,Fall 2011,
p. 5; Fall 2009, p. 25).
Since 2006, Siemens has been able to man-
ufacture all of the necessary components for
the country’s power transmission needs at its
own facility in Brazil. That gives the company a
major competitive edge. “Transport costs are
very high in HVDC projects,” says Tamyres
Machado, Technical Director at the Siemens
plant in Jundiaí, near São Paulo, the biggest
production facility for energy systems in South
America. The transformers alone, which step
up direct current to as much as 800,000 volts
for transmission, are almost as big as a single-
family house and weigh around 100 tons. “We
build everything here in Brazil, so we’re able to
offer a good price,” says Machado.
Local Design. Jundiaí is one of five Siemens
locations around the world that manufacture
HVDC systems. “We’re number two after
Nuremberg, Germany, in terms of know-how,”
Machado says proudly. “Brazil urgently needs
more energy — and the best way to get it is
with hydroelectric power plus HVDC.” New
“power highways” are also being planned in
Chile and other Latin American countries, and
the U.S. is expanding its use of this technology
as well. “We’re manufacturing two transform-
ers for a planned HVDC link between New York
and New Jersey,” Machado says.
Machado first had to set up a local team to
develop the expertise required for this sophisti-
cated technology. This team consisted of a
group of experienced Siemens specialists, some
of them from Germany, as well as Brazilian ex-
perts and talented and motivated young profes-
sionals. “It’s becoming more and more difficult
to find qualified technical personnel, which is
why we’re increasingly training people our-
selves,” says Carlos Tiburcio, Director of Power
Transmission Sales at Siemens in São Paulo.
The Jundiaí plant has therefore set up in-
ternship programs and established partner-
ships with technical colleges and universities
in order to ensure that the workforce remains
completely up to date. This approach also in-
cludes sending employees to headquarters in
Germany. Machado sent 25 engineers to work
at the plant in Nuremberg for two to three
years in order to prepare them for their first
project — a new HVDC link between the Span-
ish mainland and the island of Majorca. The
project was launched in 2009. The team built converter stations for the
Cometa line, which is now transporting energy
produced from mainland wind, solar, and hy-
droelectric power plants to Majorca, thereby
covering a large portion of the island’s electric-
ity requirements. The Majorca project, which
transmits 400 megawatts at 250 kilovolts, was
relatively small by international standards, but
it nevertheless served as a good pilot project
for setting up the required manufacturing ca-
pacity in Brazil and building complex test fields
for transformers.
The Brazilian facility originally utilized
HVDC technology from Siemens in Nuremberg.
“But our engineers have also been working on
their own developments and making adjust-
ments in order to meet the specific needs of lo-
cal markets,” Tiburcio explains. “In some cases,
these changes have almost led to the creation
of a completely new product design.” Brazil is an exceptional case because of the
long distances over which its electricity must
be transmitted. One planned project involves
two parallel lines for moving a total of 11 gi-
gawatts of power across more than 2,000 kilo-
meters — which would set a new world record.
“The operation of such parallel transmission
lines and the converter stations at both ends
must be carefully coordinated in order to en-
sure grid stability,” Tiburcio explains. Siemens
facilities for HVDC technology in Nuremberg,
Jundiaí, Kalwa (India), Zagreb (Croatia) and
Guangzhou (China) maintain constant contact
with one another in order to share information
and ensure that all of them benefit from the
new expertise each develops.
Motors that Don’t Mind Tropical Weather.
Siemens is also investing in new facilities in
Colombia in the north of South America,
which has undergone rapid economic growth
over the last few years and is considered to be
Booming nations such as Brazil and Colombia are transforming themselves from raw materials suppliers to manufacturers of high-tech products. Siemens is continually expanding its presence in
these countries by creating efficient and high-quality products for local markets and export.
Full Steam Ahead
The Next Economy | Latin America
In Brazil, Siemens makes capacitors for HVDC transmission lines. In Columbia, the company
has produced power transformers since 1956.
48 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
an insider tip by investors. Rating agencies
have raised Colombia to “Investment Grade,”
which means the country is now viewed as a
safe place to invest. Foreign direct investment
in Colombia did in fact increase by 56 percent
in 2011. Export revenues have also reached
record levels thanks to high prices for raw ma-
terials. Siemens has been present in Colombia
since 1954. In 2009 it opened a state-of-the-
art electric motor factory in Tenjo, near the
capital, Bogotá. The facility has an extremely
efficient manufacturing system and meets all
the latest environmental standards.
The plant, which received lots of help dur-
ing its ramp-up phase from a sister facility in
Bad Neustadt, Germany, began producing
electric motors of various sizes and perform-
ance classes in May 2011. The motors can be
used in sectors ranging from food production
to the oil and gas industry. “Siemens is now the
first company in Colombia that manufactures
motors boasting the highest international effi-
ciency standards,” says Wilson Ruiz, who is re-
sponsible for industrial motor sales in Tenjo. In
addition to their lower energy use, the Colom-
bian motors also have other advantages — for
example, they’re impervious to tropical weath-
er and their voltage and dimensions meet the
requirements of local customers.
The Tenjo plant has already landed three
major orders. The first was placed by the Gras-
co Group — one of Colombia’s biggest compa-
nies — for 200 particularly robust special mo-
tors that are oscillation- and dust-resistant,
among other things. “They’re being used to re-
place older motors in pumps, mills, mixing ma-
chines, and production lines in Grasco’s oil and
butter factory,” says Ruiz. Siemens was chosen from among numer-
ous bidders because of its motors’ high effi-
ciency and their good compatibility. “Another
key point was the local support we offer,” adds
Ruiz, who stresses how enormously important
direct contact with the customer is in such situ-
ations. “Customers appreciate our local serv-
ice. Having a factory near them is a key advan-
tage,” he says. Siemens also helped Frito Lay
conduct an energy consumption study that led
the potato chip and snack manufacturer to re-
place many of its old motors with efficient
electric ones from Siemens. Cemex, an inter-
national cement manufacturer, opted for
Siemens motors mainly because of their great
reliability. “Our new motors will significantly
reduce downtime at that company’s packaging
facilities,” says Ruiz.
Energy suppliers and industry aren’t the
only booming sectors in the emerging markets
of South America; demand for healthcare solu-
tions is also rising. Siemens began manufactur-
ing entry-level X-ray machines in Brazil ten
years ago. “We decided to produce inside the
country so that we could compete locally with
aggressive pricing,” says Guilherme Marques,
Director of the Clinical Products Department at
Siemens in Brazil. A Siemens plant in São Paulo
manufactures Multix B analog X-ray machines
that are known for their flexibility and compact
design. They also deliver outstanding image
quality and minimal radiation. The devices are
sold in Brazil where they fulfill customer re-
quirements as well as price expectations. In order to meet rising demand, production
volumes will be increased in 2012. “In June,
we’ll move into a new factory in Joinville,
which will make us more competitive and will
boost local know-how. We also plan to expand
our product portfolio,” Marques reports.
Brazilian customer interest in digital X-ray tech-
nology has increased, but price has been a bar-
rier. With this in mind, Siemens’ entry-level
Multix Select DR digital X-ray machine will be
manufactured at the site. The machine will
provide an affordable digital solution that is
not only robust, but easy to operate. Further-
more, CT and MR systems for the local market
will also be produced in Joinville. To support its
local activities, but also because of its long-
term commitment to the country, Siemens in-
tends to conduct associated work at Joinville.
Development activities for local and regional
markets will increasingly be conducted on-site.
This is already the case to some extent at
Siemens’ plant in Tenjo, Colombia, although
the facility still relies on German expertise for
its new motors. Siemens has been building
transformers in Colombia since 1956 — every-
thing from small systems for power distribu-
tion to large high-performance units. Over the
last two years, the Tenjo plant has specializing
in production of distribution transformers for
renewable energy facilities. “This market is
growing rapidly, particularly in the U.S. and
Canada,” says Head of Transformer Marketing
Andrés Villate. Extreme Conditions. Colombia has large
ports on its Pacific and Atlantic coasts, which
puts it in a strategic position for exporting to
North America. Colombian engineers were
largely responsible for developing the high-
performance transformers produced in Tenjo. Their biggest challenge was the unfavor-
able weather conditions in which the units
need to operate. “Most wind farms in North
America are located in remote areas often
marked by extreme temperatures and high
winds. That means that their transformers
need to be particularly reliable,” says Villate. Specialized transformers for use in renew-
able energy generation systems are in great
demand. As Tenjo Sales Director Jairo Sandoval
reports, Siemens delivered 41 transformers to
the Flat Water wind farm in Nebraska at the
beginning of 2011. The First Light Project —
the largest solar park in Canada — has ordered
ten transformers. “These units only account for
ten percent of our production at the moment,
but that figure is sure to increase over the next
few years,” says Sandoval.
Siemens pays close attention to the envi-
ronmental compatibility of all of its products,
which is why Colombian engineers are now
testing the use of vegetable oil as a coolant
and insulating fluid for the first time in South
America. Mineral or silicone oil is normally uti-
lized for these purposes in transformers, but
the substances are harmful to the environ-
ment, which is why transformers out in the
open need to be protected against leaks. “The
oils that we’re currently testing don’t contain
any mineral oils or halogens, silicone oils, or
other problematic substances,” Villate says.
“They also stand out through their high flash
point and good dielectric properties.” State-of-
the-art, environmentally-friendly technology
and high efficiency are attributes that cus-
tomers around the world appreciate in
Siemens products — and North and South
America are no different in this regard.
Through its growing presence in local markets,
Siemens is now in a perfect position to provide
South American customers with the right solu-
tions.Ute Kehse
Transformers from Columbia (left) or X-ray Equipment from Brazil: South America’s products are in demand.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010 49
ell Children’s Medical Center of Central
Texas is the first healthcare facility in the
world to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy
& Environmental Design) Platinum Certifica-
tion from the U.S. Green Building Council.
With over 46,000 square meters, the facility,
which is located in Austin, Texas, is the largest
pediatric hospital in the region. Dell’s campus
opened in July 2007 and is part of the Seton
Family of Hospitals, the largest health-care
provider in central Texas.
Hospitals are tremendous energy users. In
fact, according to statistics furnished by the
U.S. Department of Energy in 2009, hospitals
in the U.S. required 2.5 times as much energy
and emitted 2.5 times as much carbon dioxide
as commercial office buildings.
This makes the LEED achievement all the
more significant, says Phil Risner, PE (Profes-
sional Engineer) and LEED AP (Accredited Pro-
fessional) project manager and building sys-
tems network engineer for Seton. “We had a
vision for LEED Platinum, as we sought to cre-
ate the optimum environment for our patients
as well as our employees. There was no doubt
in our minds that being green had real, posi-
tive effects on both the environment and our
healthcare delivery capability,” Risner said.
Alan Bell, AIA (American Institute of Archi-
tects) and Seton’s LEED AP director of Design
& Construction, echoed that sentiment.
“Some parts of this 169-bed facility were
opened in mid-2007. Then nearly two years
later, we received the official LEED Platinum
Certification in early 2009. To achieve this
goal, we were rated in the six key LEED cate-
gories: Sustainable Site Development, Water
Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials
and Resources, Indoor Air Quality, and Innova-
tion & Design.” Here a key issue was the con-
ception, integration, and implementation of
the building automation system (BAS).
Complete Solution. Seton selected the
Building Technologies Division of Siemens In-
dustry, Inc. to install and integrate Siemens’
APOGEE suite of building automation and con-
trols across the new facility. APOGEE is an
overall building system and energy manage-
ment solution that includes fire detection and
alarm and emergency air handling system
control. It is designed to tightly integrate sys-
tems as diverse as security access, staff com-
munications, emergency power, fire detection
and suppression, IT and, of course, lighting. In
the Dell clinic BAS monitors a range of energy
consumers, including pumps, fans, cooling
systems, hot-water systems and the 60,000-
liter therapy pool of the clinic’s rehabilitation
Austin’s subtropical weather conditions
pose a constant challenge to maintaining in-
door air quality. In view of this, Siemens BAS
closely monitors and controls Dell’s air condi-
tioning and use of outside air, as well as ad-
justing air-handling devices based on prede-
termined night setback and other occupancy
conditions. The system automatically gener-
ates daily reports on any failed setpoints or
specific location abnormalities throughout the
facility, thus helping service engineers to keep
systems running optimally while meeting reg-
ulatory requirements for air purity and quality.
BAS also controls the building’s own highly efficient 4.5 MW cogeneration unit and pro-
vides the information needed to make com-
plex energy-related decisions. As a result, sig-
nificant energy savings have already been
made. “Thanks to Siemens’ expertise, it has
been possible to introduce a range of new
technologies,” says Bell. For comparison, the
energy efficiencies achieved at Dell Children’s
currently save enough energy to power ap-
proximately 1,800 Austin homes. Right Environment for Personnel. “Unfor-
tunately, there are a lot of times that you can’t
necessarily cure an illness, but you can always
heal the soul and that’s what we try to do,”
says Sister Teresa George, Dell Children’s Vice
President and CEO. “We try to do it with staff;
we try to do it with our programs and our
work environment.“ Dell’s good reputation as a “green” hospital
attracts highly motivated and well-trained per-
sonnel — including specialized pediatricians
and nurses. Personnel fluctuation is very low.
Overall in the U.S. between ten and 15 per-
cent of healthcare employees change per
year. But the figure for Dell’s nurses is just 2.4 percent. Employee productivity is also
higher. Seton estimates that all these effects
together have resulted in savings equivalent
to an entire year’s energy bill. Steven E. Kuehn
Pediatric patients get first-class treatment at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. The facility is a leader in energy and water efficiency.
From independent power supplies and water management to fire safety and air purity controls,
hospitals require absolutely dependable systems. Thanks to building automation systems from
Siemens, Dell Children’s Medical Center of central Texas is not only exceptionally efficient, but has also become the world’s first LEED Platinum Hospital.
Exceptional Efficiency
The Next Economy | Hospitals
International companies not only serve global sales markets but also manufacture their products in many countries. At Siemens, identifying the optimal locations to place factories and thus balance the company’ global needs with those of local markets, is becoming a science.
After a structured analysis, facility planners selected Goa in India as a new manufacturing location (right). A ready-made concept for a standard electronics facility was then adapted to regional conditions. Sweet Spot Science
50 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
closer look at factors that determine cus-
tomers’ purchasing decisions, as well as mar-
ket development aspects and competitors’ be-
havior.” This can sometimes lead to an
expansion of manufacturing facilities in indus-
trialized nations — as was the case when
Siemens invested more than $350 million in
the production of state-of-the-art gas turbines
at a plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2011.
The turbines are high-end components whose
production requires skilled workers, precision
technologies, and intensive research. “All of
these requirements make the U.S. a very at-
tractive location for us to manufacture such
products competitively, because access to in-
novators is much more important here than
cheap labor,” says Eric Spiegel, CEO of Siemens
Corporation in the U.S. Success Factors. In order to identify the best
locations for future manufacturing facilities,
Siemens focuses on several key success fac-
tors. “The main factors are profitability, speed,
delivery flexibility, process quality, and innova-
tive capability,” says Kaske. Each of these fac-
tors must be weighted differently because
their importance varies depending on the cus-
tomer, sales region, and product line in ques-
tion. “The next step involves determining how
well the existing production network fits in
with these factors, as well as analyzing factors
such as dependence on development and the
existing supplier network,” says Kaske. In the
subsequent design phase, specialists develop
various network scenarios and examine their
total cost impact. “By the time the process is
over, we have several scenarios and can then
decide which ones we want to implement,” he
This is no one-time process. “It’s actually
meant to become part of a continual footprint
management system — in other words, a reg-
ularly scheduled monitoring procedure that re-
veals areas where we can make improvements
as we go through the annual strategic plan-
ning process.” Although this method takes up
more time and resources than a reactive ap-
proach, Kaske is convinced that the benefits
outweigh any drawbacks: “With this approach,
we can not only make the entire network more
flexible and effective but also take long-term
trends into account in the early planning
ompanies often used to be very casual
about deciding where to build their facto-
ries,” says Jörg-Henning Kaske, who is respon-
sible for Manufacturing Standards & Guidance
at Siemens Corporate Technology (CT). “You
could even go so far as to say that production
location decisions were often made on the ba-
sis of anticipated wage cost savings — but
that’s simply not enough any more.” These
days, global production networks and the dis-
tribution of manufacturing centers need to be
carefully planned and closely aligned with cor-
porate strategy and market and customer re-
quirements. “That’s why we developed a new
approach for a global manufacturing footprint
design that systematically examines the exist-
ing network and is geared to our customers’ re-
quirements,” says Kaske
A key focus here is to identify the weak
points in conventional network planning. “Up
until recently, networks were usually adjusted
selectively in response to substantial cost-re-
duction pressures,” Kaske explains. “In such
cases, a location in Europe would be closed
and a new one built in Asia, for example. The
new technique, on the other hand, takes a
The Next Economy | Facility Planning
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 51
planning concept made us faster and also al-
lowed us to precisely predict costs and remain
within budget,” says Schumann. However, he is also aware of the drawbacks
associated with generic factory types. “Al-
though our concept does harbor the risk that
we might overlook certain unusual solutions,
the benefits of rapid planning and precise cost
forecasts generally outweigh that risk.”
The new facility in Goa will play a key role in
the Energy Automation production network.
For one thing, the devices manufactured there
will be exported to emerging markets, where
they will support a number of countries as they
seek to establish smart grid infrastructures
(see Pictures of the Future,Spring 2011, p.22).
“If you want to integrate renewable energy
into a national grid in a meaningful way, you
need an intelligent network and computer-
controlled protection equipment to handle the
output fluctuations this type of energy is sus-
ceptible to,” says Schumann. And there is another reason why Goa is so
important: A development department in the
facility will be used to create customized
“SMART” products for the Asian market, where-
whose transmission capacity will be more than
double that of the old 800-kV network. Long-term plans call for Goa to expand into
a global production center for emerging mar-
kets. “The main plant in Berlin will still manage
network coordination between manufacturing
locations in the UK and China,” says Schu-
mann. “For example, Berlin will ensure that the
same machinery is used at all facilities and that
product data remains consistent at all facto-
ries.” This will make it possible to quickly com-
pensate for a production shutdown at one lo-
cation by having a second facility pick up the
slack. Even so, development activities in Goa
will give the plant there extensive freedom
when it comes to manufacturing specific prod-
uct series for emerging markets.
Kaske believes Siemens will be in a strong
position once the new approaches have been
refined and applied. “Strategically planned dis-
tribution of manufacturing facilities, rapid and
economical on-site implementation on the ba-
sis of sample factory types, and global produc-
tion with uniform standards —” he says, “these
will be the essential elements of the network
of the future.” Nils Ehrenberg
another group worked largely independently
on the layout — in other words, the design of
the plant’s interior. This sometimes caused
problems when the two sides came together
to coordinate activities.”
Siemens operates over 320 factories world-
wide, which means it has a wealth of experi-
ence in planning and construction. “Despite all
our know-how, we still had to repeatedly rein-
vent the wheel — and there was always the
danger that we’d make the same mistakes all
over again,” says Schumann. Siemens’ new planning concept has elimi-
nated this threat. The company’s planning ex-
perts intend to utilize five basic sample factory
types in the future, including facilities for wind
energy equipment manufacturing and elec-
tronics production, for example. “In Goa, we took an existing standard elec-
tronics plant design off the shelf, so to speak,
and adapted it to regional conditions and re-
quirements,” says Schumann. Among other
things, this meant taking into consideration lo-
cal building materials and technologies and
adapting building systems to suit local environ-
mental conditions.
stages. This, in turn, reduces the risk of having
to implement costly restructuring measures.” The design of a company’s footprint is the
first step in the creation of an optimized pro-
duction network. “But we also need to improve
our implementation, which is why we’ve re-
structured our on-site facility planning
process,” Kaske explains. The new concept was first applied in the
city of Goa on the west coast of India, where
Siemens Energy Automation built a new plant
for manufacturing power-grid circuit breakers
that automatically shut down network seg-
ments in order to prevent damage to the grid
or transformers. Sebastian Schumann was re-
sponsible for putting the concept into practice
in Goa. “Up until now, conventional facility
planning involved two processes that ran in
parallel,” says Schumann. “Siemens Real Estate
handled the planning of the building, while
“The entire process was managed by a sin-
gle project team — a feature that made coordi-
nation between exterior building and interior
systems planning more efficient and enabled
quicker decision making,” says Schumann. Goa
was chosen after an extensive analysis of the
location. An important aspect here was the
fact that Siemens’ Healthcare Sector already
operates a facility for manufacturing X-ray ma-
chines in Goa. As a consequence, it was possi-
ble for the new factory to utilize the existing
infrastructure. In addition, it just so happened
that Siemens already owned undeveloped
property right next to the Healthcare plant,
which greatly accelerated the planning and
construction process. Quick Construction. The facility in Goa was
completed in January 2012 — just one year af-
ter its groundbreaking ceremony. “The new
by smart stands for “simple,” “maintenance
friendly,” “affordable,” “reliable,” and “timely to
market”— and thus perfect for local and re-
gional requirements. “By manufacturing locally, our plant in Goa
not only offsets exchange rate fluctuations but
also cuts costs. Perhaps, more importantly, we
ensure that our products are adapted flexibly
to meet the different regional requirements of
our customers,” says Schumann. Just what
kind of innovative capability can be realized
when a company operates its own develop-
ment department in India is best illustrated by
the 1,200-kilovolt (kV) circuit breakers devel-
oped by the Siemens Power Transmission Divi-
sion at its facility in Aurangabad. These automated protective switches are
unique — no other comparable product can
operate at such high voltages. The unit will
help India build a 1,200-kV electricity grid
52 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
Urban infrastructures — whether for traffic and transport, energy, or buildings — are generally interlinked in many ways. As a result, even minor changes can have significant consequences. A software platform from Siemens makes it easier to manage the complexities of urban planning.
City in a Digital Nutshell
The Next Economy | Urban Planning
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 53
he screen shows a satellite picture of the
U.S. Dr. Bernd Wachmann, head of the “Sus-
tainable Cities” project at Siemens Corporate
Technology (CT), zooms in on a meadow just
outside Princeton, New Jersey. With a few clicks,
he inserts two office buildings into the image.
He plots the ground plan, adds a parking lot and
access roads — and the complex has taken
shape in the virtual realm. As Wachmann does
all this, a bar under the images he generates de-
livers data, such as the buildings’ energy con-
sumption at different times of the day and year,
how photovoltaic systems could improve their
energy balance, how many people could work in
the buildings, how their activity would impact
traffic flows and the power grid, the amount of
waste and air pollution they would produce, and
what the expected operating costs would be.
“Those are just a few of the parameters we simu-
late,” Wachmann explains. “The list can be ex-
panded to include things like pedestrian-friendli-
ness, the effects of electric vehicles on a project’s
energy balance, and even quality of life. All of
these aspects can be quantified and therefore
The software platform Wachmann uses for
this is part of the City Life Management (CLM)
project developed by CT scientists. The CLM plat-
form comes from Princeton and Munich, city
data is evaluated in Berlin and
Vienna, and Munich is responsi-
ble for infrastructure expertise.
The project develops and offers
solutions for viewing cities holis-
tically, simulating the long-term
impact of changes, and formu-
lating appropriate responses.
CLM offers urban planners a simple way to see
the potential consequences of their decisions. It
also allows the easy development of alternative
“what if…” scenarios such as changing a two-
way street into a one-way street, making a build-
ing taller, or using photovoltaic facilities to im-
prove a neighborhood’s energy balance. This
opens up new possibilities for addressing com-
plex urban planning issues in a simple and intu-
itive manner. The interrelationships between a city’s eco-
nomic, environmental, and social goals are often
extremely complex. For example, which is bet-
ter: promoting the use of electric vehicles or ex-
panding the public transport network? If you
choose the former option, you won’t reduce traf-
fic congestion but you will lower carbon dioxide
emissions — but even that is only true if the
power grid supplying the electric vehicles deliv-
ers energy from renewable sources. This, in turn,
requires a high-performance grid, which in some
cases first has to be built and must include bat-
tery-charging stations. If, on the other hand, you
choose the public transport option, you have to
be sure there are enough incentives for people
to use it. All of this is too complex for any one
person — or even many city governments — to
evaluate. But it is no problem for the CLM plat-
form. “Although our models don’t offer exact
predictions,” says Wachmann. “they are 80 per-
cent accurate. This enables them to provide a
solid foundation for decision-making for a range
of organizations, such as municipal agencies,
politicians, citizens’ initiatives, and local resi-
dents.” There are no quick fixes for entities as com-
plex as cities, and areas of friction are sure to
arise. As soon as plans for a new industrial park
or a new urban district are announced, govern-
ment agencies and citizens begin addressing the
potential impact. After initial plans are drawn up,
they pass through many — building depart-
ments, utility companies, economic and environ-
mental management offices, architectural bu-
reaus, and energy suppliers. The plans are also
usually made available for public viewing at gov-
ernment agencies. An online platform such as
CLM can save project planners a lot of trouble —
particularly if a project is contentious. Under
such circumstances, appropriate citizen partici-
pation plays a key role (p. 50).
Digitally Modeling Cities. CLM was modeled
on industrial solutions for product lifecycle
management (PLM), which centrally manages
all data on product development, production,
warehousing, and sales. This approach not
only increases transparency but also makes the
entire value creation process much more effi-
cient. Use of this innovative technology has led
to extensive cost savings, shorter development
and production times, and greater productivity
in the automotive industry (Pictures of the Fu-
ture,Fall 2011, p. 94). However, until recently,
it had not been used very much in urban plan-
ning applications. Still, Thomas Gruenewald,
Project Manager for the CLM Platform at
Siemens CT in Princeton, believes that a skill-
fully programmed platform for planning major
infrastructure projects could result in similar
successes and would also make it possible to
promote sustainability in cities.
At the moment, CT experts are focusing on
the planning phase for urban infrastructure, an
area where there’s plenty of room for improve-
ment. According to Dr. George Lo, Senior Prin-
cipal at CT in Princeton, 75 percent of the deci-
sions that determine the lifecycle costs of a
building are made before detailed plans be-
come available. Moreover, a study conducted
by the University of Texas in Austin found that
57 percent of the time invested in most con-
struction projects is wasted because initial
drafts often need to be altered. In other words,
those who wish to design sustainable urban
construction projects that meet budget and
schedule targets should make their decisions
during the drafting phase. The development of the CLM Platform was
helped by the fact that the company has many
years of experience in planning, building, and
operating water, wastewater, and energy supply systems, as well as transportation infra-
structures. “We can deal with such great com-
plexity because we know how to mathemati-
cally model the physical behavior of these
systems,” says modeling expert Tim Schenk
from Siemens CT in Munich. In addition,
Schenk and others are examining data now be-
ing made available by more and more cities
about their demographic structures and devel-
opment, energy consumption, and transport
requirements. The results can then be com-
bined with CLM to create realistic models that
A new software platform can help
cities predict the consequences of complex planning proposals.
Siemens researchers have developed a software platform that allows them to simulate construction projects and their impact (left) on traffic
and transportation systems, city power grids, and
quality of life.
54 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
ir traffic is booming all over the world, and
passenger miles are growing by five to six
percent every year. In New Delhi, the third ter-
minal of Indira Gandhi Airport was opened in
2010. In Frankfurt, Germany’s biggest trans-
portation hub, a fourth runway opened in
2011. And in the U.S., investment in “NextGen”
advanced airport infrastructures and runways
is continuing at a steady clip. To take just one
example, the international airport in Los Ange-
les, which is the sixth-largest in the world and
serves 60 million passengers annually, is being
significantly expanded. The mobility of people
and goods is also increasing on roads, rails,
and ocean routes. The International Transport
Forum estimates that global passenger traffic
in all categories of transport will triple or even
quadruple in size between 2000 and 2050 and
that the transport of goods will grow by a fac-
tor of 2.5 to 3.5 during the same period.
This tremendous increase in traffic can be
most clearly felt in large cities, which are the
recipients as well as the victims of this devel-
To function optimally, tomorrow’s traffic hubs will
need to interconnect the schedules of everything
from planes and ships to vehicle navigation systems
and public transit. Traffic control centers like Berlin’s (right) receive data from many sources. give participants a look into realistic future sce-
narios. All of this amounts to a paradigm shift, as
planners can now see almost in real time how
their decisions in one area — for instance, the
height of a building — can impact things such
as local traffic or the energy balance in a
neighborhood. The CLM working group is now negotiating
with representatives from two major projects
in China and central Europe that plan to utilize
this technology for the first time.
Simulating Quality of Life. “But that’s just the
beginning,” says Wachmann. “At the moment,
we’re also working on using key performance
indicators (KPIs) such as energy consumption,
traffic and transport volume, and carbon diox-
ide generation to derive socioeconomic indica-
tors as well.” The socioeconomic indicators
Wachmann is referring to enable an assess-
ment of quality of life, economic development,
and more. To this end, Siemens researchers are
developing an estimation model based on ex-
pert opinions and statistical studies. Quality of
life assessments depend heavily on factors
such as wages, public safety, and living condi-
tions, but cultural conditions are also taken
into account.
Local factors such as building ordinances
and energy efficiency stipulations will also be
more precisely incorporated into the simula-
tions, as will factors that extend beyond local
boundaries. These might include global cli-
mate trends, for example, since future energy
consumption in buildings will of course also be
impacted by climate change. Demographic de-
velopments will be considered as well. After
all, if a neighborhood ages, this will increase
the need for things like sidewalks with wheel-
chair-friendly ramps and disabled-only parking.
“As long as the factors remain quantifiable,
we’ll be able to model them,” says Wachmann.
The potential offered by CLM doesn’t end
with virtual planning. Not only can it be used
to conceive new neighborhoods and redesign
cities for the decades to come, but it can also
help to manage buildings and neighborhoods
after they’re completed. A few mouse clicks
will then be all it takes for planners and citizen
groups to determine, for instance, how a
neighborhood’s demand for electric vehicle
parking and charging will change if a streetcar
line is added. Hubertus Breuer
Urban Genome Project Could Spawn New Picture of Cities In order to conduct their Green City Index series of environmental studies, Siemens and the Economist Intelli-
gence Unit (see p.7 and had to analyze a huge amount of heterogeneous
data and a large number of surveys. Moreover, since then more and more information has been posted at
websites operated by cities such as Vienna, London, and Berlin, with the data covering everything from ener-
gy and the economy to art and culture. There’s so much data out there, in fact, that sustainability expert
Jonathan Fink from Arizona State University believes the time has come to decode the “urban genome.” That’s
easier said than done, though, as freely available data on a city’s socioeconomic and environmental develop-
ment continues to be organized on the basis of sectors such as transport, healthcare, and demographics.
What’s more, the information often displays great differences in terms of its quality, quantity, granularity, and
thoroughness. Siemens experts are now examining ways to collect, integrate, and interpret such data more
rapidly as part of the company’s “Sustainable Cities” lighthouse project at Corporate Technology (CT). Available
at the moment are simple, and in many cases open, programs based on data released by cities. These pro-
grams allow users to call up the current traffic situation or find out where they can drop off old clothing or
glass recyclables. More important than that, however, is the ability to quickly present a clear overview of life in
a city — whether in terms of its energy balance or in relation to its demographic or social developments. “The
challenge is to develop a coherent and complete picture of a city from diverse data sources and various de-
grees of temporal and spatial resolution,” says Dr. Axel Polleres, a computer scientist at CT in Vienna, Austria.
“This effort will eventually be supported by binding reporting standards as cities become increasingly net-
worked with one another.” A useful tool now being developed by Dr. Stefan Kluckner at CT in Graz, Austria
employs state-of-the-art image processing technology to convert conventional digital 2D images into 3D mod-
els of entire urban districts. The system records relevant scenes from overlapping viewing angles and different
points in time and then uses automated methods to combine them into a single 3D depiction. The goal here is
to use such spatially and temporally arranged data sets to help future automated analysis programs display
the current conditions in a city and subsequently use the depictions as a basis for city models and simulations.
This would make it possible, for example, to create a dynamic and continually updated Green City Index. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 55
and the “Future of Hubs” idea competition con-
ducted by the division. “Our employees sub-
mitted 140 ideas,” reports the initiator of the
project, Huschke Diekmann. The new concepts
were put on an intranet platform so that col-
leagues could evaluate and comment on
them. The ideas that were judged to be the
best all had one thing in common: They agreed
that the networking of individual modes of
transport has especially great potential.
The winning project was called “An Inter-
modal Passenger Information Platform.” It
called for the linkage of all the information
about all modes of transport within a city in a
single software solution. All the schedules of
every form of local public transport, as well as
the traffic situation on streets, would be made
available. This would make it possible to offer
an app that could be used not only to plan a
route from house to house but also to continu-
ally check all the alternative routes in real time
and get recommendations about the best one.
Siemens presented a prototype of this system
in late 2011 at the sixth National IT Summit in
Munich. The demonstration presented an “in-
termodally” traveling businessman who navi-
gates around a traffic jam using a smart phone
and the Internet. In the process, he switches
from his car to a train and then to an e-scooter
and finally reaches his destination on foot.
The contest’s second prize was awarded to
an idea for “intermodal goods transport.” On
average, it takes up to 12 hours to unload a
freight train loaded with containers. The cars
must first be decoupled from their electric lo-
comotive and then pushed by a diesel-pow-
ered locomotive to a track without an over-
head cable. A portal crane then loads the
individual containers onto trucks. According to
inventors from Siemens, the transshipment
process could be performed under the over-
head cable using a much simpler and lighter
unloading bridge, and the containers could be
moved around via a parallel track similar to a
conveyor belt. An entire freight train could be
unloaded in less than two hours and it could
opment. Because they are responsible for
about 80 percent of the world’s economic out-
put, cities are the hubs of the global mobility
network for people and goods. Just as with the
exchange of data on the Internet, hubs or
nodes are crucial to maintaining the stability of
the network as a whole. Cities have realized
this fact. In a survey commissioned by Siemens
several years ago, more than 500 mayors and
urban experts all over the world defined traffic
infrastructures as being by far the most impor-
tant factor if their respective cities were to re-
main attractive as business locations.
Ideas for Future Hubs. Does this mean that
the road and rail networks have to be continu-
ally expanded? The traffic experts who partici-
pated in the survey have other priorities.
Above all, they want to make better use of the
existing infrastructure — a step that is less ex-
pensive and more environmentally friendly.
This approach is also the focus of future sce-
narios conceived by Siemens’ Mobility Division
Major cities account for most of the world’s economic output. But they are dependent on seamless information flows in order to ensure the smooth exchange of goods within transport systems. Automation technology from Siemens makes traffic infrastructures more efficient. In the future, such systems will learn from experience and evolve into holistic traffic optimization systems.
How IT Can Boost Capacity
The Next Economy | Traffic Systems
56 Reprinted (wit updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
then continue its journey. Using similar tech-
nology, containers in seaports could also be
unloaded from ships directly onto railroad cars.
Smart containers could play a key role in the
goods transportation of the future by automat-
ically providing information about their desti-
nations and delivery dates to a logistics IT system. One Control Center for All. In Germany, a re-
search project known as the Total Airport Man-
agement Suite (TAMS), which is funded by the
Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology,
is designed to exploit the full potential of inter-
model systems. Siemens, the project’s leader,
has worked closely with the German Aero-
space Center, Stuttgart Airport, and other in-
dustrial partners on TAMS, which was complet-
ed in early 2012.
The basic idea behind TAMS is simple: Link
everything. Thus, at an airport, key factors,
such as capacity and number of take-offs and
landings should be coordinated with flight
plans and dozens of related systems, such as
the timing of refueling and luggage loading
activities, the number of people checking pass-
ports, the capacity of gate areas where planes
dock, and the destinations of catering trucks.
Today, these tasks, as well as others, are gener-
ally performed by independent service
providers. Each of these providers dispatches
its employees according to a coordinated plan,
but from its own control point. Like clockwork,
each gear wheel connects with another one —
until a major disturbance, such as a snow
storm, occurs. To date, the IT systems of serv-
ice providers have been linked at best by a
shared database. As a result, alternative plans
have to be laboriously coordinated by the
heads of operations.
Things are very different in a TAMS automa-
tion environment. Here, all service providers
are linked in a single control center that coordi-
nates all operations throughout the airport.
The IT systems of the individual companies are
linked in such a way that their employees are
supported by integrated assistance functions
when they need to make decisions. “In airports that are operating close to ca-
pacity, TAMS can increase the number of air-
plane movements per hour by about ten per-
cent,” says Dr. Christoph Meier, who is
responsible for airport IT in Siemens’ Mobility
and Logistics division. This estimate is based
on simulations carried out at the German Aero-
space Center (DLR) in Braun-
schweig. TAMS also has a
positive influence on CO
emissions. That’s because
the integration of air traffic
control means that every air-
plane rolls to its starting
point only if it can take off a
short time afterward. Lines of airplanes wait-
ing to take off can thus be almost completely
eliminated — along with associated fuel use.
Because decisions taken by air traffic control,
such as changes in the direction of take-off, no
longer come as a surprise to other operators at
an airport, punctuality simultaneously increas-
es by up to 20 percent. This results in clear eco-
nomic advantages for airlines. The European
air safety authority, Eurocontrol, estimates that
the costs that are caused by all flight delays in
Europe total as much as €1 billion annually. The results of the TAMS research project
have been so encouraging that Siemens in-
tends to offer TAMS as a product as early as
2012. Airports will then be able to buy the
complete software architecture, as well as a
control center, from Siemens.
From the passenger’s perspective, it’s cru-
cial not only to land on time but also to reach
his / her ultimate destination quickly. However,
in many cases, arriving passengers discover
that the local infrastructure has failed to keep
pace with economic growth. This can become
particularly clear if they’re taking a taxi. In
many cities, the average speed of a taxi during
rush hour is less than 20 kilometers per hour. Diekmann, the technology strategist, be-
lieves there’s no such thing as a sensible stan-
dard solution. “Every city is different,” he says.
To discover not only the quickest route, but the
one with the least environmental impact,
Dozens of parameters must be taken into ac-
count, including emission figures for different
modes of transport and lengths of traffic jams.
Solutions depend on the accuracy of data. The
data must then be registered and processed by
traffic guidance systems such as the ones
Siemens has installed in over 1,000 cities. Siemens commissioned one of the most
modern traffic guidance centers in Berlin in
2005. The flow of traffic throughout the city is
monitored with the help of video cameras and
almost 2,000 sensors, most of which are in-
duction loops embedded in asphalt. More than
1,700 traffic lights and 300 overhead sign
gantries can be controlled fully automatically
from the city’s control center based on traffic
flow and time of day. But even such high-tech
installations can be further improved through
ultramodern control technology.
Intuitive Decision-Making. A far more ad-
vanced solution is a cognitive software system
developed by Dr. Georg von Wichert, an au-
tomation expert at Siemens Corporate Technol-
ogy. von Wichert loaded the system with four
weeks’ worth of traffic data from Berlin. “In this
case, ‘cognitive’ means that the system itself
creates a model of the city’s traffic processes
and then makes decisions,” he explains. In oth-
er words, the system does not base its assess-
ment of the traffic situation on individual sen-
sor measurements and on what’s happening
Siemens researchers are developing an app that monitors all of a city’s transportation modes in real time and guides travelers to their destinations. Every city has different sources of traffic congestion and therefore
needs customized solutions. Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 57
on individual streets. Instead, it evaluates sen-
sor data within the overall urban context and
“understands” the situation as a whole. This is a
form of intelligence that people use intuitively,
that is the reason why service personnel like to
switch back and forth between programs at the
control center to get an overview.
The advantage of a cognitive system is that
it can observe complex data in parallel and
thus recognize deviations from normal conges-
tion patterns faster than a human can. Howev-
er, it must be trained. After von Wichert’s sys-
tem had completed its learning phase, it
became clear that the city’s traffic flows and
regularly-occurring congestion could be accu-
rately predicted. Special cases, such as jams re-
sulting from accidents or short-term construc-
tion sites, were also reliably detected. Using
this data, it would be possible to create an as-
sistance system as an initial step, and thus to
help control center personnel choose the best
control program for the city’s traffic lights. An additional advantage of the cognitive
system lies the fact that it’s capable of learn-
ing. “In the next step, we could generate tiny
variations in the system’s parameters,” says
von Wichert. “This would allow us to test the
reaction of the system as a whole and thus op-
timize the control programs in many small
steps without interfering with traffic flow.” More extensive tests would be able to show
to what extent the traffic in a major city could
flow more smoothly with the help of cognitive
systems. But von Wichert is convinced that in
complex situations, his learning model-based
control system will be superior to human oper-
ators in a control center. Diekmann also believes that automatic con-
trol systems will do far more than just manage
road traffic. He predicts that in coming
decades control centers for road traffic, local
public transportation systems, and even the
dispatch centers of courier and freight services
will all be interconnected. “When that hap-
pens, cities will have a nervous system that
makes it possible to comprehensively optimize
traffic over broad areas,” he predicts.
If cognitive intelligence is one day used to
coordinate all modes of transport and all trans-
port hubs, the dream of the super mobility app
might become a reality. This is how it would
work: The traveler enters any destination in
the world into the app, and the app suggests,
for example, three different travel routes that
can include any mode of transport, but in all
cases are oriented toward optimized travel
times, costs and CO
emissions. Such sugges-
tions would be based not on theoretical sched-
ules, but on current forecasts of traffic condi-
tions. If conditions change in the course of a
trip, route suggestions would be adjusted in
real time. Johannes Winterhagen
The Next Economy
In Brief
The global economy is being transformed and
making new success stories possible. In many in-
dustrial sectors, for example, future growth will
take place predominantly in emerging markets.
Siemens‘ Second Wave Emerging Countries con-
cept recognizes the increasing importance of
countries such as Colombia, Mexico, and Turkey,
where new assembly plants are being built and
new products are being developed according to
the needs of local markets. In the future, industri-
alized nations will have to be even more innova-
tive. (pp. 36, 47)
Siemens Financial Services knows how invest-
ments can be put to profitable use – even in a cri-
sis. SFS safely guides large projects through
volatile financial markets all over the world. (p. 39) Resources could become scarce. Due to the
growing demand for fossil fuels, oil and natural
gas firms are increasingly moving into the deep
sea. Deposits can be exploited more efficiently
and safely if facilities are located on the seabed
instead of on drilling platforms. Here, Siemens
plans to provide power supply systems and ex-
traction technology. (p. 44)
From independent power supplies and water
management to fire safety and air purity controls,
hospitals require absolutely dependable systems.
Thanks to building automation systems from
Siemens, Dell Children’s Medical Center of central
Texas is not only exceptionally efficient, but has
also become the world’s first LEED Platinum Hos-
pital. (p. 49)
International companies not only serve global
sales markets but also manufacture their prod-
ucts in many countries. At Siemens, identifying
the optimal locations to place factories and thus
balance the company’s global needs with those
of local markets is becoming a science. (p. 50)
Urban infrastructures — whether for traffic a
nd transport, energy, or buildings — are gener-
ally interlinked in many ways. As a result, even
minor changes can have significant conse-
quences. A software platform from Siemens
makes it easier to manage the complexities of urban planning. (p. 52) PEOPLE:
Second Wave Emerging Countries: Marianne Kiener, Corporate Development Strategy
[email protected]
Financing Infrastructure Projects:
Hans-Joachim Schulz, Siemens Financial Services
[email protected]
Subsea technologies:
Bjoern Einar Brath, Energy
[email protected]
Latin America:
Tamyres Machado, Technical Director in Jundiaí
[email protected]
Wilson Ruiz, Distribution Diesel Motors Columbia
[email protected]
Global Production Networks:
Jörg-Henning Kaske, Siemens Supply Chain
[email protected]
Digital City Planning:
Dr. Bernd Wachmann, Corporate Technology
[email protected]
Tim Schenk, Corporate Technology
[email protected]
Traffic Systems:
Huschke Diekmann, Infrastructure and Cities
[email protected]
Dr. Georg v. Wichert, Corporate Technology
[email protected]
Dell Children Medical Center / LEED:
Siemens Financial Services:
58 Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20
63 About a Global Shortage
As populations in many countries continue to grow, demand for
water is increasing. In fact, some 780 million people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water. Membrane filtration tech-
nology from Siemens can change this picture by making affordable potable water available virtually anywhere it's needed.
66 On the Shores of Lake Victoria
Africa’s largest lake is often referred
to as “the sick giant." But the lake’s
poor health is not the only problem
affecting the communities living around it. So-called "Water Energy Hubs" provide communities with access to renewable energy, potable water, and communication services.
71 No One Left Behind
Medical care is an essential part of
the life of every individual — in rural areas as well as in cities. That's why not only pragmatic and cost-efficient solutions are needed in emerging economies, but also high-end devices, especially when it comes to medical centers in major cities. Pages 71, 73, 76
78 Let’s Make a Deal!
Many major projects are not only complex and opaque, but involve decisions that profoundly affect communities. To an ever-increasing
extent, the public expects to be actively engaged in such projects — as demonstrated by examples from Germany, Switzerland and Brazil.
The age of electricity has begun in a small village in central Africa that was previously
cut off from the outside world. Wind turbines
and a biogas power plant now supply renew-
able energy. Villagers use the electricity to operate household appliances, charging stations for electric vehicles, and streetlights.
The village’s medical center is equipped with
a solar-powered cooling and air-conditioning
he road to the new era of electricity is
bumpy and overgrown by high grass. The
bush rises up on both sides of the dirt road like
a solid multicolored wall. Now and then a
clearing appears, giving us a view of a giraffe
or two as we almost soundlessly roll past. For
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011 59
Sharing a Brighter Future | Scenario 2035
Central Africa in 2035. In the middle of the bush stands a remote
village that used to be dependent on fire wood for power. But
now the government has equipped it with renewable technolo-
gies and catapulted it into a new era. A visiting journalist dis -
covers how electricity has changed the inhabitants’ lives.
Energy Comes Home
an you hear the heartbeat of an unborn
child in a village that has no electricity?
Can a family light a room even if the cost of
diesel fuel for a lamp becomes unaffordable?
Or filter its water to ensure that it is free of ar-
senic? Is it possible to develop cameras so so-
phisticated and inexpensive that even small
companies in developing countries can afford
to automate quality control? Or to develop
medical diagnostic equipment that almost any
hospital can afford? Absolutely.
These, and dozens of other solutions that
broadly fit Siemens’ “simple, maintenance-
friendly, affordable, reliable, and timely-to-
market” (SMART) definition, are now in the
company’s innovation pipeline. They range
from an image processing module for an X-ray
system that is 75 percent cheaper than its
predecessor (see Pictures of the Future, Spring
2009, p.87) to solar-powered “Water Energy
Hub” for charging lanterns and cell phones in
60 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011
some time now, the bush taxis here in central
Africa have been electric. If our battery should
give out in rough terrain, a small combustion
engine can extend our vehicle’s range. At the
wheel is district physician Dr. Salim Taylor, who
is our tour guide for today. He has a rather un-
healthy lifestyle for a doctor — there’s always a
cigar in the corner of his mouth, and his driv-
ing style is almost as wild as the surrounding
landscape. But hardly anyone else on this side
of the equator is as well informed about this
country’s development and inhabitants as he
is. Taylor is on the way to his weekly outpatient
clinic in a remote village, where he plans to
view the initial results of a development pro-
gram that has literally electrified the village. “Rats!” curses Taylor as the right front wheel
suddenly disappears into a very deep pothole.
“This is the tenth aardvark hole since we left
the gravel road.” He pulls out a fresh cigar and
lights it with a snap of his lighter. “This ‘road’
doesn’t deserve its name, but the village up
ahead has really changed unbelievably,” he
says. Taylor knows this better than anyone
else, because he was there last year when
technicians catapulted the village from its
Stone Age past into the new age of electricity.
He advised the government officials in charge
of the project and provided support for the vil-
lagers. Previously, the village had in effect been cut
off from the outside world, without electricity
or access to communication networks — an
anachronism that has become rare today, even
in Africa. Through its new program for sustain-
able development in remote regions, the gov-
ernment is trying to remove the “empty
spaces” from the country’s map. “It’s a question
of evolution rather than revolution,” says Tay-
lor. “We’re not trying to abolish the village’s so-
cial structures and traditions; instead, we aim
to improve people’s living conditions.” He points to the vegetation on both sides of
the road. “Have you noticed? Even though
we’ve already almost reached the village, the
overgrowth is still as thick as ever. A few years
ago the area around the village was complete-
ly deforested — but today the people no
longer need to gather firewood.” Taylor puffs
out a cloud of cigar smoke and bumps through
yet another pothole. The bush slowly thins out,
revealing a view of a vast plain. We descend
from a small hill, at whose foot lies the village. At first glance the collection of round huts
looks more traditional than progressive. How-
ever, in the savanna behind the village stand
three wind turbines turning lazily in the light
breeze. And in the middle of the village is an
eye-catching modern building with rooftop so-
lar cells flashing in the sun. What’s more, a
closer look reveals rows of metal poles that
support LED streetlights. “We’ve arrived,” says Taylor with a smile,
then climbs out of the vehicle with a grunt of
relief. “That’s the medical center,” he says,
pointing to the building with the solar cells. “It
has a cooling and air conditioning system that
is solar-powered and uses an absorption refrig-
erator. The system keeps the building refresh-
ingly cool. But today we’re making house
calls.” He pulls a tablet PC out of his pocket and
greets Abdul, the village mayor. “Abdul is
something like a paramedic. He keeps regular
records of how my patients in the village are
doing and sends me the data by radio. The
data might consist of photographs of the find-
ings or the results of blood tests he carries out
with automatic test devices no larger than a
cell phone. So I’m always well-informed about
my patients’ current state of health.” On the way to the first patient we pass a
cylindrical container flanked by a couple of
electric charging stations. “That’s our biogas
power plant,” says Abdul proudly, tapping the
side of the tank. “We feed it with plant clip-
pings and manure. The bacteria in the tank use
it to produce methane, which is then automat-
ically turned into electricity. Together with the
wind turbines, this power plant makes us ener-
gy self-sufficient.” He points to the charging
stations and says, “Don’t forget to unplug your
vehicle when you’ve finished, Salim!”
As we approach the patient’s round grass-
roofed hut, we can hear soft music. The pot
simmering on the stove gives off a spicy aro-
ma, and an LED lamp hangs from the ceiling.
“Aardvark stew,” says Taylor with satisfaction as
he takes a look at his tablet PC. “My young pa-
tient is obviously doing better.” He points to a
boy lying on a bed, who looks to be about
twelve years old. “Does he have malaria?” I ask.
“We’ve hardly seen any cases of malaria since
the last round of vaccinations,” Taylor answers.
“Snake bites aren’t so critical any more either.
Thanks to the stable power supply, we now
have refrigeration at the medical center. This
allows us to stock enough serum and other
medications to take care of many conditions.
Now that the village has entered the age of
electricity, the villagers are no longer as vulner-
able as they were before. Previously, if an acci-
dent happened there was no way to get help.
Today, people can call for help on a cell phone
or get to the medical center on an electric bike.
This boy was such a case. He was riding his
bike without a helmet and had a crash that
gave him a concussion.” The doctor shines a flashlight into the boy’s
eyes. “Was he going too fast?” I ask. “He hit an
aardvark hole,” Taylor grins and nods to the
woman at the stove, who is holding out a ladle
of stew for him to sample. “By the way, the
cause of the accident didn’t survive the crash.”
Florian Martini
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 61
Sharing a Brighter Future | Trends
Siemens is testing new technologies that will help developing economies and their poorest citizens
bootstrap themselves into a more productive future. On tap are generators that will turn coconut shells
into electricity, self-powered sewage treatment plants that will turn effluent into fresh water, and a
vision of tomorrow that will turn reliable and affordable products into stepping stones to a better life.
In India, battery-powered lamps provide light for less than the cost of kerosene, and a power plant small enough
to fit on the back of a truck produces enough electricity
from coconut shells to power an entire village. Tapping New Sources of Hope
shows that between now and 2025, the annu-
al purchasing power of the 650 million poorest
people in India will triple to over one trillion
dollars.” Lanterns that Change Lives.“It is a tragic
situation that in this day and age people are
living literally in darkness,” says Dr. Rajendra K.
Pachauri, Chairman of the U.N. intergovern-
mental Panel on Climate Change and Director-
General of The Energy and Resources Institute
in New Delhi. “In view of this, my institute has
launched a program called Lighting a Billion
Lives in which Siemens is involved through its
Osram subsidiary. Here, we are addressing the
problem of the 1.6 billion people around the
world who have no access to grid electricity.” The program, he explains, has developed a
solar lantern and solar-powered village charg-
ing station where people can drop off their
lamps for charging during the day and rent
them for a few pennies per night. “The
lanterns offer enormous benefits because they
allow people to work or study after dark, thus
contributing to the economic welfare of their
villages,” says Pachauri.
Not only is light coming to many of the
world’s off-grid villages. Power is on the way as
well. Engineers at Siemens Corporate Research
and Technology's (CT T) Renewable Energy In-
novation Center in Bangalore, India are devel-
oping what amounts to a portable power
plant. Already operating so efficiently that it
meets U.S. emission requirements, the plant
needs about 35 kilograms of coconut shells
per hour to generate enough electricity for a
typical Indian village of 50 to 100 families. “Our partial oxidation combustion process
produces a hydrogen and carbon monoxide
gas that is fed into a reciprocating internal
combustion engine that generates 25 to 300
kilowatt of electricity,” explains Peeush Kumar,
Kenya (page 66), and from software devel-
oped in China that can analyze an entire city’s
traffic status to a turbine designed specifically
for the combustion of gas produced by a Brazil-
ian sugarcane biomass facility (see Pictures of
the Future, Spring 2009, p.78,88).
What’s more, by providing technologies
that help developing economies and low-in-
come people around the world to bootstrap
themselves into a more productive future,
Siemens is tapping what groundbreaking au-
thor C. K. Prahalad has called ‘The Fortune at
the Bottom of the Pyramid.’ “Every major company is developing strate-
gies for satisfying the needs of those at the
bottom of the pyramid,” says Dr. B. Bowonder,
Dean of the Tata Management Training Center
in Pune, India and a world-renowned expert on
technology and innovation management.
“These people are not to be dismissed because
they are poor. On the contrary, our research
62 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
who is responsible for energy systems develop-
ment at CT T India. “What is unique about our solution,” he
adds, “is that, thanks to new electrostatic pre-
cipitator technology now being developed in
Munich, it will require very little cleaning wa-
ter. What’s more, the combustion process pro-
duces carbon ash that can be converted into
activated charcoal for local water purification
and can even become a significant source of
revenue if sold externally.” A Corkscrew that Purifies Waste Water.If
there’s one thing that is even more essential
than light and power, it is clean, safe water.
Here too, Siemens is developing solutions that
will transform the lives of people rich and poor.
In Singapore, for instance, where the company
established its global headquarters for water
technology research and development in 2007
and is a key player in the city state’s “Water
Hub,” a center dedicated to developing afford-
able water treatment solutions (see Pictures of
the Future Fall 2008, p.39), Siemens Water
Technologies (WT) is working with Siemens
Corporate Technology to develop new materi-
als that can selectively adsorb (bind) danger-
ous contaminants such as arsenic. Arsenic occurs naturally in toxic concentra-
tions in wide areas of northern India, eastern
Bangladesh and the southwestern United
States. “In view of the danger of arsenic poison-
ing in many parts of the world, we have devel-
oped and tested an arsenic adsorbing particle
as well as a filtration system that can capture
it,” says Richard Woodling, PhD, who is in
charge of technology development at WT’s
global R&D center in Singapore. “The system
can be downsized to the needs of an individual
farmer and can process 1.000 liters for less than
half a cent,” he says. Once captured, the arsenic
can be precipitated from the filter and bound to
cement, thus permanently removing it from the
environment. The technology was tested in
Singapore in early 2009 with great success. Meanwhile, back in Bangalore, CT re-
searchers are developing a sewage treatment
system that can already remove 95 percent of
organic substances and up to 99 percent of nu-
trients such as nitrogen and phosphates from
effluent without any outside power source.
“Most sewage treatment facilities have very
high energy requirements because they rely on
powerful aerators to support the bacteria that
metabolize organic matter,” explains Senior Re-
search Engineer Dr. Anal Chavan. “But with our
unique system, specially-adapt-
ed microorganisms produce the
oxygen themselves.” Shaped something like a
corkscrew, the treatment sys-
tem can be powered by the
force of effluent as it cascades
downward, thus turning the corkscrew and ex-
posing the water to its surface area, which is
colonized with bacteria. “What’s more,” adds
Dr. Zubin Varghese, department head for
smart innovations at Siemens Corporate Tech-
nology in India, “the same technology — but
with different organisms — can be adapted to
treating water contaminated with chemical or
petroleum wastes.” Corporate Technology India is now working
with Siemens Water Technologies to identify a
village for a pilot facility. “This is a perfect ex-
ample of a SMART technology,” says Varghese.
“It can be scaled up to any desired size, trucked
into a village, and can, with only minimal addi-
tional treatment — possibly based on the acti-
vated charcoal from our coconut gasification
system — turn sewage water into potable water.”
A Stethoscope that Recognizes Hearts.
Light, energy, clean water — the technological
building blocks for affordably offering these in-
dispensables to hundreds of millions of the
world’s poorest people are now taking shape.
But there’s more. In India, where almost 85 percent of the population has no access to
medical care, the government is about to more
than double its healthcare budget to almost
two percent ($20 billion) of GDP. And tech-
nologies designed to improve basic healthcare
services are in the pipeline. For instance, with
a view to ensuring a safe delivery for the 30
million babies born each year in India, thirty
percent of whom — about 27,000 per day —
are at risk, Siemens is developing a Fetal Heart
Rate Monitor (FHRM) that vastly simplifies the
diagnosis — and potentially accelerates the
treatment — of problem pregnancies. “This is
an exciting product because there is nothing
else like it on the market,” comments D. Raga-
van, Sector Cluster Lead South Asia Siemens
Healthcare, which grew by 15 percent in 2010-
2011. Something like a digital stethoscope, the
monitor — now a functional prototype — is
outfitted with sophisticated electronics and al-
gorithms developed by CT India that result in
an inexpensive device capable of distinguish-
ing the sound of the fetal heart from the sound
of the mother’s heart. Combined with a waist belt, a wireless
module, an acoustic sensor and an accelerom-
eter-based muscle-contraction sensor that is
now under development, the device will offer
the potential of continuous monitoring in ma-
ternity wards. “As a contraction comes to an end, the fetal
heart rate needs to return to normal,” explains
Senior Research Engineer Archana Kalyansun-
dar, who is responsible for Siemens rural
healthcare technologies for India. “If it fails to
do so, that is a sign of trouble. And that’s when
the device will trigger an alarm to call a doctor
to the mother’s bedside.” Arthur F. Pease
Siemens researchers have developed an algae-based sewage treatment system that removes up to 99% of nutrients from effluent without any outside power source.
A new filter system can purify up to 1,000 liters of water for less
than half a cent.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 63
SkyHydrant provides protection against impurities and pathogens by producing clear, filtered water.
Sharing a Brighter Future | Clean Water
“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” wrote the poet Coleridge at the end of the 18th century — a sentiment that still describes the situation of some 780 million people who lack access to
drinking water. A filtration system that uses membranes from Siemens is helping to improve things.
Mobile Solution for a Thirsty World
lthough almost three-fourths of the Earth
is covered with water, only 0.3 percent of
all water reserves are suitable for drinking.
Worse yet, the World Health Organization esti-
mates that around 1.8 million people die each
year of diarrhea-related illnesses caused by
contaminated water.
Mercy Nyambura (below) is very familiar
with this problem. She is a student in Kilimam-
bogo, a village located 60 kilometers from
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Just a few years ago,
she had no choice but to drink the contaminat-
ed water of the nearby Thika river. As a result,
she had to go to the hospital innumerable
times and missed school on many occasions. It
was an intolerable situation, yet by no means
an insurmountable one. Indeed, a solution for
people like Mercy has been developed by Rhett
Butler from Siemens Water Technologies in
Sydney, Australia. Several years ago, Butler de-
veloped the SkyHydrant, a small, mobile water
treatment system (see Pictures of the Future,
Fall 2008, p. 36). Moved by the desire to im-
prove people’s quality of life, in 2005 he
founded SkyJuice, a non-profit organization.
Its goal is to form local partnerships in order to
make SkyHydrants better known in rural areas
as well as in cities. Today, 900 units are in oper-
ation in 42 countries. A single SkyHydrant can
accommodate the drinking water needs of a
community of up to 1,000 inhabitants.
Together with SkyJuice, the Global Nature
Fund, and PureFlow — a local partner — in
2010 the Siemens Stiftung set up two safe wa-
ter kiosks in Mercy’s home country. At these
small water filling stations, SkyHydrants trans-
form contaminated water into a pure beverage
that costs only three cents per canister. “Im-
pure water can drive people from villages into
cities — something our project in Kenya is de-
signed to prevent,” says Ulrike Wahl, Managing
Director of the Siemens Stiftung. The Founda-
64 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011
A high-speed, electric version of the SkyHydrant, the AquaVendor has a flow rate of
25,000 liters per day.
ali nights are fantastic,” says Piet-
Willem Chevalier. “You can see count-
less stars because there’s no light pollution.”
Mali, a country in West Africa, has no national
power grid and very few people can afford a
diesel generator. That’s why Chevalier, an en-
gineer for dynamic wind turbine analyses at
Siemens Energy in Den Haag, wants to supply
Mali with green electricity. Since 2008 he has
been working in his free time on the “I love
wind power” project, which trains Malians to
build wind turbines from locally available ma-
terials. Afterwards, trainees will be able to set up
their own companies, which will not only
make wind power systems, but also offer re-
pair service and battery charging stations.
“When a solar cell breaks, you have to buy a
new one — but wind power gets local people
involved,” says Chevalier, who believes that
technological and social progress go together.
When asked how he got started, he replies, “I usually work on a computer, but I wanted to
build a small wind turbine with my own
hands.” On the Internet he found instructions
from Scottish developer Hugh Piggott, who
has been making wind turbines from simple
tion’s goal is to turn SkyHydrant water supply
stations into micro-businesses. “The drinking
water doesn’t have to be offered for free. Pure-
Flow trains water committees, which operate
and service the kiosks,” says Wahl. The pro-
ceeds provide employees with a little income,
which ensures the kiosks remain viable and
provides the village economy with a future.
Due to the success Siemens Stiftung is realiz-
ing four more Aqua Stations in Kenya in 2012.
At the heart of the safe water kiosks are
four 1.5-meter-long SkyHydrants, each of
which weighs 16 kilograms and looks like a
medium-sized organ pipe. Inside each pipe is a
filter consisting of 10,000 hair-thin membrane
fibers with tiny pores that act like a sieve. “Riv-
er water is fed into a tank, from which the
head pressure causes it to flow through the
membrane filters without requiring any electri-
cal energy,” explains Project Manager Christine
Weyrich from the Siemens Stiftung. “The filters
remove all of the suspended particles, bacteria
and viruses from the water. If required, the
equipment can be disinfected with citric acid;
chemical agents are not required.”
Two filters are installed in each kiosk, usually
a small stone building. “This protects the filters
and the purified water from the effects of sun-
light and dirt,” says Weyrich. Such a “water fac-
tory” with two units can produce around
20,000 liters of clean drinking water per day.
Four SkyHydrants can thus supply enough wa-
ter for more than 2,000 residents. Villagers
come to the kiosks with their 20-liter canisters
whenever they need water, which they can ob-
tain for only three cents. “The SkyHydrants
even allow us to save money,” says Mercy. “The
money used to spend on medications can now
be used to pay for my schooling and will en-
able me to become a nurse when I grow up.”
This example from Kenya shows how close-
ly social development is tied to the supply of
water. “Low water quality negatively impacts
people’s educational opportunities, destroys
the ecosystem, and causes rural flight,” says
Butler. Cities generally have water treatment
plants for potable water, but the technology is
by no means simple and is therefore often be-
yond the means of communities in developing
countries and emerging markets. In addition,
urban infrastructures are becoming increasing-
ly overloaded due to rapid population growth. Decentralized, autonomous technologies
are therefore a good alternative here. That’s
why SkyJuice also wants to work together with
partners such as Rotary International and Ox-
fam to set up SkyHydrants in cities throughout
the world. This movement has already
achieved considerable success, as the “small
organ pipe” is now used in many hospitals,
schools and slums in developing countries.
“SkyHydrants are already being used in major
cities in Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Cambodia,
and Nepal,” says Butler. “But there’s still a lot of
work to be done.”
Automatic Filtration. Butler lives up to his
promises, and he and his team have further
developed the SkyHydrant over the past nine
months. The result is the “AquaVendor,” which
runs on the same principle as its sophisticated
predecessor and also uses the same mem-
brane fibers. The difference is that the system
no longer needs to be operated manually. In-
stead, a small control device operates the
AquaVendor, making the filtration and purifi-
cation processes fully automatic. The system is also cleaned fully automati-
cally every 20 to 30 minutes by a small blower
that injects air into the filter in order to remove
any residue caught in the membranes. The
space-saving device can produce up to 25,000
liters of drinking water per day, which is more
than twice as much water as the SkyHydrant
can manage.
The only thing that’s needed for the Aqua-
Vendor is a power socket — everything else
runs fully automatically and requires a minimal
amount of maintenance. According to Butler,
the portable water treatment plant is ideal for
residential buildings, small urban water co-op-
eratives and small volume industrial users. “It
could be installed in every hotel or multi-family
home in India and China — just imagine the
possibilities,” says Butler. “You could transform
rainwater that has been collected on rooftops
into valuable drinking water.” And at a price of
$7,000, the units would also be affordable,
says Butler. The new water treatment system is
currently being refined in Sydney before it
make its way into thirsty markets throughout
the developing world.Hülya Dagli
Dutch engineer Piet Chevalier is working on wind power for Mali. His 900-watt turbines are handmade locally and almost all of the materials come from the vicinity.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011 65
materials for decades. Between 1970 and
1990 hundreds of small wind turbines were
set up in Mali to pump water, but only a few
of them are still in operation, says Brahima
Bocar, who comes from the Timbuktu region
and works for Siemens in Warsaw. “They were
financed by foreign organizations. When the
projects were over, no one cared about the
pumps anymore. The local inhabitants lacked
the needed expertise to maintain them. It’s
not enough to supply a product, you also
have to train and motivate people to keep it
running.” In 2008 Chevalier met Bocar at a Siemens
training course in Denmark. Bocar talked
about daily life in Mali and Chevalier de-
scribed the wind turbines he was building.
They soon realized that such open-source
wind power facilities could transform peo-
ple’s lives in Mali. Even uneducated people
can easily build the turbines, as the blades are
made of wood that can be sawed and chis-
eled into the right shape. The generator con-
sists of coiled copper wire and the rotor spins
on a car wheel hub. “You also need a few
metal brackets and a pipe for the mast —
that’s all,” says Chevalier. in Africa, even the sense of time,” he says. You
have to adjust to the local rhythm “or you
won’t even last four days.” Cultural differences
turned out to be the biggest problem, not the
people’s craftsmanship, as Chevalier had origi-
nally expected. “The people in Mali know how
to use tools better than I do,” he says. People Power. Another challenge was Mali’s
strict caste system, regulating which classes of
people are allowed to do what. The ten partici-
pants nonetheless included two women — a
rare situation in Mali’s conservative Muslim soci-
ety. Every morning Gerner asked the partici-
pants to do exercises to strengthen their team
spirit. “It was a big step forward when the men
and women touched each other’s hands,” she
says. Another obstacle was the language: Ma-
lians speak various local dialects and pronounce
French words with a strong accent. Chevalier
overcame these difficulties by creating posters
to explain how wind turbines are built.
Chevalier and Gerner managed to buy most of
the required materials from local merchants.
Only two components had to be imported: per-
manent magnets from China and polyester to
insulate the copper wires, which came from
Senegal. In workshops participants learned
how to make wind turbines that are between
12 and 20 meters tall with rotor diameters of
1.2 to 4.2 meters. A turbine with a diameter of three meters
has a peak output of 900 watts and an energy
yield of 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month,
says Chevalier. “The materials and assembly
cost around €350, to which you have to add
the cost of the mast, batteries, and electronic
systems, such as the voltage regulator. Al-
though you can buy these components in Mali,
our do-it-yourself technology allows us to
make them at 10 to 20 percent of the normal
cost.” That reduces the cost of a turbine by sev-
eral dozen euros. “If a wind turbine is sold for €650, its elec-
tricity costs about 20 euro cents per kWh,” says
Chevalier. The electricity produced by a small
diesel generator costs 80 euro cents per kWh.
“You can therefore achieve the breakeven point
after only a year.” Malians who are now getting
electricity for the first time in their lives mostly
use it for lighting or to recharge their cell
phones. Some also buy a refrigerator or a TV.
“We had big storms in August 2010,” reports
Gerner. As a result, the mast of one of the four
completed turbines snapped. Another three
masts have not yet been set up because Cheva-
lier’s private resources have dried up. “So far
I’ve paid for everything out of my own pocket
and done the work in my free time,” he says.
Chevalier must therefore find new sources for
funding wind power so that Mali’s people no
longer has to live in the dark.Evelyn Runge
Culture Shock. Chevalier subsequently con-
tacted Yvonne Gerner, who lives near the
provincial capital of Mopti in Mali. Together
with social worker Mamadou “Baba” Traoré,
Gerner initiated the Rondom Baba Foundation
in 2007. The foundation has bought a hectare
of land and is teaching local people agricultur-
al techniques and how to work wood, leather,
and metal — an ideal partner for Chevalier. “I
needed people who want to change their lives
and set up their own businesses,” he says.
None of the ten participants selected for the
first workshop had a permanent job. They
worked as day laborers; a joiner made furni-
ture and a welder recycled scrap metal and old
cars at a junkyard. When the preparations were completed in
December 2009, Chevalier traveled to Mali for
the first time. It took him and the foundation
two weeks to find the required components,
although the materials were all locally avail-
able. “I’m impatient, but everything’s different
How can electricity be supplied to some of the world’s poorest regions? Siemens engineer Piet-Willem Chevalier manufactures
wind turbines in Mali and trains local people to build and service
the technology. The result is a classic example of sustainability.
Sharing a Brighter Future | Wind in Mali
Do-it-Yourself Power
hen night falls on Lake Victoria and the
waters grow dark, that’s when the work-
ing day begins for Pottas Aboy and his three
co-workers. The four Kenyan fishermen paddle
their boat out onto Africa’s largest lake — and
keep going until the shore is visible as only a
thin sliver in the distance. The men then care-
fully place a small raft into the water. The raft
contains a blue battery; above it an Osram en-
ergy-saving lamp dangles from a support
made of branches. The water shimmers dark
green in the light of the lamp. “The light main-
ly attracts omena, a type of sardine,” Aboy ex-
plains, and then gives his home-made raft a
gentle shove and watches it slowly disappear
in the darkness on the lake. “Now we wait until
enough fish have gathered around the light of
the raft,” says Aboy. “After that, we’ll toss a net
around the raft and pull it back in quickly.”
Aboy stares into the night, where the only
thing still visible is a small shimmering light —
bobbing on a lake as big as Ireland. Equipped
with their new electric lamps, Aboy and his
three colleagues are pioneers among the ap-
proximately 175,000 fishermen who fish in
the waters of Lake Victoria. While it’s true that
native fishermen have been using light as bait
for generations, the light source has been
kerosene lamps. According to the Global Na-
ture Fund (GNF), a development aid organiza-
tion, this tradition has had fatal consequences:
The highly flammable kerosene has resulted in
many fishermen being seriously burned. The
kerosene also leaks, further polluting what is
already not the cleanest water. Greenhouse
gases are an issue as well. The kerosene
burned in lamps used around the lake pro-
duces around 50,000 tons of CO
per year, re-
ports the GNF. Nevertheless, it has been very difficult for
people in the region to break with their tradi-
tion, especially in view of the fact that most of
the approximately 30 million people who live
around Lake Victoria have no access to electric-
ity. So they are left with no choice, but to use
the toxic kerosene fuel — not just for fishing,
but also to light their homes. Things changed
in April 2008, though, when Osram AG — a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens which is
preparing to become a plublicly-listed lighting
company —, GNF and the Kenyan company
Thames Electricals began to offer an alterna-
tive to provide clean and safe lighting sources
to the people in the region, within the frame-
work of Osram’s “Umeme Kwa Wote” (Energy
for Everyone) off-grid project. In 2011, the Os-
ram pilot project has been joined by Siemens
Stiftung, the charitable foundation of Siemens.
Together they now support the social enter-
prise called “Light for Life” which is dedicated
to providing renewable energy services and
potable water to remote areas of Kenya by es-
tablishing further so called WE!Hubs (Water
Energy Hubs). “These hubs shall enable access
to the above described services, create jobs for
the local population, open up opportunities for
entrepreneurship and education, and at the
same time are to achieve financial self-sustain-
ability,” says Ulrike Wahl, Managing Director of
On the shores of Lake Victoria, people have been using kerosene lamps to catch fish and light their homes
for generations. But not only this dirty fuel poses a serious threat to health and the environment —
taminated drinking water is another huge problem. That’s why the “WE!Hub” project has been set up by a
project consortium consisting of Osram, Siemens Stiftung, Global Nature Fund and Thames Electricals. 66 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Sharing a Brighter Future | WE!Hub in Africa
A Glimmer of Hope for Lake Victoria
the Siemens Stiftung. “Until 2014 we plan to
build at least five more of such hubs in remote
regions of Kenya, the three existing hubs of
the pilot project will be expanded.” The pro-
ject is co-financed by the EU Commission.
Self-Sufficient Charging Stations. The hubs
are small battery charging stations powered by
roof-mounted solar panels that make the hubs
completely independent of power grids. The
generated electricity is used for charging bat-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 67
tery boxes, battery powered lanterns and cell
phones. The villagers also obtain clean drink-
ing water thanks to the water purification sys-
tem installed in the hub. As access to electricity
and communication becomes more and more
important in African countries, the hubs adapt
to this demand and will soon offer further
services: Within 2012 they will be extended to
information and communication technology
(ICT) and internet services which enable ac-
cess to education and connection to the
“world” for people, who don’t have these digi-
tal opportunities yet. To make people benefit
most from these developments, trainings on
ICT, entrepreneurship, environment and hy-
giene will be conducted at the hubs. “The
people in the region can lease our energy-
saving lamps from a WE!Hub, as well as batteries that they can recharge at the same
location,” explains Jochen Berner, Osram’s Di-
rector for Sustainability Development. “Along
with the lamps, we also provide purified
drinking water and a mobile phone recharg-
ing service.” Osram, which has already imple-
mented three pilot kiosks at Lake Victoria in
cooperation with the GNF, is supporting the
joint project as a technology partner and is
consulting on technical and conceptual issues.
One hub is located in the town of Mbita (popu-
lation: 15,000) on the eastern shore of Lake
Victoria. The brick building that houses the
hub is surrounded by corrugated iron shacks.
Between the structures a few chickens peck at
the dust. Here, the world seems to be taking a
siesta in the oppressive midday heat. But
there’s plenty of activity taking place behind
the walls of the local hub, with its 64 solar
panels constantly pumping the energy from
tropical sunlight into batteries for energy-sav-
ing lamps, at outputs of up to 15 kilowatts. It takes approximately three hours to
charge the battery box, or the battery powered
lantern. When completely recharged, the bat-
tery box can light up the 11-watt energy-sav-
ing lamps from Osram for up to 12 hours, the
LED equipped lantern runs up to ten hours.
“That’s more than enough for a night of fishing,”
says Berner. “But the main benefit offered by our
lamps is their low price.” He explains that those
who would like to rent a lamp must leave a de-
posit of around 1,000 Kenyan shillings, or ap-
proximately €9. That’s a lot of money for people
whose average monthly income is only €35.
“You have to keep in mind that the deposit costs
about as much as a new kerosene lantern, with
the difference being that our customers get
their money back when they no longer need the
lamp.” Berner also points out that the recharg-
ing fee at the hub is relatively inexpensive when
you consider that a fisherman uses around 1.5 liters of kerosene each night, which costs
approximately 150 shillings. “With us, the cus-
tomer only pays 100 shillings a night, so they
save 30 percent.” In addition, customers can use
the batteries to power other devices such as mo-
bile phones and radios.
While this economic model may sound con-
vincing, in the beginning it didn’t generate
much interest, as is true of many development
proj ects. “People here tend to cling very strong -
ly to their traditions, and the social and deci-
sion-making structures are completely different
from those in industrialized countries,” Berner
explains. “For example, if a man is interested in
one of our lamps, it’s possible that his wife
might veto the decision because women are of-
ten responsible for the family budget in Africa.”
The Osram team therefore had to do a lot of
persuading and patiently establish new rela-
tionships. Nevertheless, as Berner reports, they
succeeded. “The three existing hubs serve 300
fishing crews and 400 households,” he says.
Light at Mama Austin’s.Although the clean,
bright lamps were originally developed for use
by fishermen, they are now increasingly being
used in local households. In the village of
Nyandiwa, around 50 kilometers south of Mbi-
ta, for example, the lamps can be found in a
store operated by Mama Austin. Her corrugat-
ed shack is packed with all kinds of merchan-
People who do not have access to grid electricity can lease energy-saving lamps at WE!Hub — and
obtain clean drinking water. Electricity is provided
by roof-mounted solar cells.
For generations, fishermen on Lake Victoria have been attracting omena sardines with lanterns — but these days they’re using
energy-saving lamps from Osram.
n the village of Adjuntitas Dos in the high-
lands of the state of Querétaro, Mexico, time
seems to have stood still. Like everyone in the
village, Artemio Juárez, the village elder, works
his steep, stony fields with a hoe, carrying seed
in a bag slung over his shoulder. His main
means of transportation is a wheelbarrow. There are no cars or trucks in this village of
about 100 inhabitants, which is located 200
kilometers north of Mexico City at an altitude
of 1,800 meters. The village’s 14 households
have neither access to the public power grid
nor running water, nor can they connect to a
fixed or mobile communications network.
“We’re somehow lost up here in the hills,” says
Lucía Cruz, Artemio Juárez’s wife. “We have no
roads and nobody has an electric light.” Like
nearly 30,000 other people in the state of
Querétaro, Cruz and her family have had to get
by without electricity all their lives.
But those days are now over. Since the sum-
mer of 2011, a little lamp goes on in the Cruz
family’s home every evening. An Osram com-
pact fluorescent light bulb illuminates the
table where they eat, and there’s another bulb
over the hammock used by Bernardino, the
couple’s eight-year-old son. Electricity for the
bulbs comes from a solar module on the roof. As part of project “Luz Cerca de Todos”
(Light close to everyone), Siemens technicians
have installed 182 solar modules in Adjuntitas
Dos and nine other communities within a ra-
dius of 50 kilometers. They have also delivered
new batteries that store the electricity generat-
Some 30,000 people living in Mexico’s Querétaro mountains
aren’t connected to the power grid. To help them, Siemens has
installed solar power systems that supply more than 180 homes.
New Lives with Light
Sharing a Brighter Future | Photovoltaic Solutions
68 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
dise, and one wall is adorned with a poster of
U.S. President Barack Obama, whose grand-
mother lives nearby. A lone Osram lamp hangs
from the store’s ceiling. “I used to have to close
the store at sundown,” says Mama Austin.
“Now I just turn on the lamp and keep the store
open until nine — and business is better as a
result.” The bright light appeals not only to cus-
tomers but to children. “They can come in the
evening to study without ruining their eyes or
having to breathe in smoke from kerosene
lamps,” she adds.
The kerosene lamps are responsible for
lung disease and most of the fires that the vil-
lage has suffered, says Ben Otieno, who man-
ages the hub in Nyandiwa. “Three houses once
burned down in just one month,” he recalls.
“When that happens, the people are left with
literally nothing.” This is why Otieno believes
the success of the project hinges on making
people aware of the health benefits offered by
the Osram lamps. Extremely Pure Drinking Water.The hubs
also provide drinking water — thanks in part to
the efforts of Otieno and his two colleagues,
who have succeeded in convincing local peo-
ple of the health benefits of pure water. More
and more people are now coming to the small
faucet at the front of the hub to fill their canis-
ters with water, paying two shillings per liter.
That’s an investment in good health, Otieno
believes, because many of the villagers draw
their water from Lake Victoria and drink it
without boiling it — although they wash their
clothes in the lake and use it as a toilet. “That’s why we are hit with a cholera epi-
demic here every year, and the lack of ade-
quate medical care makes that an enormous
problem,” says Otieno. “Hub water, on the oth-
er hand, is completely safe — and word of that
has spread throughout the village.” The water is safe thanks to a sophisticated
treatment unit that transforms rainwater and
pond water into pure drinking water. “We can
process up to 10,000 liters of water per day
with the unit,” reports Otieno, “and the quality
of the water is superior to that offered by our
public wells.” Otieno is convinced that the self-
sufficient hubs with their integrated water pu-
rification service have a bright future in Kenya. For Pottas Aboy and his three fellow fisher-
men, it’s time to go into action on the lake
again. They row to the small light they see danc-
ing on the waves in the distance. Mosquitoes
appear as they reach the raft, but the men pay
no attention as they toss out their net and begin
to pull it back. The water under the net begins
to bubble as the light of the lamp illuminates a
dense school of fish, making them look like
pieces of silver treasure. Aboy’s working day has
begun. Florian Martini
ed during the day. For the people in the
rugged, picturesque mountains, this has been
like “daybreak in the evening,” says Juárez. Now
Bernardino can read a little before going to
sleep, and his older sister has more time to do
her homework. The two children are looking
forward to the day when they will be able to lis-
ten to music and watch television — and to find
out about what’s happening in the world.
While people in industrialized nations take
power from electrical sockets for granted, the
International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that
20 percent of the world’s population still has no
access to electricity — that’s a total of 1.4 bil-
lion people, most of whom live in Africa and
South Asia. But even in Mexico, where electrifi-
cation had reached almost 97 percent of the
population by 2010, 3.5 million people still live
without electricity. Most of them are residents
of rural communities in remote locations, like
Adjuntitas Dos.
A World Bank report has shown that electric-
ity can greatly improve living conditions in such
rural areas. Electrical power has positive effects
on education, health, and economic develop-
ment, according to the report. Electric lighting
enables school children to study in the evening.
Using light bulbs instead of candles improves
air quality in the home, and having television
helps people to stay informed about health and
agricultural issues. What’s more, electrification
often makes it possible to start mini businesses.
For example, a villager with a refrigerator can
rent space in it or sell cold beverages.
Helping People Live Better Lives. Plans call
for Querétaro to continue to improve services.
Governor José Calzada plans to supply all resi-
dents of the state with power by 2013.
Siemens has played a crucial role in the initial
steps of this project. The company’s Energy
Sector not only opened a new power plant in
Querétaro in 2011 but also provided the
€230,000 needed to pay for the solar modules
that have been installed to date. It also organ-
ized their installation. “In addition to creating
jobs and expanding our business in the region,
we also want to contribute to the development
of the communities. That’s why we organize
programs that improve people’s quality of life,” says Louise Goeser, CEO of Siemens
Mesoamérica, who points out that Siemens
wanted to set an example and show that it
pays to support social development. But meet-
ing these goals was not easy. Solar panels had
to be transported into the mountains. It took
eight weeks to install them in ten villages,
some of which are a two-hour walk from the
next road. The work was complicated by peri-
ods of torrential rainfall. For project leader José
Hernández the project has a powerful symbolic
character. “The inhabitants of Querétaro repre-
sent all people who have no access to electrici-
ty. We want to show how electricity can bring
about a decisive change in their lives,” he says.
Seeing the Light. Free power in Adjuntitas
Dos is enabling villagers to save a lot of money.
“People here used to spend 40 percent of their
income on candles, batteries, and fuel,” says
Hernández. “They used car batteries to provide
electricity for TV viewing, for example.” Some
of the farmers are using the savings to hire
workers. “They can cultivate larger areas,
achieve bigger harvests, and improve their fi-
nancial situation,” Hernández reports. Having
light in the evening helps village children to
study for longer periods. “The kids have to help
their parents by working in the fields after
school. They usually don’t get home until it’s
dark outside,” says Hernández. Before, light
was such a precious commodity that families
considered it extravagant to light candles so
that children could do their homework. “Now
the kids are doing their homework, and their
parents are in a better position to help them,”
Hernández says. In addition to providing solar
power systems for private households,
Siemens also installed ten slightly bigger com-
munity systems in schools, churches and stor-
age buildings that supply enough electricity for
a refrigerator or a computer.
A report from the World Bank shows that
electricity in rural areas is used primarily for
lighting, followed by televisions and refrigera-
tion. Electrical appliances and devices are still
rare in the mountains of Querétaro. “Some
households have a radio, but very few have a
TV or mobile phone,” says Hernández.
When electricity became available, the first
thing residents of Adjuntitas Dos had to learn
was how to use it intelligently. Typically, a fam-
ily will have enough solar power for four light
bulbs and one radio for about four hours. “We
explained to them that they would have to
turn off the light and radio when leaving a
room,” Hernández recalls. “That disappointed
them a little at first, but on the whole they’re
very happy about this change.” Ute Kehse
Solar modules and energy-saving bulbs not only bring light to people in remote regions of Mexico; they also improve the quality of their lives.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 69
Sharing a Brighter Future | Waste Recycling
Many people around the world manage to maintain a livelihood
by collecting, sorting, and recycling waste in cities. The Siemens
Foundation is helping improve their working conditions.
Recyclable materials in trash help many people in poor countries to survive. With talent, plastic sheeting for advertising can
be turned into fashionable bags (bottom). From Trash to Cash
he huge landfills on the outskirts of
Cochabamba, El Alto, La Paz, and Santa
Cruz are plain to see. Waste collectors — in
most cases women and children — sift
through the foul-smelling mountains of
garbage filling sacks with whatever recyclables
or other usable items they might find. More
than 3,000 tons of waste is produced in these
four cities every day. Swisscontact, a develop-
ment organization, estimates that 80 percent
of it could be recycled, and that waste separa-
tion and recycling could create 20,000 jobs.
However, most of the garbage ends up unsep-
arated in landfills or on the streets — even
though 70 percent of the population in Bo-
livia’s major cities are served by waste disposal
systems. The problem is that smaller munici-
palities don’t have enough funds to handle the
trash. “In such places, 40 percent of the people
burn garbage, 33 percent throw it away in
green spaces, some 16 percent dump it in
rivers and seven percent simply bury it in their
own backyards,” says Matthias Nabholz, an on-
site project manager for Swisscontact.
To improve waste management in many
cities, the Siemens Foundation began support-
ing the “Jobs and Income with Environmental
Management” project in 2010. Launched by
Swisscontact in 2009, the project is designed
to create public-private partnerships capable of
gradually establishing comprehensive systems
for waste separation; the economical recycling
of plastic, glass, paper, metal, and organic
waste; and properly disposing of residual
waste in landfill sites. “We’re using existing ur-
ban structures,” says Gerhard Hütter, the pro-
ject’s manager at the Siemens Foundation.
“We work with city districts — the lowest level
in the municipal administration hierarchy.
Here, district officials reach agreements with
‘informal’ waste collectors.” The latter collect recyclables one to three
times a week in specific assigned areas, cleanly
separate what they find, and bring every-
thing to nearby collection centers or
compost heaps. The collection centers
sell the recyclable material to compa-
nies in Bolivia and abroad. The in-
come thus generated is paid
to the collectors or invested
in waste awareness cam-
paigns. The project’s partners
also run an educational pro-
gram for children and adults
that has already reached around 75,000
households. At the end of 2010, 200 waste
collectors — 40 percent of them women —
were working on the project. “In 2010, their ef-
forts rescued around 7,000 tons of recyclable
waste from landfills,” says Hütter.
The right incentives help the project to
function properly. For example, waste collec-
tors are issued work clothes, handcarts, and in-
formation on hazardous waste. Just as impor-
tant is their steady daily income of around $6
per day and an improvement in their social sta-
tus. The project also supports budding entre-
preneurs by offering continuing educational
opportunities. “We can already report some
success stories,” Nabholz says proudly. One of
them involves Daniela Bolívar, a graphic de-
signer from La Paz. She now runs a small recy-
cling company that converts used plastic
sheeting for advertisements into bags and ac-
cessories (see picture below). “Still, over the long term you need to have
binding legal stipulations for waste manage-
ment,” says Hütter. The issue is currently being
addressed by the project’s partners and city au-
thorities. “Cochabamba has announced plans
to provide $1 million for the project’s expan-
sion, and La Paz has appointed its own project
coordinator,” says Nabholz. This is important,
because every ton of waste that’s disposed
generates costs of around $30. And that is by
no means peanuts for a country like Bolivia.
The first project phase is scheduled to run until
the end of 2012. If possible, the partners would like to offer
daycare services for the children of collectors
for as long as they continue to work. Coopera-
tion with local schools is very important to
the Siemens Foundation. “We’d like to get
children and young people focused as
early as possible on the environment,
health, and hygiene,” says Hütter.
In the future, the project’s part-
ners also want to pay special at-
tention to problems related to
toxic waste and the growing
amounts of electronic scrap.
Hülya Dagli
70 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011
In rural India, specially trained healthcare personnel collect villagers’ medical data and forward it to mobile physicians via smartphone. Their goal is to improve medical treatment and reduce the high rate of infant mortality.
Sharing a Brighter Future | Mobile Medics
In the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Siemens and Christian Medical College are testing the use of cell phones to provide healthcare in rural areas. The phones transfer patients’ medical data
to hospitals where analytical software helps to focus resources by tracking disease trends.
Tracking Illnesses in India
he bus arrived on time today. Once a
month, remote areas in Tamil Nadu, In-
dia’s southernmost state, are visited by a doc-
tor’s office on wheels operated by the Chris-
tian Medical College (CMC) in the city of
Vellore. Crowds of people flock from surround-
ing villages to consult their doctors or have
blood samples taken. On these occasions the
“ASHAs” make their appearance too. ASHAs, or
Accredited Social Healthcare Activists, are
women who volunteer to provide health edu-
cation in villages, collect the residents’ health
data, and support pregnant women before and
after they give birth. The process of using ASHAs and bringing
doctors to villages in medical buses originated
with the “National Rural Health Mission
2005–2012” initiative, which was launched by
the Indian government in 2005. The program
was intended to improve healthcare for rural
populations. The Indian subcontinent suffers
not only from a severe shortage of physicians
— there is a deficit of about 600,000 doctors
countrywide — but also from a large gap be-
tween the urban and rural populations regard-
ing the availability of health care. For every
100,000 residents, there were about 4.48 hos-
pitals in urban areas and 0.77 in rural areas in
2005. What’s more, in 2010 there were six
times as many physicians in cities as in the
countryside, where about 70 percent of all In-
dians live.
Prior to this health care initiative, many In-
dians in the countryside had hardly any con-
tact with modern Western medicine. Instead,
they relied on traditional treatments known by
the acronym AYUSH — Ayurveda, yoga, Unani
(an Arabic counterpart of Ayurveda), Siddha
(southern Indian naturopathy), and homeopa-
thy — which are practiced by AYUSH doctors
trained at universities. The ASHAs now act as
links between villagers and the doctors in hos-
pitals. Since a primary goal of the initiative is
to lower the child mortality rate, only women
are used as ASHAs. ASHAs go from house to
house at regular intervals and inquire about ill-
nesses and the health of pregnant women. To-
day, they still record all the information they
obtain in a book. However, a paper-based sys-
tem of this kind may be incompatible with the
information storage media used at hospitals,
which in some cases already maintain elec-
tronic patient records. ASHAs also have to care-
fully protect their notes from damage.
Mobile Healthcare. Three years ago, Dhan-
dapany Raghavan, who heads Siemens Health-
care in India, had the idea of letting ASHAs
record medical data via cell phones. “We soon
realized that we need a competent and experi-
enced partner for this, and we’re proud to be
working with the Christian Medical College,”
says Manohar Kollegal of Siemens Corporate
Technology (CT) in the Indian city of Banga-
lore. CMC has been active in this part of India
for over 50 years and is very familiar with local
conditions. The college has helped Siemens CT
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011 71
72 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011 to develop a pilot project called the “Communi-
ty Health Information System” (CHIS), which
has already been tested in some villages. “Dur-
ing the first test phase, ASHAs tried out the cell
phones,” says Prof. George Kuryan, head of the
Community Health Department at CMC in Vellore. “They’re very excited about using them and the possibilities offered by the new
technology.” After the testing phase, 83 vil-
lages with a total population of about 100,000
people are expected to take part in the CHIS
An ASHA starts her work by downloading
villagers’ up-to-date demographic data, includ-
ing some health information from a hospital
server, to her smartphone. This tells her what
she should look out for when examining par-
ticular villagers. Later, after she has recorded
all the data from a village, she transfers it via
the mobile communications network to the
hospital server, or she can upload the data to a
laptop the doctors have brought with them in
the bus. “In both cases, doctors first have to
check that the data is correct before it’s stored
on the server. This is for quality control,” says
Kollegal. The data transferred to the server is
included directly in patient records and under-
goes statistical analysis. All the software used
in the process, from the cell phone to the lap-
top, was developed by Siemens Corporate
One of the ASHAs’ focus areas is on sup-
porting women during pregnancy, preparing
for birth, and providing postnatal and postpar-
tum care. According to the World Health Or-
ganization, 37 of every 1,000 Indian newborns
died within the first four weeks of life in 2008.
By comparison, Germany had a mortality rate
of three in 1,000 newborns that year. After a
delivery, an ASHA therefore records data such
as the baby’s weight and heart rate. If an emer-
gency occurs, she can call a doctor on her cell
phone. Siemens CT India also hopes to provide bet-
ter support to doctors by developing inexpen-
sive medical devices that are usable by trained
laypersons, such as the ASHAs, provide reliable
results, and are robust enough to operate de-
pendably in adverse conditions. The top priori-
ty in this regard is to provide support for preg-
nant women. The device currently at the most
advanced stage of development is the Fetal
Heart Rate Monitor (see Pictures of the Future,
Fall 2010, p. 44 and p. 56), a sort of stetho-
scope that automatically measures and dis-
plays the heart rate of an unborn child. Produc-
tion of this device will soon begin at a Siemens
plant in Goa. After the test phase of the project
has been completed, the ASHAs in 83 villages
in Tamil Nadu will be equipped with cell
phones and, later on, with Fetal Heart Rate
In the case of premature births, it is also
common to monitor not just the heart and res-
piratory rates but also blood oxygenation. With
this in mind, CT India is developing a portable
device for ASHAs that measures respiration
and a pulse oximeter, which uses sensors to
measure the oxygen saturation of arterial
blood after the skin is exposed to infrared
Technology for Emerging Economies. In-
creasingly, the typical diseases of modern civi-
lization are spreading in India. For instance,
there are already over 40 million diabetics on
the subcontinent, and each year about two
million people suffer a heart attack. Indian au-
thorities estimate that by 2020 over seven mil-
lion Indians will die of chronic illnesses each
year. The reasons for this include population
growth as well as the country’s rising prosperi-
ty. CT developments are therefore also focus-
ing on simple devices for investigating cardio-
vascular illnesses, such as mobile ECG devices.
Also in planning are easy-to-use systems for re-
mote patient monitoring. “These devices we’re
developing are tailored to the needs of emerg-
ing countries like India,” says Kollegal. “Since
we need a great quantity of devices for our
large population, we have to
supply them at the lowest pos-
sible price. These devices also
have to be as easy as possible
to use and they must be virtu-
ally maintenance-free.”
Another challenge faced by
Indian society is infectious diseases. India ac-
counts for a fifth of the world’s cases of tuber-
culosis — and a large proportion of these oc-
cur in rural areas. The biggest problem in this
context is contaminated water, which is also
partly to blame for the high child mortality
rate: Every day, over 1,000 children in India die
of diarrheal illnesses. ASHAs therefore keep a
record of all cases of diarrhea in their villages.
Using analytical software, CT researchers can
evaluate the database of its project partner in
the hospital and pinpoint those villages in
which cases of diarrhea occur very frequently.
Now that tests have been completed, the first
mobile water treatment systems from Siemens
Water Technology will soon be delivered to
those villages most affected by diarrheal ill-
For Kollegal it is already clear that the CHIS
project is a successful model that can be car-
ried over to other Indian states and to other
countries. In its next phase, the project could
be extended to a million people in the neigh-
boring state of Andhra Pradesh. But as Kollegal
knows, there is still a long way to go before
that happens.
Annapurna Verma, has just finished trans-
ferring her data from a cell phone to a laptop.
She and her fellow ASHAs are done with their
examinations for the day, and the bus starts
moving again.Michael Lang
Six times as many physicians prac-
tice in the cities as in the country,
where 70 percent of Indians live.
ealthcare policies always wind up being
economic policies as well. When China
began its economic reforms two decades ago,
it rescinded its “Iron Rice Bowl” — the compre-
hensive social safety net that included job se-
curity and free medical care, and today many
rural Chinese have no health insurance and
must pay their own doctor bills.
“We thought about how to cut costs so that
everyone in China could afford to have a com-
puted tomography (CT) examination if neces-
sary,” says Florian Belohlavek, product market-
ing manager for the SOMATOM Spirit CT
scanner. The device is a part of the Siemens
SMART Initiative, which is designed to develop
economical, robust, reliable, and easy-to-oper-
ate devices particularly for use in rural areas of
developing countries. The scanner is character-
ized by a dual-slice system, which means that
one complete rotation of the X-ray tube around
the patient records two sectional images simul-
taneously. That’s sufficient, for example, for es-
sential routine examinations of the head, lungs
and spine. The scanner’s moderate price makes
it possible for even small hospitals in China to
adopt computed tomography. “The SOMATOM
Spirit is usually the first CT scanner hospitals
buy,” explains Belohlavek. That’s why Siemens
has customized its syngo user interface for this
model. The device is manufactured in Shang-
hai, from which it is supplied mainly to Brazil,
Russia, India, and within China. Worldwide
sales have already exceeded 2,000 of these
scanners. Also made in Shanghai is the SO-
MATOM Emotion 6 and 16-slice CT scanner,
which many hospitals acquire as a second unit.
The unit’s fast scan time supports high patient
throughput. It also provides high image resolu-
tion so that tumors and strokes, for example,
can be diagnosed more reliably. When more advanced imaging is needed,
medical specialists in emerging economies as
well as their colleagues in industrial countries,
use high-end equipment such as the SO-
MATOM Definition Flash. This CT-Scanner can
be found mainly in large medical centers and
private clinics.
High Tech in India’s Villages. In India too
the government is striving to improve rural
healthcare. Most Indians live in one of the
country’s approximately 600,000 villages. As
in China, the penetration of health insurance
in the rural population is very low. The situa-
tion is aggravated by the fact that most physi-
cians practice in cities, and many villages are a
day’s journey away from the nearest hospital.
That’s why in 2001 Siemens developed the
concept of a mini-clinic on wheels. The idea is
to provide quality and affordable healthcare to
India’s interior. The result is the “Sanjeevan” —
a bus equipped with the most essential diag-
nostic devices, including those for X-rays, ul-
trasound, mammography, and basic lab tests,
as well as a supply of refrigerated medications.
More than 25 such buses have been sold to lo-
cal governments, NGOs, and private health-
care providers throughout India.
India is geographically subdivided into 600
districts. Siemens professionals are currently
investigating to what extent individual districts
are equipped with diagnostic devices. For ex-
ample, they have found that some districts
have no CT systems or catheterization labora-
tories. Fewer than 200 districts have a magnet-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 73
Sharing a Brighter Future | Healthcare
Pragmatic, cost-efficient solutions are being used in emerging economies to provide basic medical care for people in rural areas. But high-end devices are also used in those countries, especially in well-equipped medical centers in major cities.
No One Left Behind
The “Sanjeevan” bus offers modern healthcare to Indian villages. In Colombia, cardiologist Antonio Dager relies on high technology from Siemens (p. 29 center), as do health care providers in Chinese provinces (right). 74 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
ic resonance imaging system (MRI). Experts at
Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) in Banga-
lore are exploring how they can contribute to
the country’s rural healthcare system. “Since
the people in the countryside have to pay the
doctor themselves, they won’t see one until it’s
almost too late,” says Manohar Kollegal, pro-
gram manager for Healthcare Products at CT.
“What we need most is better prevention and
more affordable examinations,” he adds. He
and his colleagues are developing a diagnostic
device for analyses of urine, blood, and serum,
for example. “We strive to achieve a high quali-
ty standard at reasonable cost,” he explains.
The prototype is to be completed in the early
summer of 2012.
Another device the Indian Corporate Tech-
nology team developed is the Fetal Heart Rate
Monitor (see Pictures of the Future,Spring
2011, p. 88) for monitoring the heart rate of a
fetus. The device not only measures the fetal
heart rate via a sort of microphone but also the
mother’s uterine contractions. Having com-
pleted its clinical trials in 2011, it is now ready
for clinical use in India, and is expected to help
reduce India’s high infant mortality. “We have
developed proprietary algorithms for our soft-
ware and incorporated region-specific diag-
nostic alarms regarding the fetal heart rate,”
Kollegal explains.
More advanced solutions, this time in the
area of artificial Intelligence, are being imple-
mented at locations throughout Siemens. For
example, researchers in the United States and
Germany are developing a clinical decision
support system that analyzes patient data and
suggests the most likely diagnosis to the at-
tending physician (see Pictures of the Future,
Fall 2011, p. 60). The system is being devel-
oped by Dr. Vinay Shet and his team within the
Collective Intelligence lighthouse project.
Ultrasound in Mexico. India is by no means
the only country to have a high infant mortali-
ty rate. In Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest state,
healthcare education and delivery for the
mostly indigenous population is hampered by
language barriers and cultural differences as
well as geography that makes access difficult.
To improve on-site healthcare delivery,
Siemens has provided 44 ultrasound devices to
community health centers. The devices are
used for examining pregnant women and
small children. Since the devices were intro-
duced two years ago, infant mortality in Chia-
pas has declined by five percent.
“The Chiapas government has also pur-
chased 35 Polymobil Plus mobile X-ray units
from Siemens,” says Mauricio Valero, head of
sales for clinical products in Central America.
The units are simple to install and clean, and
their maintenance costs are low. They are used
not only in small hospitals but also in primary
care facilities, which often comprise only a sin-
gle room. In addition to these measures, the
Mexican government is also seeking to im-
prove the healthcare infrastructure of Chiapas
by building three new hospitals in urban cen-
ters. As a part of its breast cancer screening
program, the government has equipped two
first-level private clinics in Mexico City and
Monterrey with a digital mammography sys-
tem and an ultrasound device for automatic
3D breast scans (see Pictures of the Future,Fall
2008, p. 95). The combination of ultrasound and mam-
mography is considered the best method for
detecting breast cancer and avoiding false pos-
itives and superfluous biopsies. The govern-
ment plans to install another six to ten such
devices in smaller cities. And it is planning to
have the medical images from such screenings
interpreted centrally by two or three highly
specialized experts in Tuxtla, the capital city of
the State of Chiapas. The images will be trans-
mitted to these experts via data links. “The installation of the required telematics in-
frastructure is slated to be completed in 18 to
24 months,” says Valero.
Patients from Central and South America as
well as the U.S. are attracted by the An-
giografía de Occidente hospital in Cali, Colom-
bia’s third-largest city. The hos-
pital, which has obtained JCI
(Joint Commission Internation-
al) certification, is where Dr. An-
tonio Dager operates. Dager is
the only cardiologist in Colom-
bia who is qualified to use a
new minimally invasive procedure to replace
heart valves. Dr. Dager, who received training in the U.S.,
uses two Artis Zee angiography systems plus
syngo DynaCT Cardiac software, which pro-
vides him with 3D images from the body’s inte-
rior during the procedure. Over the past three
years Dager has performed 90 such proce-
dures. He is now equipping a hybrid laboratory
in which he will be able to perform both mini-
mally invasive and open heart procedures. “In
order to plan this lab, I visited Siemens in Er-
langen last year, where I learned all I needed to
know about the required infrastructure. I was
able to actually practice all the steps of the pro-
cedure in a hybrid lab,” he reports.
China, India, Mexico and Columbia — these
examples illustrate that high-end medical care
is making progress not only in developed coun-
tries, but in emerging economies as well. De-
spite their economic advances, these countries
need to pay as much attention to cost factors
as do industrialized countries. But the challenges in providing healthcare
to rural populations — often in relatively inac-
cessible areas — are disproportionately large.
Nonetheless, many developing countries man-
age to use a practical mix of moderate-cost so-
lutions for basic medical care delivery in rural
areas plus high-end solutions for specialized
care in large cities to improve the health of
their citizens.Michael Lang
A mobile clinic fitted with high-tech
equipment provides healthcare in the Indian hinterland.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 75
Sharing a Brighter Future | Healthcare in a Rain Forest
Until recently, the inhabitants of Brazil’s Amazon region had to travel to cities for many types of medical treatment. Now, a private initiative is changing that by providing medical services in the rain forest itself. Siemens is supplying mobile ultrasound devices to support the effort.
Clinic under the Palms
Indios such as Paiki and his family (below) and the entire village of Kikretum profit from a health expedition into the Amazon. Examinations and even operations are conducted on site (right-hand page).
aiki pulls in his line for the last time. He’s
already landed three catfish and five pira-
nhas, but that’s not the most he’s ever caught.
“The fish don’t bite as much in the rainy sea-
son,” he says, “but it gets easier to catch them
again when the river subsides.” Paiki is very fa-
miliar with the laws of the rainforest. He has
lived in the Amazon jungle his whole life and
has been hunting wild boar, tortoises, and fish
since he was a child. Paiki starts up the outboard motor of his
small boat and begins to maneuver slowly and
skillfully through the treetops rising out of the
water. When the dry season begins in a few
weeks, the water level of the Rio Fresco will
sink by up to ten meters and the tree trunks
will become visible again. At the moment they
are still concealed beneath the masses of yel-
low-brown water that are racing through the
Brazilian state of Pará.
Paiki, who is 31, had a dentist appointment
this morning in his village, Kikretum, which is
rather remote even by Amazonian standards.
Kikretum has 500 inhabitants and is located in
the center of the territory occupied by the
Kayapo tribe. Here there is nothing but rain
forest as far as the eye can see. The nearest big
city, Marabá, is two hours away by plane, and
it’s six hours by boat to the smaller city of São
Felix do Xingú. In any case, Paiki thought it was more im-
portant to fish today since he has four children
to feed. His wife gave birth a week ago to a boy
— something that makes Paiki particularly
proud. Perhaps the little one will grow up to
become a Kayapo warrior. The associated ritu-
als won’t be easy, though. For example, the
boy will have to tear off part of a wasp nest,
and the angry insects will sting him over and
over again in this test of courage. That’s simply
the way it is here.
An assistant nurse from Brazil’s Secretaria
Especial de Saúde Indígena (SESAI) health de-
partment was present when Paiki’s youngest
son was born. Nevertheless, doctors and den-
tists generally make only fleeting one-day vis-
its to extremely remote Indio villages like Pai-
ki’s. “The shaman, an indigenous healer, treats
us when we get sick,” says Paiki as he ducks to
avoid a thick hanging branch on the way to
Kikretum. The shaman takes care of things like
snake bites and “illnesses of the spirit,” which is
how the Kayapo describe psychological disor-
ders. He realizes quickly whether an ailment
has to do with the water spirit and whether his
patients should be given herbs or perhaps be
ordered to avoid certain foods. Still, the
shaman isn’t much help with tuberculosis, her-
nias or malaria. These days, many Kayapo are
demanding better provision of what they call
“the white man’s medicine.” A Territory the Size of Austria. SESAI’s rain
forest doctors regularly visit Kikretum in a sin-
gle-engine airplane. This aircraft is necessary
because the 7,000 Kayapo are spread across a
territory the size of Austria. The physicians are
unable to treat many cases on site. In such sit-
uations, they send their Indio patients to hos-
pitals in cities as far as Belém, which has a pop-
ulation in the millions and is located near the
faraway Atlantic coast. “One of my sons had
76 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 pneumonia once,” Paiki recalls. “It took six
weeks to treat him in Belém. We stayed with
him the whole time and slept on plastic chairs in
the hospital. It would be a lot easier if we could
get more medical treatment in our villages.”
Paiki’s wish is now coming true. 20 doctors
arrived recently, something that had never
been seen before in Kayapo territory. Physi-
cians and nurses from the Expedicionários de
Saúde (EDS) non-governmental organization,
which is financed solely through donations,
have transformed the village school in Kikre-
tum into a small hospital for a ten-day stay.
They have built tents and cranked up diesel
generators, and have brought with them air
conditioners, surgical instruments, and even
ultrasound units from Siemens. The dreaded
dentists have also come as part of the group.
The Indios claim that their encounters with
these medical professionals more often than
not cause them to lose a tooth rather than get
one saved — so they are reluctant patients.
Paiki’s boat is getting closer to his village,
and he can already see that there’s a lot going
on at the shore. A ferry has just arrived from
Gorotiri, another Kayapo settlement. The ves-
sel has brought patients — and therefore work
— for the eye doctors, the pediatrician, the
surgeon, the gynecologist, and the other
physicians, who together will conduct around
1,700 examinations and treatments (including
more than 70 operations) during their stay.
Paiki ties up his boat and strolls through the
crowd. He has run a narrow pliable branch
through the gills of his freshly caught fish and
knotted the ends. The fish hang on the stick
like a string of pearls — the long fat catfish and
the piranhas with their deadly sharp teeth.
They’ll soon be swimming in a soup. Many of
the new arrivals from Gorotiri have brought
companions with them. Some have bows and
arrows. They plan to hunt for their food during
their stay in Kikretum. A cage holding an impa-
tient parrot with fluttering wings seems lost in
the crowd; a young Kayapo girl picks ants out
of her rat’s fur.
The fact that a boat full of patients has
landed here is a minor success when you con-
sider that rumors had spread in Gorotiri that
the doctors pull out the eyes of patients and
replace them with river dolphin eyes. The vil-
lage elders had to convince the sick people
that they would be helped in Kikretum. The sea-
soned Kayapo warrior Akiaboro set a good exam-
ple. He, who considers himself a political leader
of the Kayapo, stands up straight as he moves
through the crowd, with yellow-green parrot
feathers adorning his head. “There are some ill-
nesses that the white man can treat better than
the shamans,” he says. “I myself came to Kikre-
tum to get a checkup.” Akiaboro also wants to
see the dentist because there’s something
wrong with one of his root canals. “I haven’t slept
for days because of the pain,” he confides.
Paiki’s visit to the dentist is still far off. It’s
now afternoon and there’s a big line in front of
the village school. A Kayapo girl is playing soc-
cer with a balloon; her skin is covered with or-
namental painting, and colorful chains hang
from her wrists and ankles. Before the patients
are sent to the right treatment station at the
school, their names are entered into a comput-
er. The nurses stick labels of various colors
onto the skin of the Indios to indicate to other
personnel where they need to go. “Blue stands
for the eye doctor, pink for the gynecologist,
yellow for the pediatrician, and green means
the operating tent,” says Claudio Braga, who
runs the computers. Wireless Network in a Forest. Kikretum’s in-
stant hospital has an IT system that would be
the envy of many facilities. “Our 11 laptops are
linked in a wireless network; and all of the pa-
tient files are digital and are accessible in the
treatment and operating tents as well,” Braga
says proudly. “Virtually no other Brazilian hos-
pital has such a high IT standard — but we’ve
got it here in the rain forest.” Examination equipment and surgical instru-
ments are cleaned in a sterilization room be-
hind Braga’s desk, which holds the computers
and the printer. Two young members of the
Kayapo tribe are now covering the roof of a
platform with fresh palm leaves. This helps
many of the older patients, some of whom can
hardly see any more. The powerful rays of the
sun cause the lenses of the natives’ eyes to blur
sooner here than elsewhere. It’s not surprising
that cataracts are a big problem here.
“The illnesses we diagnose have a lot to do
with environmental conditions and the Indio
lifestyle,” says Fabio Atui, a surgeon with a pri-
vate practice in São Paulo
who also works at one of the
megacity’s best hospitals.
Even though Atui has a fami-
ly, he always takes unpaid va-
cation time to join the EDS ex-
peditions, which have been
carried out since 2003. He considers it impor-
tant to bring first-class medical services to the
remote regions of the Amazon. “People in the
tropical rain forest often suffer from infectious
diseases, fungi, and scabies,” he explains. “They
move around a lot, walk for miles, and carry
heavy loads, which is why hernias are common,
whereas heart problems are rare.”
When he’s in the jungle, he works in the op-
erating tent. Those who wish to enter must
first put on a pair of blue overalls and a surgical
mask in a closed-off anteroom. Atui also wears
white latex gloves. He now has a hernia pa-
tient under the knife. Several surgical instru-
ments are now in the incision; a monitor dis-
plays the patient’s vital functions. An air
conditioner continually pumps cool air into the
tent, but outside it’s hot and humid — typical
Amazon weather.
“We only do certain kinds of operations in
the rain forest,” Atui says. “The diagnoses have
“Virtually no other Brazilian hospital
has such a high IT standard — but
we’ve got it here in the rain forest.”
Iria Novaes, a gynecologist, and Fabio Atui, a surgeon, use ultrasound equipment from Siemens during a stay with the Indios in the Amazon.
to be quick and unequivocal, and the opera-
tions may not require any complicated prepa-
rations or post-surgical treatments. After all,
we’re only here for ten days.” The diagnoses in
particular are a major challenge, because EDS
doesn’t provide any X-ray machines, as they
are too big and heavy to transport. Still, Atui
can rely on a handy ultrasound unit that
Siemens provides at no cost.
He and his fellow physicians, as well as
nurses and other assistants, voluntarily forgo
the comforts of civilization and privacy when
they carry out their mission. For example, the
latrines and showers are in a wooden shed
next to the kitchen, and instead of eating at a
nice restaurant in the city, staff members ladle
out a mixture of rice, beans, and meat for
themselves from a large pot. On the first
evening, expedition director Ricardo Affonso
Ferreira tells the young doctors who are partic-
ipating in the project for the first time, “It’s a
privilege to be here. We want to show the In-
dios our respect. We don’t expect any thanks
— we’re not 21st-century missionaries.”
Atui sees things the same way. He’s con-
vinced that the only way to prevent further de-
forestation is to make sure the Indios continue
to inhabit the rain forest and view it as their
home. He believes it’s wrong to send them to a
city for a few weeks for medical treatment.
Many Indios are already exposed to the prom-
ise of luxury and good times in urban areas
through TV stations that broadcast the Carni-
val in Rio live to the huts of Kikretum. They also
watch the music videos of American pop stars,
not to mention the daily Brazilian soap operas
that also display images of material prosperity.
Older members of the Kayapo can well re-
member all the things money can buy. Back in
the 1980s, gold was discovered in Kayapo ter-
ritory, attracting all kinds of fortune hunters.
The gold diggers who swarmed into the region
had to pay the Indios a fee for what they ex-
tracted, and the Kayapo actually ended up
buying airplanes with the money. However,
the gold supply was depleted after a few years,
and the quick cash the Kayapo had made also
quickly disappeared. By this time, prostitution
and drug dealing had established themselves
on the outskirts of the reservation: “Civiliza-
tion” had found its way into the rain forest.
High Infant Mortality. Paiki has two televi-
sions in his hut, where he now arrives with his
catch. Garbage is lying around, and the fami-
ly’s few possessions are stored in plastic bags
that hang on the walls. Paiki shares his hut
with another family. Everyone sleeps on the
floor, in tents, or in hammocks. Paiki’s wife is
lying in one of the hammocks and nursing the
new baby. Young Indios in particular suffer
from the effects of poor hygiene and the hu-
mid climate of the Amazon. Respiratory dis-
eases are common among children, and doc-
tors say the child mortality rate is nearly ten
times higher here than in São Paulo. “Many women don’t like to be examined,”
says Iria Novaes, a gynecologist from Camp-
inas. “For most of the women I see, it’s the first
gynecological examination they’ve ever had in
their life.” Novaes is supported in her work by
one of two ultrasound units that Siemens sup-
plied to EDS to supplement the company’s fi-
nancial assistance to the expeditions. One
evening, just before she retires to her tent for
the night, Novaes talks about the people she
has treated earlier in the day. One patient was
a 27-year-old woman who Novaes was very
concerned about because she suspected the
woman had cancer. Novaes took a tissue sam-
ple and sent it to the university hospital in
Campinas for analysis. Meanwhile, her own ex-
amination with the ultrasound unit revealed at
least one piece of good news: No apparent
signs of metastases, indicating that there was
still hope and time for treatment and recovery.
Communication between doctors and pa-
tients across cultural barriers is no easy thing.
Although the expedition includes interpreters,
and some Kayapo — like Paiki — who speak
enough Portuguese to get by, language is still
a problem. In addition, many gestures that are
important in doctor-patient communication
are not understood. The Amazon region isn’t
the only place where physicians face such
problems. The situation of the indigenous peo-
ple in Brazil is extreme in many respects, but
there are in fact billions of people in rural areas
around the world who have only limited access
to medical care and treatment (see Pictures of
the Future, Spring 2011, p. 88).
Their situation can be improved at an af-
fordable cost if two conditions can be met, as
they are in the EDS expeditions: The physicians
must be dedicated, and they must be provided
with modern and affordable technology to as-
sist them. Instead of exporting its devices,
Siemens is now manufacturing more and more
medical equipment directly in emerging mar-
kets in order to ensure that state-of-the-art
Celso Takashi Nakano, an eye doctor, collected a large number of donations, which is why he is now able to utilize the most modern equipment on the market. When the rain forest doctors arrive tents are built and transformed into small hospitals.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 77
ack in 1970, if the Gulf Coast Waste Dis-
posal Authority of Texas had known what
was coming, it would probably have aban-
doned its idea immediately. The agency had
decided to build a petrochemical waste dispos-
al facility in the Galveston Bay area. Although
the project was never carried out, it cost the
agency more than $10 million to deal with all
the protests and local citizen initiatives that
seemed to come out of nowhere. After 15 years of legal battles and countless
court rulings in favor of citizens, public officials
finally invited citizen groups to a mediation
session at the Keystone Center in Denver, Col-
orado, a prestigious institute for conflict reso-
lution. This didn’t help, though. By then, citi-
zens were simply too enraged — and the
damage had already been done. After another
five years had passed, several members of the
citizens’ initiatives were elected to the Gulf
Coast Waste Disposal Authority executive
board. The NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) prin-
ciple had prevailed, and the waste disposal
project was history. But a look at Switzerland and Brazil shows
that things can work out differently in such sit-
uations. On a winter day in 2011 helicopters
transported 20 heavy steel components to a
drilling site where a geothermal power facility
was to be built in eastern Switzerland. The city
of St. Gallen wanted to reduce its use of fossil
fuels to just 25 percent of the energy mix by
2050 and provide geothermal heat to half of
its 44,000 residences. This energy source is cli-
78 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2011 medical technology can be provided at reason-
able prices. Celso Takashi Nakano, an eye doctor, thinks
it’s wrong to have to work with second-class or
discarded equipment just because he’s in a rain
forest. Nakano collected a large number of do-
nations, which is why he is now able to utilize
the most modern equipment on the market. He
operates mostly on cataracts, one after the oth-
er — as often as 20 times a day. “We have the
most difficult cases in the world here,” he says.
It’s a huge challenge, even for Nakano, who
is considered the best man for the most com-
plicated cases at the university hospital in São
Paulo. “The Kayapos’ pupils barely dilate,
which is probably due to their diet,” he says.
This makes his work very difficult, because he
has to insert his surgical instrument into the
narrow pupils. It’s 9:30 a.m. — time for
Nakano’s first patient. He uses an ultrasound
device to shatter the man’s blurred and hard-
ened lens and then inserts a new lens with a
tiny pair of tweezers. His patients wake up
from their anesthesia in a hammock in the vil-
lage school a little while after their operation,
a thick bandage wrapped around the eye that
has been operated on.
One of the first patients, whose bandage has
since been removed, pays a visit to the doctors
during lunch. The sunglasses he’s now wearing
make him look like an aging rock star. “Check
out how clearly I can see now!” he cries out in
Portuguese as he takes off his glasses. Prior to
his operation, he had only 15 percent of his
sight, but soon — after his eye is completely
healed — it could return to more than 80 per-
cent. The doctors call out to him a friendly
“Meikumé!” — a Kayapo phrase that translates
more or less into “All right!” Toward the end of
their stay, some members of the expedition
team actually start wearing the tribe’s tradition-
al painted decorations.
The closer the end of the expedition ap-
proaches, the longer the line gets in front of
the dentists’ tent. Word has spread that the
dentists who have come this time save more
teeth than they pull, so those who have yet to
see a dentist — or were afraid to before —
now want to get their turn. A sign in front of
the tent says “kekét meitere” — “nice smile.” As
Pedro Affonso Ferreira from Campinas points
out, the dentists here have to do their best
work because “we don’t have enough special
lamps. I have to use a headlamp even though
its light causes some materials to harden too
quickly. That means I have to work faster.”
Hours of Rain. The sky has darkened again
outside, as it so often does in the afternoon.
Leaves begin to rustle in the trees, and rain-
drops that will soon turn into a downpour start
falling. Kikretum will then be transformed into
a swamp. Small makeshift wooden bridges —
like those on the Piazza San Marco in Venice
when the canals flood — allow the last pa-
tients to get to their accommodation and to
the village school. One last boat comes in from
A’Ukre, and a larger one arrives from Gorotiri.
On board are, among others, nine patients
with symptoms of malaria. Just two years ago
there were hardly any cases of malaria in this
part of Kayapo territory, but this infectious dis-
ease is now on the rise. Preventive measures
are the only thing that can help here; the EDS
doctors know that high-tech medicine and is
powerless against this deadly illness. In just a few days, the expedition team will
take down the tents and take off from the jun-
gle runway in their single-engine plane, which
will fly them to the nearest major airport in
Marabá. They will then travel on to the big
cities in southern Brazil where most of them
live and work. They won’t return to Kikretum
for some time, though, because each EDS ex-
pedition is sent out to a new destination. After
all, there are plenty of people throughout the
vast Amazon region who are in need of med-
ical attention and treatment.
Paiki walks back to the dock and watches as
a young Kayapo boy flings rocks out into the
Rio Fresco with his slingshot. “They didn’t even
drill,” Paiki yells out happily. It seems that he
has finally made it to the dentist. He smiles and
reveals teeth that have been repaired with a lot
of shiny metal during the past few years. “We’ll
be sad when the doctors leave,” he says. Can
Paiki imagine that he himself might leave the
rain forest some day? That will never happen,
he says. He belongs here. And although it
might be easy to sell the jewelry his wife makes
in a big city, life there would be too complicat-
ed; he always gets lost, he tells us. The boy on
the river bank has now begun to dance. In be-
tween shots with his slingshot, he sings the
chorus of a song in English that he recently saw
performed on television: “Baby, baby, baby, oh!
Baby, baby, baby, oh!”
Andreas Kleinschmidt
The doctors conducted around 1,700 examinations.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012 79
Many major public projects are often both complex and opaque. When the acceptance of projects of this kind wanes, transparent and structured procedures that enable citizens to participate in the decision-making process can help — as projects in Switzerland and Brazil have demonstrated.
Protests against a rail project in Stuttgart led to demands for more citizen participation in decision-
making throughout Germany. Pictured is a mediation
meeting with former German Minister Heiner Geißler.
Let’s Make a Deal!
Sharing a Brighter Future | Citizen Participation
mate-friendly and easy to access, because ex-
tracting heat from a depth of 4,500 meters
doesn’t require any major facilities that could
prove to be an eyesore. Still, the technology was by no means
without controversy, as a similar project in
Basel, Switzerland’s third-largest city, had been
scrapped after a water injection for tapping
into geothermal sources triggered a minor
earthquake in 2006. “Dialogue with local citi-
zens was therefore very important for us,” says
Marco Huwiler, General Project Manager at St.
Gallen’s public utility. “We also made sure our
project was embedded in an extensive grass-
roots democratic process.” The utility started out in 2009 by gauging
the opinion of some 50 interest groups and cit-
izens through interviews conducted in cooper-
ation with the independent Risk Dialogue
Foundation. “St. Gallen is a relatively small city, a place
where people generally know one another,”
says Matthias Holenstein, a project manager at
the foundation. “That’s why we used the first
round of discussions to talk to the directors of
local associations, firefighters, long-standing
members of the community, officials from in-
dustry and political parties, young citizens and
teachers, as these groups offered a very good
sampling of public opinion. We also conducted
sample surveys to get the opinions of average
citizens. We found there was a positive basic
attitude to our plan. But of course there were
also some open questions of a financial and
technical nature.”
The city initiated a series of events to dis-
cuss the issues and provide citizens with more
detailed information. The
main event was a public con-
ference with some 400 par-
ticipants that included closed
workshops, public presenta-
tions, interaction with the
media to address the more
controversial aspects of the
project, and a special exhibition on the geot-
hermal project entitled “Journey to the
Depths.” The Risk Dialogue Foundation took
part in this process as an impartial observer
that brought subliminal emotions to the atten-
tion of participants and presented different
views of the project. “Because such issues were
Citizen commissions assessed the feasibility and risks of potential sites for a waste disposal facility.
over public projects (see p. 52). “Besides, the
battle lines had already been drawn.” What to Do? Several years ago, Renn and his
team illustrated how to do things correctly dur-
ing a dispute concerning a waste disposal facil-
ity in the Swiss canton of Aargau. “These days,
everyone understands the importance of effi-
cient waste treatment, but the people in the
affected areas felt that they were being ex-
posed to risks in the form of potential ground-
water contamination,” says Piet Sellke, who
works at Dialogik. “There were 11 possible
sites here in Aargau, and the canton govern-
ment let the citizens decide where the facility
should ultimately be built.” To this end, Renn and his team brought to-
gether some 90 residents from 12 municipali-
ties in Aargau and divided them into four citi-
zen commissions. Each municipality on the list
of possible sites was asked to send two repre-
sentatives to each of the four commissions.
“Unlike other citizen participation setups, the
municipal authorities selected the citizens who
would take part,” Sellke explains. The commis-
sion members included housewives, teachers,
representatives of nature conservation soci-
eties, farmers, and municipal councilors. “Not
every member had the same knowledge, so
the project team provided everyone with infor-
mation and written materials
first.” The members were then asked
to draw up criteria diagrams for
assessing the proposed locations
in terms of suitability and risks.
During this pro cess they were able
to address questions to specialists,
listen to expert testimony, and visit the sites in
question. The criteria they came up with —
e.g. environmental impact, the economic effi-
ciency of the project — helped them compare
the different locations. After that, a closed
workshop was held in which waste disposal ex-
perts evaluated the criteria and made their
own recommendations. The results were pre-
sented to the citizens. “The four citizen commissions organized
separate workshops for the final assessment of
the proposed sites,” says Renn. “The evalua-
tions of the possible sites according to the cri-
teria were discussed in small groups and in a
plenary session. Finally, each site was put to a
vote.” One site, known as Eriwies, received the
most votes in each of the groups. Five mem-
bers of each commission were then selected to
form a “Super Commission” to align the recom-
mendations and forward the results to the au-
thorities in the form of a citizen report. “At the
beginning, 80 percent of the members be-
lieved their own municipality was not suitable
for the waste disposal plant,” Renn says. “But
80 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2012
Today, citizens participate in decisions concerning that holy of holies: the annual city budget.
The citizens of Recife, Brazil, have had a say in their city’s budget for ten years. taken into account at an early stage, there was
no need to have any specific mediation be-
tween the utility and other interest groups,”
Holenstein explains. The municipal parliament of St. Gallen ex-
amined the results of this phase of citizen par-
ticipation in the summer of 2010 and a refer-
endum was held in the fall, in which 80
percent of the electorate voted in favor of the
project. In Switzerland, grassroots instruments
such as initiatives and plebiscites ensure that
corrections can be made if doubts about a
project should arise later. Moreover, the knowl-
edge that they can defend themselves this way
if necessary gives citizens in Switzerland a feel-
ing of security and enables the political system
to function effectively. “That’s not surprising,
given that we’ve been practicing this type of
grassroots democracy for the past few hun-
dred years,” says Holenstein. But why did dialogue fail at the Keystone
Center in the U.S.? “Attempting to include citi-
zens in a project that’s already been decided
on just doesn’t work,” says Professor Ortwin
Renn, Director of the Dialogik institute in
Stuttgart, Germany, and a mediator in disputes
At a special show in St. Gallen, Switzerland, an elevator took visitors down 4,400 meters — at least virtually — to the projected site of a geothermal heat project. Sharing a Brighter Future
In Brief
Clean water can be scarce, particularly in rural
areas, slums or after disasters. However, modern
membrane technology from Siemens can quickly
and safely provide people with the precious re-
source. (p. 63)
It was only 30 years ago, in 1979, that the first
wind turbine — with an output of 22 kilowatts —
entered service in Denmark. Piet-Willem Cheva-
lier, an engineer for dynamic wind turbine analy-
ses at Siemens Energy in Den Haag, has found a
way to offer this kind of zero-emission electricity
to some of the world’s poorest regions. A classic
example of sustainability. (p. 64)
For generations, people living around Lake Victoria in East Africa have been using kerosene
lamps to catch fish and light their homes. How-
ever, these lamps pose a threat to both health
and the environment. The people also depend on
contaminated drinking water sources and it takes
them long distances to catch drinkable water
each day. The Water Energy Hub is a glimmer of
hope for those living around the lake. (p. 66)
The Mexican state of Querétaro is located in
central Mexico about two hours northwest of
Mexico City. While the capital Santiago de Queré-
taro has a good infrastructure, many highland vil-
lages and farms lack some basics, such as run-
ning water and access to the public power grid.
Siemens supports the Mexican charity project
“Luz cerca de todos” (Light close to everyone) in
the installation of solar panels that have changed
the life of people. (p. 68). Health plays a pivotal role in sustainable devel-
opment. Emerging markets and developing coun-
tries have a lot of catching up to do in the area of
medical care. Siemens technologies support to
manage to use a practical mix of moderate-cost
solutions for basic healthcare delivery in rural ar-
eas plus high-end solutions for specialist care in
major cities. (p. 71, 73, 75)
Many governments worldwide are increasingly
encouraging the involvement of interested public
in their major infrastrucutre projects as a means of
improving openness, transparency and accounta-
bility of the decision-making process — projects
in Switzerland and Brazil lead the way. (p. 78)
SkyHydrant: Rhett Butler, Siemens Water Technologies
[email protected]
Christine Weyrich, Siemens Stiftung
[email protected]
Mali wind power plant: Piet Willem Chevalier, Siemens Energy
[email protected]
Lake Victoria:
Jochen Berner, Osram
[email protected]
Ulrike Susanne Wahl, Siemens Stiftung
[email protected]
Lights close to everyone in Mexico:
José Hernández, Siemens Mexico
[email protected]
Waste management in Bolivia:
Gerhard Hütter, Siemens Stiftung
[email protected]
Tracking illness in India:
Manohar Kollegal, Corporate Technology India
[email protected]
Healthcare in emerging countries:
Florian Belohlavek, Siemens Healthcare
[email protected]
Rain forest, clinic under palms: Reynaldo Makoto Goto, Siemens Brazil
[email protected]
Public participation:
Matthias Holenstein, Risk Dialogue Foundation
[email protected]
Ortwinn Renn, research institute Dialogik
[email protected]
Siemens Stiftung:
SkyJuice Foundation:
WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for
Water Supply and Sanitation:
7 Billion Actions campaign of the UNFPA:
Research institute Dialogik:
Risk Dialogue Foundation:
by the end of the process, even the people
from Eriwies were saying the facility should be
built there.” The entire procedure took approxi-
mately two years, and the municipal govern-
ment agreed with the decision the citizens had
Brazil: Home of Participatory Budgeting.
These days the scope of citizen participation
has expanded beyond major projects into a
realm previously considered untouchable: the
budget. “Participatory budgeting,” which got
its start in Brazil in 1989, is now a welcome ve-
hicle for citizen participation in Europe as well.
This process, which gives citizens a say in the
distribution of public funds, can take many dif-
ferent forms. The Brazilian port city of Recife,
which has a population of 1.6 million, received
the 2011 Reinhard Mohn Prize from the Ber-
telsmann foundation for its budgetary policy.
“We searched all over the world for exemplary
projects that strengthen participation possibili-
ties for all social groups,” says Bertelsmann
Project Manager Christina Tillmann. “The citi-
zens of Recife decide every year on how ten
percent of their city’s budget will be allocated.
Over 100,000 people take part in the process,
which generated some 600 proposals in 2010.” The program focuses on urban develop-
ment projects for which citizens submit sug-
gestions. The city government distributes fly-
ers in all districts in advance so residents know
what’s on the agenda and what they have to
do. To this end, Recife is divided into 18 “micro-
regions,” which ensures that all districts can
express their wishes. “As soon as at least ten
people commit themselves to a proposal, it is
examined by the authorities in terms of its
technical and financial feasibility,” Tillmann ex-
plains. This process is followed by public forums in
which citizens select ten proposals per micro-
region and elect delegates who are then
trained in budgetary matters and refine the
proposals. “People who can’t come to the fo-
rums can participate online,” says Tillmann.
The delegates discuss the proposals with the
city council, which then decides on the appro-
priate measures. “The completed budget plan
is presented to the micro-regions, and resi-
dents elect representatives who monitor the
implementation of the projects,“ Tillmann ex-
plains. Almost 5,000 measures in sectors such
as wastewater treatment, healthcare, and edu-
cation have been approved by citizens and
then implemented since participatory budget-
ing was launched in 2001. “Problems affecting everyone must be
solved by everyone,” declared Swiss author
Friedrich Dürrenmatt in his play The Physicists.
Today, this statement seems more relevant
than ever before.Hülya Dagli
Pictures of the Future | Special Edition Rio+20 81
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Green City Index
How are cities in different parts of the world performing with respect to urban environmental sustainability? The Green City Index provides
the answer by assessing and comparing cities in terms of their environ-
mental performance. These unique research projects, which are being
conducted by Siemens in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence
Unit, foster the understanding and achievement of urban environmen-
tal sustainability and identify best practices that other cities may want
to follow.
Each city is measured on the basis of approximately 30 indicators across eight to nine environmental categories. The assessment covers
emissions, energy, buildings, land use, transport, water and sanita-
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The series began in 2009 and now covers more than 120 cities in Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Africa. Seven cities in
Australia and New Zealand will be included in late 2012. Life in 2050 — How We Invent the Future Today
We are on the threshold of a new era. Our planet’s climate is at risk.
The century of oil is coming to an end, and the world’s energy supply
must be put on a new and sustainable foundation. In 2050 the number
of people living in cities will be almost as large as the world’s entire
population today — and for the first time in history, there will be more
senior citizens than children and young people.
That’s why researchers, inventors, and engineers must be more cre-
ative today than ever before. Computers as medical assistants, robots as household servants, sensory organs for electric cars, buildings as energy traders, farms in skyscrapers, ceilings made of light, power
plants in deserts and on the high seas, supercomputers the size of
peas, virtual universities, online factories — these are not visions but almost tangible realities in laboratories worldwide.
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Chief of Pictures of the Future, provides for the first time a compact,
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Life in 2050
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Order number: A19100-F-P195-X-7600
ISSN 1618-5498
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