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Pictures of the Future
The Magazine for Research and Innovation | Special Edition: Green Cities
Sustainable Solutions for Buildings, Traffic and Energy
Developing solutions that are both eco-
nomical and sustainable
Buildings and Mobility
Energy-efficient and intelligent technologies for tomorrow’s cities
Energy Technologies
Innovative answers for a livable, low-carbon future Green Cities
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities 3
Energy Technologies
Buildings and
8 Scenario 2020 Talk of the Town
10 Trends Urban Nature
13 European Green City Index
What Makes a City a Winner?
16 Kopenhagen Wind, Wood & Two Wheels
18 Oslo
Green Milestones
20 Paris Fast Tracks, Bright Lights
21 Study of a Carbon-Free Munich
Paths to a Better Planet
24 Water Purification
Singapore: Pooling Resources
26 Facts and Forecasts
Trillions for the Infrastructures
27 Airports Flight from Carbon Dioxide
30 Scenario 2020 Master of Efficiency
32 Trends Simple Steps that Save a Bundle 1
34 LED Streetlights
World Heritage in a New Light
36 Networking
Plugging Buildings into the Big Picture
38 Smart Meters Transparent Network
40 Facts and Forecasts
Greentech in the City
41 Rail Vehicle Optimization
Tough Tests for Trams
42 Mobility Concept Vienna
Exemplary Realization
43 Metro Nuremberg
Driverless Subways
45 Hybrid Drives for Buses Next Stop: Bonus for Breaking
48 Tunnel Safety
Danger Made Visible
49 Road Pricing
A Toll Booth in Every Truck
51 Intelligent Traffic Management
Faster Commuting
52 Electromobility
From Wind to Wheels
55 Electric Vehicles
Get a Charge!
58 Scenario 2030 The Electric Caravan
60 Trends
Switching on the Vision
64 World’s Largest Gas Turbine
Unmatched Efficiency
66 Virtual Power Plants
Power in Numbers
68 Power Plant Upgrades
New Life for Old Plants 1
71 Offshore-Wind
High-Altitude Harvest
74 Energy Storage
Trapping the Wind
77 Facts and Forecasts
Highspeed for Mobility and Economy
78 Power Heat from Biomass
What a Fireplace!
79 Solar Thermal Power
Focus on the Sun
4 Train of Ideas European Tour for more Sustainability
6 Short Takes
News from Siemens’ Labs
83 Feedback/Preview Pictures of the Future | Editorial
nna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, who was the
Executive Director of the United Nati-
ons Human Settlements Programme (UN-
HABITAT) until 2010, summed up a crucial
trend of our time when she said, “2007
was the year in which Homo sapiens beca-
me Homo urbanus.” That year marked the
first time in history that the worldwide
number of city dwellers surpassed the
number of people living in rural regions —
and the urbanization process is far from fi-
nished. It is primarily the cities of the deve-
Brigitte Ederer is a member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. She has special responsibility
for the Economic Region Europe and is Head of Corporate Human Resources.
many rivals to become the European Com-
mission’s “European Green Capital 2011.” It
owes its victory in large part to its extensi-
ve utilization and expansion of renewable
energies, climate-friendly renovation of
buildings, and systematic expansion of its
local public transport network.
All of these are areas in which Siemens
is active as a global provider of infrastruc-
ture services ranging from smart building
technology (p.32) to sustainable transpor-
tation solutions, such as driverless subways
Cover:Since 2007, more of the Earth’s
population lives in cities than in rural
areas. Making our cities more sustai-
nable is one of our most important
tasks. The Train of Ideas demonstra-
tes how this can be achieved. It is tra-
velling to 18 European cities to show-
case sustainability ideas. In 12 of
these cities, Siemens will be present.
loping nations and emerging markets that
will have to absorb almost the entire in-
crease of the global population — approxi-
mately 1.3 billion people — in the next two
decades. This development poses tremen-
dous challenges for forward-looking and
sustainable urban development programs.
In developing and industrialized countries
alike, the quality of life depends on clean
water and clean air, efficient transportati-
on systems, a climate-conserving energy
supply, and smart building technology. In Europe, 73 percent of the population
already lives in cities — in China that figure
is only about 47 percent. How are Europe-
an cities dealing with this development?
Siemens commissioned the Economist In-
telligence Unit, an independent research
and consulting company, to find an answer
to this question. The result of its study is
the European Green City Index (p.13),
which ranks the European countries' lar-
gest cities in terms of their CO
energy supply, buildings, transportation,
water, air quality, waste disposal/land use,
and environmental management. The ci-
ties investigated range from Athens to Za-
greb, from Paris (p.20) to Istanbul, and from
Oslo (p.18) to Berlin. The index not only
provides information about the investiga-
ted cities' strengths and weaknesses but
also aims to support their efforts to beco-
me more sustainable. The initiative was a
total success, and similar indices has now
also been created for Asian and Latin Ame-
rican cities. It will be followed by further indi-
ces for North America, Africa, and Germany. In recent years the Hanseatic city of
Hamburg has impressively demonstrated
that urban ecological and economic goals
can be harmonized. This port city beat
A Sustainable Future for Cities
2 Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
(p.43) and extremely fuel-efficient hybrid
buses (p.45). The company also offers so-
lutions for more efficient energy producti-
on, including wind turbines at sea (p.71)
and the world's most powerful gas turbine,
which alone could satisfy the power require-
ments of all Hamburg’s households (p.64). These examples show that available
technologies can already help cities move
toward their goal of generating zero CO
emissions (p.21). The use of such techno-
logies is also worthwhile in business terms,
because measures to enhance energy effi-
ciency often quickly pay for themselves. In
other words, they reduce costs and emissi-
ons. For example, in fiscal 2010 alone, pro-
ducts and solutions from Siemens' Environ-
mental Portfolio helped customers reduce
emissions by about 267 million tons.
That's equivalent to the combined annual
emissions of New York, Tokyo, Lon-
don, Hong Kong, Berlin, and Rome.
This is why Siemens has gladly suppor-
ted Hamburg’s efforts to publicize innovative
ideas for protecting the environment throug-
hout Europe. The result is the "Train of Ide-
as,"an interactive sustainability exhibition
on rails. Six theme-based containers hou-
sing many exhibits will impressively de-
monstrate how cities can be designed to
be sustainable and offer a high quality of
life. Here, Siemens will be setting a good
example as it quite literally powers the
Train of Ideas — in the form of an energy-
sa ving locomotive from the Eurosprinter
fa mily. The locomotive’s technology enables
it to travel the length and breadth of the
continent without problems — despite the
many different rail systems in operation. Re-
gardless of where it stops, this train will
sym bolize sustainability throughout Europe.
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities 54 Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
Destinations Train of Ideas
With about 1.6 million inhabitants,
Barcelona is Spain’s second largest
city. One of the city’s main goals is
to expand public transportation and
energy supplies. For instance, the
city is thinking about to install a so-
lution, which can supply the ships in
the harbor with electricity from the
city’s power supply system rather
than from the ships’ own diesel gen-
erators. The Catalan capital has al-
ready managed to significantly
reduce its energy consumption and
emission rates by introducing low-
emission hybrid buses, efficient de-
salination plants for the creation of
drinking water, fully-automated sub-
ways, and the high-speed Velaro E
train, which connects Barcelona
with the capital Madrid. These solu-
tions all make use of innovative
Siemens technology.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city
with approximately 385,000 inhabi-
tants. Its next steps toward becom-
ing a sustainable city are centered
on expanding public transportation
and encouraging electromobility. Al-
ready today, Siemens technology is
contributing to reduced emissions
through improved local trains, guid-
ance and safety systems for road
traffic, building systems for public
buildings, and solutions for efficient
power generation. Vienna
The Austrian capital Vienna has an
estimated 1.7 million inhabitants
and is the country’s largest city. Its
plans to become a “Smart City” with
a sustainable infrastructure are
based on solutions such as energy-
saving ideas, smart grids, and elec-
tromobility. The first steps have
already been taken, many of them
with the help of Siemens. They in-
clu de energy-efficient building sys-
tems for schools and swimming
pools, solutions for environmentally
friendly power generation, and sus-
tainable subway and tram systems. (p.41)
With some 1.3 million inhabitants,
Munich is Germany’s third-largest
city. The southern German metropo-
lis is aiming to reduce its carbon
dioxide (CO
) emissions by 10 per-
cent every five years and to slash
pro-capita CO
emissions by 50 per-
cent (compared to 1990 levels) by
2030. At the same time, Munich's
municipal utility has set itself the
target of generating enough green
electricity to meet all the of city’s
power requirements by 2025. With a
portfolio that includes energy-effi-
cient metro trains, high-efficiency
hybrid buses, energy-saving building
technologies and ecofriendly power
generation solutions such as off-
shore wind farms, Siemens is help-
ing Bavaria’s capital city achieve its
ambitious goals. (p.21)
The Belgian capital has approxi-
mately 1.1 million inhabitants. On
its way towards a more sustainable
future, the city is focusing on reduc-
ing its energy consumption and, by
extension, its emissions. This will
apply to both its building sector and
to road and rail traffic. Siemens will
facilitate the city’s efforts to intro-
duce over 300 regional trains, en-
ergy-saving automated solutions for
public buildings (e.g. for Belgium’s
tallest buildings, the Belgacom Tow-
ers), and with hybrid buses which
use up to 40 percent less fuel than
diesel-powered buses do.
Paris is France’s capital and has about
2.2 million inhabitants. For several
years now, the city has placed its sus-
tainability focus on public transporta-
tion and energy-efficient building
systems — and has done so with suc-
cess. In 2011 the Paris metro turns
111 years old. For 30 years Siemens
has equipped the subway with sig-
nals and systems that aid subway
drivers, resulting in shorter intervals
between trains, a higher average
speed, and lower maintenance costs.
At the same time Siemens technol-
ogy is helping to reduce energy con-
sumption in buildings, for example
with smart building systems for the
Sofitel Hotel near the Arc de Triom-
phe or a lighting system for the OECD
headquarters that uses up to 70 per-
cent less energy than before the re-
furbishment. (p.20)
With approximately 1.8 million in-
habitants, Hamburg is Germany’s
second largest city and has been
named the European Green Capital
2011 by the EU Commission. Over
the past years the Hanseatic city has
successfully demonstrated that eco-
nomic development and environ-
mental protection need not be
mutually exclusive in large cities.
Again Siemens has helped pave the
way with efficient technology for
public buildings and hotels, as well
as electricity-saving LED technology
that keeps the crypt of Hamburg’s
famous St. Michael’s church beauti-
fully lit up. Copenhagen
Copenhagen has about 530,000 in-
habitants and is the capital of Den-
mark. According to the European
Green City Index, Copenhagen is
currently the most environmentally-
friendly city in Europe. That’s mainly
due to the number of energy-saving
and climate protection measures
which the city has introduced. The
overall goal is to become completely
carbon neutral by 2025 — aided in
part by Siemens. This will be
achieved through the production of
carbon dioxide-free electricity by
offshore wind turbines, the develop-
ment of a smart grid infrastructure,
and further research into electromo-
bility together with the Technical
University of Denmark. (p.16)
Approximately 2.5 million inhabi-
tants. Thanks in part to Siemens, the
city and the surrounded conurbation
Randstad have already laid the
groundwork for a sustainable urban
infrastructure. Measures include en-
ergy-saving trams and solutions for
the environmentally-friendly pro-
duction of electricity — whether
through biomass, wind or solar en-
ergy. For instance, the roof of the
Floriade building contains 19,000
solar panels that generate 2.3
megawatts of power. In the future,
Amsterdam aims to start operating
one of the most efficient fossil
power plants in Europe, to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions, and to
equip public buildings with sustain-
able technology.
About 1.7 million inhabitants make
the Polish capital the largest city in
the country. What’s more, Warsaw
continues to grow, and this will lead
to greater energy demands and in-
dustrialization. But the city never-
theless intends to lower its emissions
and energy consumption noticeably.
Warsaw is already proving that these
are achievable goals, thanks to con-
structing of Poland’s largest waste-
water treatment plant, implement-
ing effective systems for road traffic,
and solutions for the production of
clean energy — all of which contain
Siemens technology. Oslo
With about 600,000 inhabitants Nor-
way’s biggest city. The city’s goal is to
reduce CO
emissions by 50 percent
by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
Therefor Norway’s capital is on the
right track: Today the city already has
one of Europe’s highest density of e-
cars. Furthermore, the 250 new sub-
way trains in Oslo delivered by Sie-
mens captivate with their environmen-
tal profile and energy efficiency. (p.18)
With 285,000 residents the third
biggest city in Sweden. The city has
set a target to become by 2020 cli-
mate neutral and by 2030 the whole
municipality will run on 100 percent
renewable energy. Many steps have
already been taken and Siemens has
helped with for example energy-effi-
cient building systems for office
buildings, schools and residential-
buildings. (p.7)
07.09.-13.09. Brussels
29.09.-20.10. 01.05.-04.05.
06.05.-10.05. Göteborg
12.05.-15.05. Oslo
12.06.-14.06. Tallinn
20.05.-22.05. Zurich
01.09.-04.09. Paris
15.04.-21.04. Hamburg
21.09.-25.09. Antwerpen
Stops with Siemens-activities
24.05.-28.05. Munich
31.05.-04.06. Warsaw
20.06.-22.06. Vienna
25.06.-29.06. Barcelona
07.07.-10.07. Nantes
Pictures of the Future | Short Takes
Smart City
nergy efficiency rises immensely if building
systems such as lighting, heating, and air
conditioning are centrally controlled. An exam-
ple of this is the Sihlcity shopping center and ho-
tel in Zurich, where a Siemens energy manage-
ment system controls all of the building
technology. Tenants and hotel guests can set the
room climate as desired. The control system
uses sensors to determine current demand and
adjust systems accordingly. It also measures the
concentration in the rooms and automati-
cally regulates air circulation, thus increasing
energy effi ciency by up to 30 percent.
16,000 LEDs
he 190-meter Turning Torso in
Malmö, Sweden, marks a major
achievement. The building’s ambitious
architectural style led the New York
Museum of Modern Art to induct it
into its Hall of Fame of the world’s 25
most fascinating skyscrapers. Light is
an important design element in the
Turning Torso, and LEDs are used in-
side the building to flood the corri-
dors with a uniform white light. The
Siemens subsidiary Osram installed
around 16,000 energy-saving LEDs in
the tower, marking the first mass ap-
plication of such technology in archi-
tecture. The diodes’ long service life
also made them financially attractive
to the skyscraper’s builders. sw
he European Commission has awarded
Hamburg the title “European Green Cap-
ital 2011,” thus providing a platform for the
discussion of environmental issues and urban
development between citizens, experts, and
the business community. In line with this aim,
Hamburg will launch the “Train of Ideas” in or-
der to learn from other European cities and
enter into a dialogue with people in Germany
and abroad. The train will turn Hamburg into a Green
Capital on wheels, featuring a state-of-the-art,
interactive exhibition that shows visitors in an
exciting and informative manner how the
cities of the future may become sustainable
with a high quality of life. Targeted at a gen-
e ral, international audience, the exhibition ti-
tled “Visions for Cities of the Future” will pro-
vide a thrilling, easily understandable look at
various topics.
The exhibition showcases more than 100
city projects in Europe, presenting them in over
70 exhibits and on 26 touchscreens. Visitors
6 Pictures of the Future | Green Cities Pictures of the Future | Green Cities 7
The Future on Wheels
will be able to walk through six exhibition con-
tainers that show the city of the future from
a variety of perspectives. The exhibition will
take visitors from the personal and local lev-
el up to a regional and a global perspective,
extending, for example, from the “I” standpoint
(Container 2) through “My World” (Contain-
er 3) up to “The World of All” (Container 5). As the train’s official Premium-Partner,
Siemens also has exhibits in the Train of Ideas.
The company will, for example, present a va-
riety of films that allow viewers to experience
the smart grids of the future. At the push of
a button, visitors will be able to see how smart
grids differ from conventional power networks
and what their advantages are.
The Train of Ideas will stop at a total of 18
cities throughout Europe, including Hamburg,
Copenhagen, Malmö, Oslo, Zurich, Munich,
Warsaw, Vienna, Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, and
Amsterdam. In all of these places, Hamburg
is planning to cooperate with Siemens to hold
events on the topic of sustainable cities. sw
Onshore Power
ermany’s first onshore electrical power
supply station for merchant ships went
into operation in the city of Lübeck in August
2008. The facility enables ships to tap into the
local grid for their electricity needs, rather
than producing power themselves with pollu-
tant-emitting diesel generators. At the heart
of the Siemens solution is the Siplink system,
which makes it possible for the first time to
link ship and landside power networks, even if
their frequencies differ.
The CO
High Savings
oal as a fuel is going to re-
main a cornerstone of the
energy supply for a long time
to come. New technologies are
expected to free power station
flue gases of the greenhouse
gas carbon dioxide, thus mak-
ing a decisive contribution to
environmental protection. Ex-
perts worldwide are working
on concepts for generating
power without releasing CO
into the atmosphere. Among
the methods Siemens is focus-
ing on is the IGCC process, in
which the CO
is separated be-
fore combustion, and flue-gas
purification methods that sepa-
rate CO
after combustion. For
example, Siemens experts at a
pilot facility in Freiberg, Ger-
many, are studying how differ-
ent types of coal behave in the
gasifier. sw
he new Monte Rosa Hut in the moun-
tains above Zermatt provides a foretaste
of how smart building systems can help save
costs. Situated at an altitude of 2,883 me-
ters, the hut is largely self-sufficient, thanks
to a concept developed by the ETH Zürich
Siemens is developing and testing coal gasifiers in Freiberg.
An unusual lighthouse: The Turning Torso.
Interlocking: The train offers a look into the future.Green containers: The focus is also on nature.
Sustainability on wheels: The Train of Ideas is a mobile exhibition about green cities.
Clever: Energy management helps cut consumption.
Savings: Plugging in reduces emissions and cuts costs.
Pioneering project: The new Monte Rosa Hut demonstrates how weather forecasts can be used to save energy.
and the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC). For exam-
ple, the electricity for the water treatment fa-
cility and the lighting is supplied by a photo-
voltaic system, which is supplemented by a
small power-heat-unit when necessary. The
hut is equipped with a Siemens facility au-
tomation system that takes weather fore-
casts into account, enabling it to cut energy
costs by up to one third. sw
13 Masters of Sustainability
The Economist Intelligence Unit
conducted a study to find out
which European cities had done
their „green“ homework best. The
top markets went to Copenhagen,
Oslo and Stockholm 20 To Petit Noir without a Driver Paris has one of the world’s most
dense subway networks. New
technologies from Siemens are
helping city residents to reach their
destinations even more quickly.
21 A CO
-free Future Cities today consume 75 percent of the world’s energy. They are also responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet many existing technologies can help us make great strides toward CO
-free cities. 24 Wet Labor
In Singapore, clean water is at the
top of the agenda. Companies
from around the world come to
this small city-state to test their
treatment innovations. This is also
where Siemens coordinates its
worldwide research in this field.
27 Frugal Airports
Airports are the biggest energy
consumers in large cities. However,
relatively simply technologies can
be deployed to significantly re-
duce this energy consumption.
Municipal manager John Gardiner is an expert on the efficiency of urban infra struc-
tures. In response to questions from a stu-
dent, he explains how the city they live in
has dramatically reduced its energy con-
sumption while also enhancing the quality
of life. His apartment, which is also an example of efficiency, is equipped with energy-saving appliances and a multimedia
display made of organic LEDs.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2007
ennifer, you’ll just have to stay for dinner,”
says John Gardiner, looking over the edge of
his glass. “I’m expecting a couple of important
people who can contribute to our discussion
on environmentally friendly urban planning.”
“Thanks for the invitation,” replies Jennifer
Miles, a student of applied ecology who had
approached John after he gave a presentation
at an international conference on energy effi-
ciency. She had asked him a few questions,
and he had spontaneously invited her to his
apartment — in order to continue their inter-
esting scientific discussion. “You wanted to tell
me how you managed to more than halve en-
ergy consumption,” Jennifer prompts. “Saving
energy is very important, but it’s not every-
thing,” John replies. “A city shouldn’t sacrifice
any of its charm in the process. Its inhabitants
have to enjoy living there.”
John walks over to the panorama window.
“Some 800,000 people live in my neighbor-
hood. For years now, it’s been the most popu-
| Scenario 2020
Talk of the Town
It’s June 2020. Municipal ma-
nager John Gardiner is explai-
ning to a visiting student how
he has improved the quality
of life in his urban neighbor-
hood while cutting energy
consumption in half.
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
Parking guidance system Building technology LEDs and OLEDs Power plant technology
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009; Spring 2010
to tackle the most urgent environmental chal-
lenges. These include improvements to local pub-
lic transport, refurbishment of buildings, and re-
newal of power and water infrastructures. Yet the
battle to limit climate change could be fought
most effectively in large population centers. Cities
already account for 75 percent of the energy con-
sumed worldwide and are responsible for 80 per-
cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Today, ar-
chitects such as Libeskind see a gradual change
in attitude. “There’s a rethink taking place,“ he
says. “Municipal authorities are now looking at
more sustainable ways of shaping rapid urban-
ization. That creates a lot of potential for inno-
vation.“ The HSBC bank estimates that around 15
percent of current measures to stimulate the econ-
omy worldwide are going into green infrastructure
projects such as energy-efficient building systems.
In Europe, there’s a particularly great need for
green and liveable cities, as there already live 73
percent of the population in cities — compared
to around 47 percent in China. The primary chal-
lenge for European metropolises is therefore to
make existing infrastructures more energy effi-
cient and environmentally compatible. A study
by Moran Stanley Investment Management es-
timates the costs for the renewal of the water sup-
ply up to 4.800 billions € in Europe until 2030 —
beyond 1.000 billion € for energy supply and
about 3.000 billion € for streets and tracks.
In a report commissioned by Siemens, research
and consulting company Economist Intelligence
Unit has investigated which European cities are
particularly progressive in terms of sustainabili-
ty. “Heading the European Green City Index“ (p.13)
is Copenhagen (p.16), followed by Stockholm,
learn that life in confined spaces and sustainability
are not mutually exclusive,” says U.S. architect and
urban planner Daniel Libeskind. “Combining
the two is currently the biggest challenge facing
urban development.“
In fact, many of today’s megacities are seem-
ingly endless concrete jungles that continue to
devour space and resources. Forecasts indicate
that the number of megacities - those with at least
ten million inhabitants — will increase from 22
to 26 by 2015. The majority of these are to be
found in emerging and developing countries,
which absorb almost the overall growth of the
world’s population between 2010 and 2030 —
about 1.3 billion people. Particularly in those
countries sustainability hasn’t always been as-
signed top priority in the past. Here, the au-
thorities often have limited means at their disposal
t would be difficult to imagine a greener city.
Here, the inhabitants all live in one gigantic
building that blends in perfectly with its imme-
diate environment. Construction materials are
all locally produced and fully biodegradable. A
sophisticated arrangement of gangways, ven-
tilation shafts, and layers of insulation ensures
an agreeable climate inside, even when out-
door temperature variations are extreme.
What’s more, it does so without having to con-
sume a single kilowatt- hour of energy. In fact,
the building is situated in such a way that only
its narrow side catches the midday sun, thus
reducing the effects of solar heating. Deep
within the structure itself, residents tend huge
gardens, which provide food for the entire city.
Here, the sum total of the greenhouse gases
produced by the population is merely the re-
sult of their digestive processes.
Sounds like science fiction? For termites and
other insects, it’s been a reality since the begin-
ning of time. These ingenious creatures are
veritable masters of green urban planning. Their
nests, which can grow as tall as seven meters, not
only provide a home to millions of fellow insects;
they are also extremely energy-efficient and built
in total harmony with nature. In this respect, at
least, termites are far ahead of us. “We need to
| Scenario 2020
lar of the city’s 20 districts. And from up here
it’s clear why people like it so much.” Jennifer
nods. “Do you know where most energy was
being wasted ten years ago?” asks John. “In
power plants?” Jennifer answers. “Back then
they had much lower efficiency ratings, and
lots of energy was lost in the form of heat.” “Al-
most everyone gets that question wrong,” says
John, smiling. “A lot more energy was wasted
in buildings due to poor insulation. People vir-
tually threw fuel out the window. In those
days, heating systems accounted for 80 per-
cent of household energy consumption! Build-
ings were old, smart building technologies
were practically nonexistent, there were hardly
any combined heat and power plants — and
fuel cell technology wasn’t affordable.”
“And what did you do about it?” “Financial
incentives,” John answers. “For one thing, car-
bon dioxide emissions have been taxed for a
long time now. That initially brought some re-
lief to the homeowners and property owners
who had modernized their buildings early on.
And we introduced stricter regulations for new
buildings. Then too, as a municipal manager
I’ve strongly emphasized performance con-
tracting.” “What’s that?” asks Jennifer. “We ap-
pointed a team of energy savings detectives.
They look at all energy users in private house-
holds, businesses and public buildings, and
make recommendations on modernization,
which they also implement. The biggest ener-
gy guzzlers were motors and ventilation and
air-conditioning technology. Today we mostly
use energy-saving motors, and ventilation sys-
tems now have smart regulation systems. That
cuts energy consumption by more than half.”
“How did you get industry on board? Didn’t it
cost a lot?” asks Jennifer. “That too is a miscon-
ception,” answers John. “Of course invest-
ments are necessary. But they’re usually bal-
anced out quickly by the resulting savings. By
the way, that’s ideal for local authorities, which
usually have tight budgets.”
“I can see a power plant in the distance,”
says Jennifer. “In my courses I learned that
power plants have become increasingly effi-
cient over the last 30 years.” “That’s right,” says
John. “And thanks to the savings, we were able
to revise our requirements planning downward
and close down older power plants with high
emission levels. When we needed new power
plants, we made sure there was a mix of geot-
hermal energy, wind energy and conventional
technology. We also ensured that our suppliers
installed the best technology available. Effi-
ciency wasn’t our only criterion for the tur-
bines; we also had to fulfill strict noise regula-
tions. Nowadays, people living near a gas
turbine plant hardly notice anything. Our aim
was not only to be the world’s most energy-
efficient city — we also wanted to provide our
citizens with the best possible quality of life.”
John leans back in his chair. “I’ve also made
that a top priority here in my apartment,” he
says. “Take the lighting, for example. You have
no idea how important lighting is for creating
a sense of well-being. That OLED light panel
over there is also my home movie theater. And
the ceiling has a luminescent screen where I
can make a romantic sunset appear every
evening. You really must stay for dinner.”
“Um...could be difficult, but now that you
mention lighting, were you able to save energy
there too?” asks Jennifer, walking toward the
window. “Yes,” says John. “Thanks to LEDs,
which need less than a fifth of the electricity
required by incandescent bulbs or halogen
lamps. The price of these tiny light sources has
fallen significantly. They’re so economical and
have such long lifespans that today we’re even
inserting them into pedestrian pathways to
ensure safety. I’ve got a few of them here in
the columns and the furniture...”
“Wow,” says Jennifer with a polite smile.
“And what about road traffic? That was always
the second biggest energy consumer, wasn’t
it?” “Here we used a two-pronged strategy,”
lectures John. “First, we used taxes and emis-
sions certificates to promote hybrid and elec-
tric cars. Then we expanded the public trans-
portation system significantly. We also
converted the entire fleet of city buses so that
they could run on hybrid diesel engines — but
that was just a symbolic measure. The buses and
the subway system accounted for only one per-
cent of the city’s total energy consumption.”
“And what was the second step?” asks Jen-
nifer. “Efficient traffic management,” answers
John. “Of course, passenger car traffic has de-
creased considerably, thanks to our outstand-
ing subway system and the tolls on city traffic,
but lots of commuters and suppliers still come
here by car. But now we inform drivers about
congestion risks while they’re still on beltways.
Automatic guidance systems then direct them
through the city to parking garages.” Jennifer’s cell phone rings, interrupting
John’s enthusiastic lecture. “Hi, Mike,” Jennifer
greets the caller and a smile lights up her face.
“O.K., great, I’ll come down right away,” she
says and folds up her phone. “John, what
you’ve just said is absolutely true. The auto-
matic guidance system directed my boyfriend
to a free parking space right in front of your
building. I asked him to pick me up.” She
shakes hands with John and puts her half-
empty glass on the counter. “Thanks for the
drink and all the information. Bye!”
Norbert Aschenbrenner
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2007
Urban Nature
More and more people are moving to cities, which now account for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. To steer this rapid urbanization toward a greener future, major cities are increasingly turning to new, energy-efficient technologies.
| Trends
Termite towers (left) have been examples of sustainable architecture for millions of years. The
cities of the future are set to follow nature’s lead, as
here, in a vision of Hong Kong’s vertical farms.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
question gives us ample reason to take a closer
look at Europe’s major cities. What efforts are they
making to conserve resources? How are they try-
ing to prevent environmental damage, reduce CO
emissions, and maintain urban areas as places
worth living in? What exemplary environmental
protection projects are they carrying out?
To answer these questions, Siemens com-
missioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU),
an independent research and consulting firm, to
compare the environmental performance of 30
major cities in 30 European countries. From
Athens to Zagreb, from Ljubljana to Istanbul, and
from Oslo to Kiev, the study targeted the largest
cities in the countries in question, in most cas-
es their capitals. In order to illustrate their envi-
ronmental and climate protection performance
and objectives, each of the cities was assessed
on the basis of 30 indicators divided into eight
categories: CO
Emissions, Energy, Buildings,
Transportation, Water, Air, Waste/Land Use, and
Environmental Governance. The methodology for
the study was developed by the EIU in cooper-
ation with independent urban experts and
Siemens. “The result is the European Green City
Index — a ranking of the most important Euro-
pean cities that is unique in terms of its broad
scope,” says James Watson, managing editor of
the study. “The European Green City Index provides in-
sights into the strengths and weaknesses of each
city,” says Stefan Denig, project manager at
Siemens. “In this manner, it supports the efforts
of these cities to develop more effective climate
protection measures, and it also helps with pri-
oritization of environmental activities.” Most
important, however, is the fact that the study al-
lows the cities to learn from each other, some-
thing that is well worth the effort. Whether it’s
Europe’s largest biomass power plant in Vienna,
the continent’s most modern offshore wind
power facility in Denmark, the recycling lottery
system in Ljubljana, free rental bikes in Paris, land-
fills with methane production facilities in Istan-
bul, or buses equipped with systems that cause
traffic lights to turn green faster in Tallinn, the
he facts speak for themselves: Half of the
world’s population lives in cities, and in Eu-
rope, where urbanization is even further ad-
vanced, 73 percent of the population are city-
dwellers. This situation has significant environ-
mental consequences because urban centers ac-
count for 75 percent of global energy con-
sumption and 80 percent of the greenhouse gas
emissions generated by human activity. Cities thus
offer the potential of playing a greater role
than ever in the battle against climate change.
How are cities dealing with this responsibility? The
substances such as methanol, which could be
used as fuels. Organic light emitting diodes, Osram resear -
chers are going to work on, could once be even
used as exterior windows in buildings – the trans-
parent tiles, enlightening itself, would allow sun-
light in during the day and then emit light at night.
Meanwhile, other visionary technologies are
already in use. In the city of Regensburg, Ger-
many, for example, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
the street lighting is now provided — as of the
end of 2009 — by highly efficient LEDs supplied
by Siemens’ Osram subsidiary, which use only
around half as much power as conventional street
lamps (p.34)). Further more: In many cities
around the globe, Siemens is equipping traffic
light systems with state-of-the-art light-emitting
diode (LED) technology that consumes 80 to 90
percent less electricity than conventional traffic
lights, and also lasts at least ten times longer. The
investment pays off, as a large city with around
700 intersections can save €1.2 million each year
in energy costs just by replacing the lights. In this
era of tight budgets, LED traffic lights offer a per-
fect example of how ecological and economic
goals can be achieved simultaneously.
Technically, cities could therefore soon be en-
ergy-saving champions. But sustainability contains
more than just energy-saving technology. Solu-
tions for a sustainable transport have to be es-
tablished, too — for example for the foodstuff-
transport. Today, oranges end up not only in local
markets but often on supermarket shelves 1,000 km
away. On the way there, they produce tons of CO
According to scientists such as Dickson De-
spommier, the time has come for city planners
not least of all to turn to the example of termites
in the long term in order to ensure sustainable
urban development. In harmony with nature, sky-
scrapers in the megacities of the future would
then be able to serve as tremendous greenhouses
in which vegetables, fruits, grains, and poultry
are grown exclusively for local use.
Florian Martini/Sebastian Webel
| Trends
Oslo (p.18), and Vienna. The Danish capital owes
its top ranking to a host of energy-saving and cli-
mate-protection measures, including an efficient
district heating system, the use of wind power, and
the introduction of electrically-powered buses in
local public transport. These are elements of a plan
by municipal authorities to turn Co pen ha gen into
a completely CO
-free city by the year 2025.
Why it Pays to be Green.The example on
Copenhagen illustrates that environment and the
economy need not be mutually exclusive. On the
contrary, energy efficiency measures generally
pay for themselves quickly — above all in the field
of building technology and urban public trans-
port (p.30 onward). The following example illustrates the type of
savings that modern infrastructure solutions
can generate: The ratio between a country’s gross domestic product — adjusted to take pur-
chasing power into account — and the energy
it consumes is a rough measure of how effi-
ciently that nation utilizes energy. If we set the
value for Germany at 100, the U.S. and China have
values of about 70 and Russia has 33. In other
words, if the U.S., China, and Russia managed to
use energy as efficiently as Germany, that alone
would reduce worldwide energy use by 15 per-
cent. The situation is similar for carbon dioxide emis-
sions. Here the values are 147 for the U.S., 179
for China, and 291 for Russia. In other words, for
the same amount of GDP, the U.S. generates 47
percent more CO
than Germany, China 79 per-
cent more, and Russia 191 percent more. If these
three countries succeeded in reducing their rel-
ative emissions to Germany’s level, global CO
emissions would decline by approximately 20 per-
cent. Cutting CO
.A study by McKinsey on infra-
structure in London and a study by the Wuppertal
Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy
regarding a CO
-free future for Munich indicate
what the necessary sustainable long-term in-
vestment might look like. Siemens participated
in both studies. In London, for example, it
would be possible to use currently-available tech-
nology to reduce energy consumption, water con-
sumption, waste, and emissions by over 40
percent by 2025. What’s more, it would be pos-
sible to do so without negatively impacting the
lifestyles of the city’s residents. The investment
required over 20 years would be equal to less
than 1 percent of London’s annual economic out-
Munich, for its part, could reduce its CO
sions by 80 to 90 percent by 2058 (p.21). Here
the emphasis is on measures for increasing en-
ergy efficiency. The list includes heat insulation
and heat recovery systems in buildings; the ex-
ploitation of energy-saving electrical devices
and lighting systems; more extensive use of bus-
es, trains, and electric cars; the construction of
combined heat and power plants and renewable
energy facilities; and the transmission of low-CO
electricity over long distances.
There’s certainly no lack of creative ideas be-
side the solutions already mentioned about
how to realize this vision of the green city.
Siemens researchers have plans for a special fa-
cade coating that exploits the principle of pho-
tosynthesis. Like plants, buildings would then be
able to convert carbon dioxide from the air into
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009; Spring 2010
Energy-efficient buildings offer the quickest route to
reducing cities’ greenhouse gas emissions — here
Madrid’s Torre de Cristal. But also LEDs, for example
in traffic lights, or modern trains are energy savers.
The metropolis of Munich could reduce its CO
emissions by 80 to 90 percent until 2058.
| European Green City Index
Copenhagen’s extensive energy conservation and climate protection efforts make it the most
eco-friendly city in Europe. The city plans to become completely CO
-free by 2025.
What Makes a City a Winner?
The European Green City Index, a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit in cooperation with Siemens,
published in December 2009, compares the environmental compatibility of 30 European cities. Top-
ping the list is Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
level of affluence. For example, nine of the
cities that made it to the Top 10 have above-
average gross domestic products (GDPs).
These cities not only have better, more envi-
ronmentally-friendly infrastructures than are
found in less affluent cities; they also are pur-
suing more ambitious climate and environ-
mental protection goals — a surprising result
given the fact that affluence and a higher level
of development are often associated with
higher energy consumption and emissions. Getting Involved. But money isn’t everything,
as Berlin and Vilnius impressively demonstrate.
Despite having the ninth-lowest GDP of all 30
cities, Berlin still managed to finish eighth in
the overall rankings, ahead of other large and
more affluent cities such as Paris, London, and
Madrid. Berlin also shared the best ranking in
the Buildings category with Stockholm. Vilnius,
with the sixth lowest GDP in the index, leaves
all other cities behind in the Air category and
has the best overall ranking (13th place)
among the Eastern European cities. A lot of this has to do with people, however.
The environmental protection efforts of individual
urban residents add up. The more residents get
involved, the better a city’s ranking in the Euro-
pean Green City Index. This opens up interesting
possibilities for getting urban populations involved
when it comes to climate and environmental pro-
tection. One option here is citizen participation as it’s
being practiced in Brussels, which launched an
initiative known as Quartier Durable (sustainable
neighborhood). The initiative calls on residents
to develop green ideas for their neighborhoods.
The most promising ideas receive technical and
financial support from the city. Raising awareness of environmental and cli-
mate-change issues and providing information
are also indispensable elements in the battle
against climate change. “Many decision-makers
still don’t realize that investments in energy-ef-
ficient technologies tend to pay off financially,”
says Denig. Whether it’s better building insulation,
energy-saving lighting systems, or efficient
building management systems — most of these
technologies require a higher initial investment,
but it’s one that pays off in the form of lower en-
ergy costs throughout product life cycles (see Pic-
tures of the Future, Spring 2009, p. 35). “What’s
more,” says James Watson, “if most of the resi-
dents of a city use public transport, conserve wa-
ter and energy, and make ‘green’ purchasing de-
cisions, the change in their behavior can add up
to far greater results than what can be achieved
with restrictive city regulations.” Karen Stelzner
year. What’s more, environmental awareness is
increasing. Of the 30 European cities studied,
26 have developed their own environmental
plan. Half of the cities also have firm, feasible
-reduction targets. Copenhagen is planning
to be completely CO
-free by 2025, and Stock-
holm intends to do the same by 2050. Still, all
the cities are facing major challenges. For ex-
ample, on average, renewable energy sources
account for only around seven percent of their
total energy supply — well under the EU tar-
get of 20 percent by 2020. Less than 20 per-
cent of the waste in the cities studied is cur-
rently recycled, and one of every four liters of
water is lost through leaky pipes. Clearly, one of the key indicators determin-
ing a city’s ranking in the index is its relative
cent of Amsterdam’s drinking water is lost due
to leaky pipes. In addition, the city’s ever-present
water meters motivate users to conserve. Ams-
terdam can also be proud of its high recycling rate
— one of the reasons it finished first in
Waste/Land Use. A total of 43 percent of all mu-
nicipal waste, double the European average, is
separated and recycled in the city — while
most of the remainder is used to produce
enough energy to supply 75 percent of Amster-
dam households with electricity. Just one percent
of the city’s waste is disposed of in landfills. ‘
Vilnius is the top-ranking European city in the
Air category. In addition to its very low levels of
exhaust gas and emissions, the Lithuanian cap-
ital also emphasizes expansion of green areas and
forests — within and outside the city. Vilnius’ top
ranking in the Air category is also due to its small
size and lack of heavy industry. Focus on Environmental Protection. Most
of Europe’s major cities are already leaders in
environmental performance. Nearly all the 30
cities studied — which together have almost
75 million inhabitants and average per capita
emissions of 5.2 metric tons — lie below the
average emissions figure for all EU countries,
which is 8.5 metric tons. The top city, Oslo, pro-
duces only 2.2 metric tons of CO
per capita and
| European Green City Index
study focuses attention on interesting projects in
each city that can serve as model for the others.
Some Key Findings from the Study:
Copenhagen is the greenest city in Europe (see
p.16). The host city of the 15th UN Climate
Change Conference held in December 2009
performs very well in all eight categories. Second
place in the overall rankings is Stockholm, and
Oslo finishes third (see p.18), followed by Vien-
na and Amsterdam. ‘
In general, the Scandinavian cities earn the
highest rankings in the index, which should
come as no surprise, given that environmental pro-
tection has been a popular cause in the region for
many years. The fact that Scandinavian countries
are very affluent helps as well, and cities in the
region thus make the most of their financial pow-
er to promote investments in environmental
protection measures. Energy-saving buildings, ex-
tensive public transport networks, and energy pro-
duction from renewable sources, especially wind
and water, are widespread throughout the region. ‘
Eastern European cities are generally rated be-
low average in the Green Cities Index, with the
highest-ranked city, Vilnius, the capital of Lithua-
nia, finishing in 13th place in the overall index.
This result is in part due to the relatively low gross
domestic product in the region and its history —
after all, environmental protection was consid-
ered unimportant for the most part during the
Communist era. The latter fact is reflected in the
region’s high energy consumption, particularly
by buildings and other outdated infrastructures.
But Eastern European cities generally perform
above average when it comes to local public trans-
port. The percentage of people who use public
transport to get to work in Kiev, for example,
which took 30th place in the index, is the high-
est among all the cities studied.
The top-ranked city in the CO
Emissions and
Energy categories is Oslo. The Norwegian capi-
tal benefits here from its use of hydroelectric pow-
er to generate energy. Overall, renewable sources
already account for 65 percent of the energy con-
sumed in Oslo, which is also pursuing the very
ambitious goal of reducing CO
2 emissions by 50
percent by 2030. In addition, the city is encour-
aging more extensive use of district heating sys-
tems and hybrid and electric vehicles. Oslo also
operates a climate and energy fund financed by
means of a local electricity tax. The fund has been
used to support a large number of energy effi-
ciency projects over the last 20 years. ‘
First place in the Buildings category is shared
by Berlin and Stockholm. Following German re-
unification, Berlin modernized a large share of its
buildings in line with stringent energy efficien-
cy guidelines. The result is CO
savings of between
one and 1.5 metric tons per year in modernized
buildings. Berlin also launched a public-private
energy partnership program for its public build-
ings, with companies including Siemens. The pri-
vate firms in these partnerships assume the mod-
ernization costs and pay back their up-front in-
vestments based on the energy savings achieved.
Stockholm stands out by virtue of its exempla-
ry energy-efficiency guidelines and construction
of houses and residential areas that use very lit-
tle energy. These houses have a total energy con-
sumption of less than 2,000 kilowatt-hours per
year, despite the city’s cold climate. ‘
Stockholm also came out on top in the Trans-
portation category. Thanks to a perfectly struc-
tured bicycle path network, 68 percent of the city’s
residents ride their bikes to work, or walk — three
times the average of other European cities. An
additional 25 percent of the population uses the
public transport system. The Swedish capital also
relies on state-of-the-art technology for its pub-
lic transport system, which includes ethanol-pow-
ered buses and intelligent traffic guidance sys-
tems that ensure smooth traffic flows. ‘
Amsterdam led the field in the Water and
Waste/Land Use categories. Average water con-
sumption in the 30 cities studied is more than 100
cubic meters per capita per year, but residents of
the Dutch capital only need 53 cubic meters. This
is in part due to low water losses — only 3.5 per-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
Scandinavia has invested in environmental protection
for years — resulting in top rankings in the Index.
Gross Domestic Product: A Major Factor Affecting the Ranking of almost all European Cities
European Green City Index Score
Per capita
GDP (euros)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
London, United Kingdom Paris, France
Dublin, Ireland
Copenhagen, Denmark
Oslo, Norway
Stockholm, Sweden
Tallinn, Estonia
Vilnius, Lithuania
Warsaw, Poland
Helsinki, Finland
Riga, Latvia
Istanbul, Turkey
Kiev, Ukraine
Brussels, Belgium
Zürich, Switzerland
Madrid, Spain
Lisbon, Portugal
Belgrade, Serbia
Berlin, Germany
Prague, Czech Republic
Vienna, Austria
Bratislava, Slovakia
Bucharest, Romania
Budapest, Hungary
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Zagreb, Kroatien
Rome, Italy
Sofia, Bulgaria
Athens, Greece
12 14
Ranking of Europe’s-
Greenest Cities
In Stockholm, 68 percent of residents ride their bicycles to work. Berlin (right) modernized most of its buildings in accordance with strict energy efficiency criteria after 1990. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
alistic. While CO
emissions in many other cities
have increased, Copenhagen’s — already low to
begin with — have been cut by 20 percent since
The package of measures adopted by Copen-
hagen also extends to transport. Buses on the
city’s downtown routes, for example, are now
electrically powered, which reduces exhaust
fumes and noise levels in the narrow streets. The
city also intends to fit its entire fleet of vehicles,
600 in all, with electric or hybrid drive systems.
And all of Copenhagen’s publicly-owned real es-
tate is to be brought up to the latest energy-ef-
ficiency standards. Copenhagen’s approved plan of action for
achieving carbon dioxide neutrality by 2025 in-
cludes construction of a new subway ring,
which will connect the southern area of the city
to the rail network by 2018. Already, almost every-
one in the city lives within 350 meters of a pub-
lic transport station. In addition, a former harbor
area is to make way for a new district by the name
of Nordhavn, with homes for 40,000 people.
Housing is to be built according to high standards
of energy efficiency, and the new development
itself will provide a balanced mix of residential,
office, and retail space. The result will be a com-
pact neighborhood in which people will be able
to make many of their trips on foot.
More LEDs and Fewer Cars. Lighting is an
important part of every city’s carbon dioxide
footprint. With this in mind, Siemens sub-
sidiary Osram has equipped a refurbished
commercial building in downtown Copen-
hagen with light emitting diodes (LEDs). The
new lighting will not only trim electric bills, but
provide an intimate atmosphere for cultural
Committed to Wind Power. Aside from rely-
ing on its combined heat and power plant,
Copenhagen also meets some of its electricity
needs with wind energy, which today meets,
on average, one-fifth of the country’s power
requirements. The Middelgrunden offshore
wind farm, located a few kilometers from the
city, has been up and running for almost ten
years now. The farm’s 20 wind turbines were
manufactured by Bonus, today Siemens Wind
Power. Each of these turbines has a capacity
of two megawatts at full load. Collectively, the
farm can supply around 40,000 households
with ecofriendly electricity. Also nearby are the 48 turbines of the Lillgrund
offshore wind farm, which was commissioned in
2008. The turbines are clearly visible from the Öre-
sund Bridge, which spans the strait separating
Denmark and Sweden. Lillgrund has a total ca-
pacity of 110 megawatts. Siemens installed not
only the wind turbines but also an associated off-
shore transformer station, which rises above the
waves like a huge drum. The transformer collects
power from the turbines and feeds it into Swe-
den’s national grid, which is connected to Den-
mark’s. Copenhagen now has plans to build more
wind farms, in the city and in the Baltic. “We have no intention of resting on our lau-
rels,” said Ritt Bjerregaard (top left) , Copenhagen’s
mayor until the end of 2009, at the presentation
of the European Green City Index . She went on
to announce an ambitious goal: “We intend to turn
Copenhagen into a CO
-free city by the year
2025.” In concrete terms, carbon dioxide-free means
two things. First, reducing the current emissions
level of 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide
a year by 1.15 million metric tons by 2025 with
measures that either have been already imple-
mented or are scheduled. Secondly, offsetting the
remaining CO
emissions by means of projects
such as new wind farms and the planting of
woodlands. As the improvements of recent
years show, this ambitious target looks quite re-
events planned for the location. A total of 144
LED lamps have been installed on the first
floor. Together, the lamps consume 190 watts
— only about half as much as conventional
halogen spotlights. In the same part of town,
lighting in one street is also provided by LED
street lamps from Osram. During the Climate Change Conference, low-
energy lighting projects could be found through-
out the city, including a Christmas tree in front
of City Hall (p. 16). The tree was illuminated by
several hundred LEDs that were connected to ex-
ercise bikes. The faster people pedaled, the
brighter the lights became. During her opening
speech, Mayor Bjerregaard jokingly referred to it
as “the world’s greenest Christmas tree.” Copenhagen has plenty to do by 2025. It is es-
sential, Bjerregaard explains, that city dwellers
back environmental measures. “A lot of our CO
emissions are caused by the people of Copen-
hagen themselves. If we want to reach our tar-
get, city residents will have to change how they
live. Publicity campaigns are one way to en-
courage this, but we also want to make sure the
people are directly involved in the development
of solutions.” With one-fifth of all CO
caused by transport, the plan is to encourage even
more residents to use their bikes. The city is thus
looking to improve conditions for cyclists even fur-
ther, with facilities such as covered bike paths and
bike parks. In fact, as of last fall, there are even
special warning lights set into downtown roads
to alert truck drivers turning right to the presence
of cyclists in their rearview blind spot. If a cyclist
approaches a the blind spot, the lamps start to
flash. In other words, cyclists are taken very se-
riously in Copenhagen — another good reason
for switching to two wheels.Tim Schröder
| Copenhagen
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
f there’s one instantly recognizable sign of
Copenhagen’s green credentials its the vast
number of bicycles on its streets. A considerable
number of the city’s 520,000 residents are avid
bicyclists, even when clouds are low and the rain
sets in. The city’s broad cycling lanes literally teem
with bicycles, bikes with trailers, and even
sporty-looking tricycles complete with trans-
port box for carrying a child passenger or pack-
ages. “If you look at photographs from the
1930s, you see a very similar picture,” says Pe-
ter Elsman, deputy finance director of the city of
Copenhagen. “Back then, not many people were
able to afford a car; but today, having a bicycle
is just part of the Copenhagen way of life. Almost
40 percent of the city’s population travels by bike
every day to their place of work or study.” The bicycles are a perfect symbol of Copen-
hagen, host of the 2009 UN Climate Change Con-
ference, and of its current standing as Europe’s
greenest city. This honor was conferred back in
December, during the UN conference, when
Siemens and the UK’s EconomistIntelligence Unit
presented the European Green City Index (see p.
17). Copenhagen’s top position is, of course, a
result of more than bicycles. It was made possi-
ble by a package of measures that have placed
the city just ahead of Stockholm, Sweden, in the
green ranking.
What makes Copenhagen the leader of the
pack? For starters, its district heating system is
unique worldwide. The system is very efficient
and provides heating for 98 percent of all house-
holds by means of a large combined heat-and-
power (CHP) plant, rather than having each
household produce its own heat. All in all, while
eliminating the need for private heating systems,
the city’s CHP plant is 90 percent efficient.
Copenhagen started laying twin pipes for su-
perheated steam as far back as 1925, initially to
supply hospitals with steam to sterilize their op-
erating instruments. Today, the city has 1,500 kilo-
meters of twin pipes transporting superheated
steam and hot water from the CHP plant to house-
holds and back again. For many years, the plant, which also serves
several communities in the surrounding area, was
fired with coal. No longer. One of the cogener-
ation units is now fired with environmentally-
friendly bio material, and a second is scheduled
to be converted to this fuel in the near future. “We intend to turn Copenhagen into a carbon dioxide-
free city by the year 2025.” Support for public transportation, energy-efficient buildings, and a focus on wind
power have turned Denmark’s capital to the winner
of the European Green City Index.
Wind, Wood & Two Wheels
With its first-place ranking in the European Green City Index, Copenhagen outshines 29 other major municipalities. Its title as Europe’s most environmentally-friendly city is the result of a wide range of climate-protection measures, such as pellet-powered district heating, wind parks, bike paths and integrated public transit. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
per day for a year now — and that eliminates
many people’s need to drive.”
Another Oslo green milestone is near the
city center just a few minutes from the Jern-
banetorget subway station. Resembling a giant
iceberg transformed into concrete, the new
opera house rises up out of the harbor. The im-
posing building, which opened in 2008, is one
of the most energy-efficient opera houses in
the world — a feat made possible in part by an
innovative lighting system concept that relies
on light-emitting diodes (LEDs). “We equipped
the entire concert hall with LEDs — there’s
nothing else like it in the world,” says Cato Jo-
hannessen, who is managing the project for
Osram Norway.
Johannessen is particularly proud of the
eight-ton chandelier that hangs 16 meters
above the seats. “That chandelier contains
8,100 LEDs,” he says. “We’ve also got special
dimmers for individually adapting the LED
modules to the most diverse lighting require-
ments.” The small LEDs are highly efficient,
with an output of 45 lumens per watt as com-
pared to a maximum of 12 lumens per watt for
conventional incandescent lamps. At maxi-
mum brightness, the 8,100 LEDs consume just
14 kilowatts. They are as powerful as they are
robust, says Johannessen. “On average, only
one out of every million LEDs fails during its
six-year service life, and so far we haven’t had
to replace a single unit,” he says.
Johannessen believes Oslo will step up its
use of energy-efficient lighting in the future.
Small and flexible LEDs in particular offer great
potential with regard to climate protection —
and not just in magnificent buildings like the
new opera house. “Oslo has drawn up initial
plans to show that LEDs can also make street-
lights greener,” he says.Florian Martini
above ground, which negatively impacts its en-
ergy balance, especially in winter. “The heating
system still accounts for nearly 20 percent of
required energy — so we need to keep work-
ing on that,” says Hasselknippe. Engineers at
Siemens Mobility in Vienna, Austria, are look-
ing at ways to reduce the energy consumption
of heating and climate control systems. “We’ve
developed a heating control unit that regulates
the system in line with real-time require-
ments,” says project manager Dr. Walter
Struckl. “The unit is linked to a carbon dioxide
sensor that determines how many passengers
are in a car based on the principle that the CO
content rises with the number of people pres-
ent.” According to Struckl, the unit can heat up
air from the outside in line with actual heating
needs. By contrast, conventional systems con-
tinually heat subway cars, regardless of
whether or not passengers are on board. “Our
technology should generate heat-energy sav-
| Oslo
ost people wouldn’t be thrilled about
having to get underneath a subway
train. But Tor Hasselknippe views it as a wel-
come challenge. Every day Hasselknippe, a
technical manager at Oslo’s Vognselskap pub-
lic transport company, inspects the Siemens
trains that since 2006 have gradually been re-
placing the more than 30-year-old subway
trains previously used in the Norwegian capi-
tal. At the maintenance center, the subway
cars are jacked up on rail platforms in a vast
hall. Technicians work on the underbodies and
put the finishing touches on the cars before
sending them out into the city’s approximately
84-kilometer-long subway network. “This is
one of the electric motors,” Hasselknippe says,
pointing to a large rectangular block under-
neath one of the cars. “The complete drive unit
of a train has an output of 1,680 kilowatts and
is also very energy-efficient. When the driver
brakes, the motor goes into generator mode
and sends the electricity it produces back into
the grid.”
Hasselknippe then knocks on the white out-
er wall of a car. “The entire shell is made of alu-
minum,” he says. “This makes the train ex-
tremely light.” As a result, the new subway
trains consume 30 percent less energy than
the old ones. “And that’s not all,” says Has-
selknippe as he climbs into a passenger cabin
and runs his hands over the seat covers. “These
textiles are made of a very sophisticated mate-
rial that not only meet all fire protection re-
quirements but can also be recycled — which
is true of 95 percent of the components in
these trains. All of this makes our subway one
of most sustainable systems in the world.” Heating on Demand. It isn’t always easy to
combine sustainability with the effective oper-
ation of the new subway. For one thing,
around 80 percent of Oslo’s subway system is
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
ings of up to 30 percent,” says Struckl. Sustain-
ability and energy efficiency have been top pri-
orities in Oslo for some time. In 2002 the city,
which has a population of 550,000, launched
its ambitious Urban Ecology Program to cut
pollutant emissions and improve its citizens’
quality of life. Among other things, the associ-
ated plan calls for a 50 percent reduction of
Oslo’s 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by
2030. This green program is already producing
results. A sustainability study of 30 European
cities for the European Green City Index (p. 17)
ranked Oslo third behind Stock holm and
Copenhagen. The study even gave the Norwe-
gian capital a top ranking for CO
emissions, as
the city produces only slightly more than two
tons of the greenhouse gas per capita — main-
ly because Oslo covers around 60 percent of its
electricity requirement with power from Nor-
way’s large hydroelectric plants.
But there’s still work to be done, so the Ur-
ban Ecology Program, scheduled to run until
2014, also focuses on expanding the local pub-
lic transport network. Studies have shown that
road traffic is responsible for the lion’s share of
Oslo’s CO
emissions. Despite high tolls for en-
tering the city center, some 360,000 vehicles
continue to drive through Oslo every day. The
city government believes that improving the
bus and subway system will get more com-
muters to leave their cars at home. Indeed, the
new subway system has already demonstrated
that the government may be right. “Polls show
that passengers are extremely satisfied,” says
Hasselknippe. “Since the introduction of the
new trains, ridership has increased by around
10 percent to 73 million in 2008.” He thinks
even more people will switch to the subway in
the future, especially now that intervals be-
tween trains have been cut in half. “Trains have
been running every seven minutes 20 hours
Green Milestones
According to a study conducted for the European Green City Index, Oslo is one of the greenest cities in Europe. The city’s sustainable approach is made possible by numerous environmentally-
friendly technologies, some of them from Siemens. The latter include an economical subway and high-efficiency lighting in the opera house. Hydroelectric power plants and an energy-efficient
new metro have helped reduce Oslo’s per capita CO
emissions to just two tons. Small things such as an LED
chandelier in the city’s Opera House also help.
Paragon of Efficiency
Even a country like Norway can become
greener.Trondheim lies 500 kilometers north
of Oslo. With 170,000 inhabitants, it is the
country’s third-largest city. In 2001 local au-
thorities declared war on CO
. Since then, the
city has introduced a range of green measures
— for which it was commended by Norway’s
Environment Ministry in 2008. The target is a
20 percent reduction in CO
emissions com-
pared to 1991 levels by the year 2012. To help
to achieve this goal, Trondheim authorities in-
tend to expand local public transport and improve the energy efficiency of the city’s buildings. There
is a lot of potential in the latter area according to a joint study conducted by Siemens, the city au-
thorities, and the environmental organization Bellona as part of a pilot project entitled “Energy Smart
City.” The study looks at ways to save energy in the areas of residential and commercial real estate,
street lighting, the power grid, and industry. It shows that by using technology already available,
Trondheim could cut its energy consumption of five terawatt-hours per year by 22 percent without
compromising the quality of life of its citizens. “We will realize most of these potential savings in one
or two years,” says Rita Ottervik, Mayor of Trondheim. A good way of cutting power consumption is
to install new building management systems that intelligently control lighting, heating, and ventila-
tion systems. In Trondheim’s office properties alone, this would save as much electricity as is con-
sumed over the same period by 4,000 households. Street lighting also offers big savings potential,
despite the fact that the 22,000 streetlamps are already very efficient. Dimming them by 50 percent,
for example, would cut their annual power consumption by over five gigawatt-hours (GWh) and save
around €700,000 a year. Even greater savings could be achieved by upgrading the city’s power grid,
where every year five percent of the electricity is lost as heat while being transmitted to the consumer.
Efficient high-voltage systems could cut these losses by as much as 50 GWh, thus saving around €3 million a year. According to Ottervik, before the installation of energy-efficient technology can
start, it is essential to ensure that Trondheim’s inhabitants back the measures. “We have to encour-
age our citizens to save energy,” she says. Here too, Trondheim is on the right path. The project has
been publicized in a wide-ranging campaign since Fall 2009. Energy saving is being promoted in the
media, at symposia, in school competitions, on buses, and in messages printed on roadways.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
the question that has occupied researchers
from Germany’s Wuppertal Institute for Cli-
mate, Environment and Energy with the sup-
port of Siemens in 2009. Their study “Munich
— Paths toward a Carbon-free Future” presents
a detailed look at what the city can do to mini-
mize its environmental footprint between now
and 2058. The study concludes that it is possi-
ble to transform a city like Munich into a practi-
cally carbon-free area. This, it says, will require
close cooperation between municipal authori-
ties, energy companies, and the population,
along with a clear commitment to efficient
technologies, ranging from energy-saving re-
frigerators to power plants, as well as a general
willingness to invest in greater use of renew-
able energy sources such as wind, solar power,
biomass, and geothermal energy. Cutting CO
by 80 to 90 Percent. The study
sketches two alternative scenarios for Munich.
The so-called “target scenario” adopts the very
optimistic view that the vision of a carbon-free
future can be more or less achieved over the
50-year span under consideration in the study. Another scenario — the so-called bridge
scenario — is somewhat more conservative
and assumes, for example, that increased effi-
ciency in power generation will be offset by
rises in demand and that individual transporta-
tion will remain similar to its present-day form.
Nevertheless, the results are impressive in both
cases. The optimistic target scenario predicts
lighting system from Siemens’ subsidiary Os-
ram was installed. The system comprises
around 1,000 lamps with sensors that deter-
mine how much light is actually required and
then tailor the lamps’ output accordingly. The
lamps have replaced conventional ceiling light-
ing that provided each workstation with con-
stant illumination throughout the day. When-
ever employees leave their offices for a longer
period, the lights now go off automatically.
Similarly, when it’s cloudy and less natural light
enters through the windows, the lamps auto-
matically brighten.
Independent measurements have shown
that energy consumption for lighting has fallen
by as much as 70 percent compared to before the
refurbishment. Bernard Balia, former head of fa-
cility management at OECD, was responsible for
the project. “The system makes us more adapt-
able. Instead of everyone having uniform light-
ing, employees can now help to determine the
right amount of light for their needs. And the sys-
tem is economical, since lights only get switched
on when they are actually needed,“ he says.
Outside, on café terraces, patio heaters con-
tinue to singe the Parisian air whether anyone is
there or not. Perhaps one day they too will be fit-
ted with sensors, allowing them to blaze into life
only when actually needed. After all, when it
comes to preserving the French way of life, some
small sins should be permissible — if, that is, real
crimes against the environment are avoided. Andreas Kleinschmidt
| Paris
n Paris the air is burning — literally. As you stroll
through the city, it’s impossible to miss the
many small mushroom heaters blazing away on
café terraces and inside poorly-insulated brasserie
conservatories. Even though they only burn for
a few hours a day during the chilly months of the
year, each one of them generates as much car-
bon dioxide per year as a mid-sized automobile.
Yet who would be so mean as to forbid the
Parisians to use their patio heaters? After all, when
temperatures fall, how else can they enjoy a pe-
tit noir outdoors, either after work or on the go? For many Parisians, saving energy is impor-
tant but should not compromise the French way
of life. Public transport is a good example of how
this can work out. Here, too, comfort is the prime
motivation, though there’s good reason for that.
Only 20 percent of commuters travel by foot or
bike, compared to 68 percent in Stockholm. At
first that seems surprising. After all, there is a wide-
spreadnetwork of bike paths in Paris, and autho -
rities created a bike rental system in 2007, with
20,000 bikes at 1,450 automatic stations, all free
of charge for the first 30 minutes. One of the main reasons Parisians prefer not
to use pedal power is the superb subway system
right at their doorstep. It is not only one of the
densest metro networks in the world but also, at
214 kilometers, one of the longest. The first sta-
tion opened in July 1900 to mark the World’s Fair.
In fact, many of the stations are showing their age
and can hardly cope with today’s rush-hour
passenger volumes.
One way of raising throughput is to reduce in-
tervals between trains. This is now being done
on Line 1 — the oldest and, with 750,000 pas-
sengers a day, one of the most frequented
routes — in a joint project between the Paris trans-
port authority RATP and Siemens. In fact, Siemens
has been supplying the Paris Metro lines with sig-
naling technology and advanced driver assistance
systems for the past 30 years. Now there are plans
to introduce driverless trains on Line 1 — with
Siemens technology.
At present, stations are being fitted with glass
walls to separate platforms from tracks. These will
incorporate automatic doors that open to let pas-
sengers safely enter trains. This will help to re-
duce maintenance costs and cut the current in-
tervals between trains from 105 to around 85 sec-
onds, as well as increasing flexibility and reliability.
Such fully automatic subway trains with Siemens-
technology have been in service on Line 14 of the
Paris Metro for 12 years. With an average speed
of 40 km/h, it is substantially faster than the oth-
er lines, which operate at around 25 km/h.
Seventy Percent Less for Lighting. Energy
saving continues after the daily Metro ride to
work — at least for employees at the Parisian
headquarters of the OECD, the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Although parts of the building are 50 years
old, it is now able to adapt automatically to
prevailing weather conditions. In the course of
general refurbishment, a Dali Multi intelligent
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
Fast Tracks, Bright Lights
Paris has one of the world’s densest and oldest subway networks. Automation technology from Siemens is making the system more energy efficient. Meanwhile, light sensors are helping buildings to cut power consumption.
The Metro is Paris’ most important mode of transport. Glass walls between platforms and trains
and new Siemens driverless systems will increase
throughput on overloaded lines. | Study of a Carbon-Free Munich
sumption and 80 percent of greenhouse gases,
not least carbon dioxide (CO
). As such, they
are storing up trouble for themselves, since ex-
perts expect cities to be seriously affected by
climate change. Shanghai, for example, is like-
ly to suffer from storms and heavy rains, and
Germany’s Federal Environment Agency pre-
dicts that by the end of the century Munich
will see a significant increase in the number of
hot days and “tropical” nights each year. Is there any good news about cities? Well,
yes. The very fact that they are not only the
biggest culprits in climate change, but that
they are so concentrated offers a good oppor-
tunity to tackle the problems they cause, since
the key levers for climate protection have their
biggest impact here. The major metropolitan
areas of the world are thus in a unique position
to lead the way to more environmentally-
friendly modes of living and doing business. How can a modern city, despite population
growth, reduce carbon emissions without hav-
ing to compromise on living standards or risk-
ing a slowdown in economic growth? This is
ities are attractive places to live. They
promise work, a vibrant cultural life, and a
host of leisure activities. All of which is very
true of Munich, Bavaria’s capital. From here, it’s
only a short hop to go climbing or skiing in the
Alps, to reach crystal-clear lakes, or to drive to
Italy and the Mediterranean. Little wonder
then that Munich is one of the few cities in
Germany that is set to grow in the coming
decades. Although an exception in Germany,
the city is, however, very much in line with the
trend toward ever-larger metropolitan areas. In the world’s newly industrializing and de-
veloping countries people flock to cities in
search of work and education and in hope of a
better life. And in 2008 a watershed was
reached. For the first time ever, half of the
world’s population lived in cities. By 2050 this
figure is forecast to grow to 70 percent. This
will result in huge urban sprawls that consume
resources and pollute environments. Although metropolitan areas cover only one
percent of the earth’s surface, they are respon-
sible for 75 percent of the world’s energy con-
Munich’s Energy Requirements in 2008
emissions from energy sector
8.2m t CO
per annum
resulting from power generation and
transmission as well as energy consumption
in the energy sector: 11.4 TWh = 30%
Total energy requirements: 29.0 TWh per annum
From coal
2.4m t
From natural
3.2m t
From crude
2.6m t
Primary energy
40.4 TWh per annum
7.4 TWh
Space heating and process heat
7.5 TWh
Electricity 4,3 TWh
Space heating 9.5 TWh
Electricity 2.5 TWh
Electricity 0.3 TWh
15.8 TWh
Crude oil
9.7 TWh
Renewables 1.0 TWh
Trade + Industry 11.8 TWh
12.0 TWh
5.3 TWh
Fuel 5.0 TWh
1 TWh = 3,6 PJ = 122.700 t SKE
Nuclear power 6.5 TWh
Paths to a Better Planet
Cities are responsible for four fifths of all greenhouse emissions. That means that effective steps to cut
emissions in urban areas can have profound effects on the environment. A new study based on the city of
Munich shows how a major metropolitan area could make itself virtually carbon-free within a few decades. Source: City of Munich, 2008; Stadtwerke München; estimates by Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
othermal systems. The study assumes that
electricity will be increasingly generated on a
decentralized basis — for example, by CHP
plants for individual areas of the city or even
micro CHP units for individual buildings, which
supply not only heat but also electricity for res-
idents (Pictures of the Future, Fall 2008, p. 78). According to the study, if all the opportuni-
ties to save electricity were rigorously exploit-
ed — from stoplights to tumble driers — the
power consumption of a city like Munich could
be largely satisfied by renewable sources. The
study assumes that the city will continue to ob-
tain electricity from larger power plants in the
region as well as further afield in Germany and
abroad. Such power could be generated essen-
tially by large offshore and onshore wind
farms in northern Europe or by solar-thermal
power plants in southern Europe or northern
Africa and then transported to the cities of
central Europe via low-loss HVDC transmission
lines. Some of this power could also be gener-
ated in low-carbon power plants equipped
with technology for carbon capture and stor-
Plugging Cars into the Picture. One of the
most striking changes investigated by the
study is the massive shift to electric cars. It is
likely that by the middle of the century most
car trips in the Munich area will be made in
electric vehicles. For longer trips, people will
probably still use hybrid or highly efficient
diesel or gasoline cars that consume on aver-
age less than five liters of fuel per 100 kilome-
ters. The large number of electric vehicles in
Munich will also become an important link
within the power supply chain, helping to
buffer fluctuating loads from photovoltaic and
wind sources, whose output of electricity dif-
fers according to the weather and the time of
day. When power is plentiful (and therefore
cheap), electric car batteries will serve as an in-
termediate storage system. At times of high
demand (and peak rates), they will feed some
of their power back into the grid. At the same time, better town planning can
help reduce the amount of traffic in Munich
and therefore reduce its CO
emissions. Both
scenarios are based on reduced travel require-
costs of approximately €200 a year per inhabi-
tant — around one third of an average annual
gas bill. By 2058, however, this additional in-
vestment would be offset by energy savings of
between €1.6 and €2.6 billion per year, which
translates into an annual sum of between
€1,200 to €2,000 per inhabitant. The refur-
bishment of existing and construction of new
housing in line with the Passive House stan-
dard would — according to the study — result
in energy savings of more than €30 billion by
2058. Moreover, this scenario also applies to
other areas, since the study comes to the con-
clusion that measures designed to enhance ef-
ficiency generally pay for themselves over their
Home Power. Of course, insulation is by no
means the end of the story. More has to be
done if CO
emissions are to be cut to almost
zero. Greenhouse gas emissions can also be re-
duced by the use of combined heat and power
(CHP) systems. Such heating systems are par-
ticularly efficient, since they utilize around
nine tenths of the energy contained in their
primary fuel. Both Munich scenarios also as-
sume that the use of district heating will rise
from the current figure of 20 percent to 60
percent. This is not an unrealistic proposition.
In Copenhagen, for example, around 70 per-
cent of all households are heated this way.
Other measures designed to reduce CO
emissions include the use of economical elec-
tric appliances and lighting as well as renew-
able and low-carbon energy sources such as
photovoltaic systems, solar collectors, and ge-
also conform to this standard. This includes the
use of not only the best insulation and vacu-
um-insulated windows but also ventilation sys-
tems that recover residual heat from the hous-
es’ exhaust air before it is blown outside. Based on the above steps, the study finds
that it should be possible to reduce heating re-
quirements for existing buildings from the cur-
rent figure of around 200 kilowatt-hours per
square meter per annum (kWh/m
a) to be-
tween 25 and 35 kWh/m
, while new housing
will require only between 10 to 20 kWh/m
a. At the same time, new buildings are to be
fitted with solar power systems, so that most
of them will be able to cover their remaining
energy requirements autonomously and even
feed excess energy into the grid. In order to en-
sure that the energy efficiency of most build-
ings is raised to the requisite level over the
next 50 years, the rate at which such refurbish-
ment is being carried out must increase from
the current figure of 0.5 percent to 2.0 percent
per annum. This means that four times as
many homeowners must implement such en-
ergy improvements than is currently the case.
The idea of improving the energy efficiency
of a city like Munich on a more or less whole-
sale basis over 50 years sounds like a major
challenge. Yet such efforts are worthwhile. Al-
though it is more expensive to build according
to the Passive House standard than to imple-
ment the Energy Conservation Act of 2007,
the additional costs involved in such refurbish-
ment and the construction of new housing
would amount to around €13 billion for the
entire city of Munich. That would mean extra
| Study of a Carbon-Free Munich
metric tons per capita. Both of the Munich sce-
narios undercut this target substantially. The Munich study analyzes in detail which
measures will achieve the greatest reduction in
emissions and whether they are economi-
cal. Almost half of Munich’s CO
emissions are
the result of energy used to heat the city’s
homes and buildings. Improving the insulation
of roofs, facades, and basements would thus
yield significant savings. It is therefore crucial
not to scrimp in this area. In fact, the study as-
sumes that the refurbishment of existing hous-
ing in Munich will conform to the Passive
House standard and that all future housing will
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings will cost
€13 billion but result in energy savings of €30 billion. that through the implementation of compre-
hensive efficiency measures the average CO
emissions per inhabitant can be curbed by
around 90 percent to 750 kilograms per an-
num by the middle of the century. The more conservative bridge scenario, on
the other hand, results in a average CO
tion of almost 80 percent to approximately 1.3
metric tons. In comparison, on the basis of the
IPCC World Climate Report of 2007, the Euro-
pean Union’s environmental ministers came up
with a target of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions worldwide by over 50 percent and
thereby to an average figure of less than two
Sources of Munich’s Energy Mix
TWh per annum
Coal-fired power plant with CCS
Solar-thermal electricity generation
Wind power on-/offshore
Biomass Geothermal
Decentralized CHP
Centralized CHP
LPT electricity
LPT biofuel
LPT fuel (fossil)
MIT electricity
MIT biofuel
MIT fuel (fossil)
TWh per annum
Source: Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Power generation:
Accounts for 40.3% of CO
emissions in Munich (2008)
Public transport: Accounts for 12.6% of CO
emissions in Munich (2008)
Munich’s Transport Energy Mix
MIT: Motorized Individual Transport
LPT: Local Public Transport
CCS: Carbon Capture & Storage
Percentage of CO
emissions in Munich (2008) resulting from heating of buildings: 46.5% 46.5%
Source: Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Building Heating by
Source TWh per annum
1% 77% District heating
Decentralized CHP Direct supply of
heat -79%
CHP: Combined heat and power CO
Emissions by Sector
Source: Estimate by Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Thousands of metric tons CO
2 p.a.
Passenger transport
Commercial transport
Power and heat from CHP (coal)
Power and heat from CHP (natural gas)
Heat from CHP (natural gas)
Power from CHP (natural gas)
Power generation (coal with CCS)
Direct heat generation (heating oil) Direct heat generation (natural gas) Source: Estimate by Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Emissions Per Capita Annual CO
per capita (in kg)
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2008
In June 2008, Singapore staged the first “In-
ternational Water Week” exhibition that in the
future will bring the entire industry together
each year. During this year’s exhibition, the Sin-
gapore government announced it was provid-
ing US $3 million in research funding for the
“Singapore Innovative Technology Challenge.”
The goal was to find a technology capable of
cutting in half the cost of converting seawater
into drinking water. Many companies submit-
ted concepts, with Siemens emerging as the
winner. Instead of desalinating seawater by
means of energy-intensive heating and vapor-
izing processes, the Siemens concept involves
channeling water through an electric field. This
reduces energy consumption per cubic meter
of water from the ten kilowatt hours (kWh)
common at conventional facilities to just 1.5
kWh. Even the best of the previous technolo-
gies based on reverse osmosis used twice this.
“That’s a major breakthrough,” says the manager
Lukas Loeffler. “Because of this development,
we’ll be seeing more seawater desalination in
the future.”
Hungry Cannibals. Winning the Singapore
Innovative Technology Challenge was a big
boost for Siemens researchers at the Water
Hub. “It serves as a confirmation by the world’s
leading independent experts that Siemens is
on the right track with its development proj-
ects,” says Knauf, who is already preparing to
address the next challenge. His researchers are
now working on a new technique for an ener-
gy-neutral and biological waste water treat-
ment. The decomposition process could be
managed in such a manner that methane gas
is created, which in turn could be used to pro-
duce electric power. Such a waste water treat-
ment is energy efficient and creates a mini-
mum of sewage sludge. This is one of the
technology’s most important benefits, as these
are the major problems facing water treatment
plant operators. “People don’t realize just how much of this
stuff accumulates,” says Knauf. “You need a
convoy of trucks just to remove the sludge
from a single plant.” Before the sludge residue
can even be transported, however, it has to be
dehydrated and often dried in gigantic hea -
ters, which consume a great deal of energy.
„The procedure for this is currently in the pilot
phase, one of the numerous projects on which
we are working closely with PUB, the National
Water Agency Singapore.“ Bernhard Bartsch
plans were ambitious from the beginning, but
we’re still growing faster than even we expect-
ed,” says Knauf, the director of the new center.
Pure Water for Singapore. That’s not surpris-
ing, given that the Singapore government has
given a boost to international research efforts
in water processing and treatment technolo-
gies that amazes even veteran R&D experts. As
a result, Singapore is now the global center for
the water purification industry. It realized
much earlier than others that water technolo-
gy would be a future growth industry. “Singa-
pore’s government and research institutes
were quicker than their counterparts in recog-
nizing the urgency surrounding water man-
agement issues and associated technologies,
so they are very proactive in promoting them,”
says Loeffler. “That makes Singapore an ideal
location for us.”
Singapore, as an island nation with an area
of only 700 square kilometers, has had to cope
with scarce resources for years. That’s why
more than ten years ago the government be-
gan to investigate new techniques for safe-
guarding the water supply for the country’s 5.1
million inhabitants. Among other things, the
city-state built one of the world’s first large
plants for processing wastewater and convert-
ing it back into drinking water (see Pictures of
the Future,Spring 2006, p. 22). The plant
processed 40,000 cubic meters of water per
day in 2006. Plans call for this figure to be in-
creased to 210,000 cubic meters by 2012.
Most of the processed water is used by various
branches of industry that require pure water,
and Siemens has been supplying the necessary
processing technology.
Desalination Power. Recycling is just one
possibility for safeguarding Singapore’s water
supply. Another approach is to use seawater.
Here again — as with all other processes relat-
ed to the water cycle — the key question is:
How can such a system be organized in an in-
expensive, environmentally sound, and energy
efficient manner? To help answer this ques-
tion, Singapore’s government provided innova-
tive companies with $300 million in research
funding. It also networked the country’s lead-
ing research institutes and administrative bod-
ies, including Nanyang University, the A*Star
development agency, and the Public Utilities
Board, which established the Water Hub. This
network has ensured availability of state-of-the-
art labs,access to well-trained personnel, and
opportunities to conduct field tests. Siemens
has been joined in Water Hub by other compa-
nies, and around 400 people now work at the
12 projects and around 20 processes here —
everything from simulations of fluid dynamics
over biological waste water treatment to refin-
ing our advanced membrane technology,” says
Rüdiger Knauf, who is responsible for world-
wide R&D at Siemens Water Technologies. „Be-
cause the tightness, we just had to expand our
laboratory by more than 500 square meters.“
A key partner in the Water Hub, Siemens es-
tablished its global headquarters for water
technology R&D here in 2007. Siemens Corpo-
rate Technology also operates a lab at the site.
“Singapore will be the center and expansion
springboard for all our innovation-related ac-
tivities,” says Siemens Water Technologies
Managing Director Dr. Lukas Loeffler. The Wa-
ter Hub location will thus supplement existing
R&D facilities at six locations in the U.S., Ger-
many, and Australia. The 45 scientists who work
in the new laboratories registered more than 20
patents after three years of operations. “Our
| Water Purification
ments. Instead of building shopping malls on
green field sites that can only be reached by
car, the study favors the creation of urban
neighborhoods in which homes, workplaces,
and stores are close to one another. That way,
many more trips can be completed on foot or
by bicycle. The authors likewise advocate mak-
ing public transit more comfortable in order to
encourage its increased use. This includes the
provision of individual services to inform pas-
sengers about fares and connections via mo-
bile terminals. Why Savings Offset Expenses. In addition
to analyzing Munich as a whole, the study pre-
sents a detailed plan of how to improve energy
efficiency in an actual district on the periphery
that contains both old and new housing. Here
a 30-year period is considered. The authors
conclude that it would be possible to create a
low-carbon neighborhood within this relatively
short period of time. Moreover, they say that
the cost of refurbishing existing structures and
building new ones in line with the Passive
House standard would be offset by savings in
energy that would have been consumed for
heating within a 30-year timeframe. The sav-
ings would be sufficient to fund the creation of
a carbon-free district heating distribution sys-
tem powered by geothermal energy. In other
words, investment in a carbon-free supply of
heating would not only reduce emissions sub-
stantially but would also save the district an av-
erage of €4 to €6.5 million per annum over the
lifetime of the systems.
It must be remembered that private individ-
uals and the business sector also have a role to
play in boosting energy efficiency, since in
many cases it is they who must choose be-
tween traditional technology and a more effi-
cient but often, at the outset, more expensive
alternative. This applies equally to the con-
struction of housing, electric appliances, and
industrial motors. Yet the study emphasizes
that this often involves merely a change in be-
havior, not a compromise in the quality of life.
Frequently it is high costs that prevent a
wholesale shift in attitudes and the wide-
spread use of low-energy technology. And fre-
quently this is because consumers fail to ap-
preciate the potential savings in energy costs
over a full product lifetime. However, experi-
ence clearly shows that people’s behavior can
be nudged in the right direction by the use of
appropriate financial assistance and incentives
combined with targeted information cam-
paigns. The study therefore concludes that
greater energy efficiency is chiefly interesting
when it makes sound financial sense. And that
is almost always the case. Tim Schröder
he building on Toh Guan Road is a func-
tional structure with a plain facade, plenty
of parking, and a foyer straight out a typical
high school. And in fact schoolchildren often
visit on class trips. But the people who actually
study here are older. They are researchers from
around the world who have come to Singa-
pore’s “Water Hub” to develop solutions to one
of the century’s greatest challenges — how to
provide everyone with clean water, and to do
so inexpensively, with the minimum of energy
and in an environmentally responsible way.
The answer to this question just might be
right here in this building, in a large hall that
houses dozens of devices — networks of water
tanks, tubes, hoses, new water purification
technologies and blinking instruments for
analysis. Monitors in the hall display measure-
ment data, and in one corner a laser camera
shoots bright flashes of light through a glass
cylinder filled with water. “We’re working on
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Singapore: Pooling Resources
Singapore has established itself as the world’s “Water Hub” — a perfect place for Siemens Water Technologies, with its world wide water R&D activities. An innovative desalination technology from Siemens requires only half as much energy as the best previous systems to turn salt water into pure, potable water.
Siemens develops high-precision processes for water analysis and purification at its Singapore water lab. An ultraviolet reactor (right) kills germs in water — without chemicals.
A new desalination system from Siemens cuts energy
consumption per m
processed from 10 kWh to 1.5. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
as the use of alternative energy generation sys-
tems. These can achieve immediate high carbon
dioxide reductions, but pay for themselves only
after a long period. To help the airport operator
with its decisions, the study lists the cost of each
individual measure, as well as the associated en-
ergy reduction and its amortization period.
A good example of how to achieve a major ef-
fect at relatively low cost is offered by systems
that control terminal ventilation in line with uti-
lization. The installation of these systems, which
employ CO
sensors and intelligent ventilation
control units, would cost $215,000 — but would
lead to annual energy-cost savings of $425,000.
Such an investment would thus pays for itself af-
ter only six months. Another relatively simple way
to save energy is to install energy-saving lamps
and LED lighting systems. Lights in the passen-
ger terminal at Denver International are left on
| Airports
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
well-developed, properly functioning infrastructure
is the prerequisite for prosperity and sustainable
growth. Roads in disrepair, data and power networks
with inadequate capacity, and defective sewer networks
cripple the economy. Modernizing the infrastructure and
providing roads, rail lines, water and power supply sys-
tems in emerging economies will require investments to-
taling $41 trillion worldwide in the next 20 years. That’s
what experts from Morgan Stanley Investment Manage-
ment conclude in a February 2009 study. The European Union sees a need for $900 billion for
expansion of transport infrastructure alone — from high-
speed rail lines to satellite navigation. The EU is planning
to realize a cross-border network of rail, highway and wa-
ter infrastructures by 2020, with a growing number of
seaports and airports. A major portion of the stimulus
programs intended to invigorate the European economy
in coming years encompasses infrastructure projects for
transport and communication networks, energy effi-
ciency, building modernization, and hospitals. These
measures add up to a total of about €42 billion in Ger-
many, France, and Italy. The single most important factor in reducing energy
consumption and costs will be improving the energy effi-
ciency of buildings. This is because the largest share by
far — 95 percent — of the energy used to provide heat,
hot water, air conditioning, lighting, and ventilation for
buildings in Europe is consumed by structures that were
built before 1980, says an analysis developed by TH Pro-
jektmanagement GmbH in Berlin.
The U.S. stimulus package — the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act — calls for infrastructure expendi-
tures amounting to the equivalent of about €253 billion
for energy, transport, buildings, health, water supply net-
works, security, and IT. Development of intelligent energy
networks, known as smart grids will be supported along
with expansion of high-speed rail lines and digitization of
data and processes in healthcare. The government of China has also launched various
programs for infrastructure measures — with total fund-
ing equal to €250 billion, including €166 billion from pro-
grams that existed before the economic crisis, and €84
billion in the form of additional economic stimulus ele-
ments. China is earmarking €73 billion for development
of the nation’s rail system alone. Also slated for extensive
upgrading are the drinking water and waste removal in-
frastructures in Chinese cities and the energy efficiency of
buildings. Market experts from Morgan Stanley predict
Trillions of Dollars for the
Modernization of Infrastructures
Siemens is developing measures to save energy for Denver Airport (below). Thanks to Siemens tech nolo-
gies, further worldwide Airports have already cut their
energy bill by around 40 percent. Rising energy prices, growing environmental awareness, and increasingly stringent legal requirements
are forcing airports to sustainably reduce their energy consumption. Solutions from Siemens demon-
strate the kinds of energy savings that are possible if complex airport infrastructures are looked at
holistically. Siemens already serves as an energy manager at many airports worldwide.
Flight from Carbon Dioxide
$41 Trillion Will Be Needed for Infrastructure Expenditures between 2005 and 2030
Trillions of U.S.$
North America
Central/South America
Middle East
Water ($22.61 trillion)
Energy ($9.00 trillion)
Highways / rail ($7.80 trillion)
Air / sea transport ($1.59 trillion)
Stimulus Spending
U.S. 253
China 250
Brazil 60
Germany 18
Italy 16
Spain 10
France 8
UK 3
India 5
Rest of world 77
Government funding
for infrastructure in stimulus packages
Siemens’ markets affected by stimulus
Approx. €700 billion Approx. €150 billion
Share of
investment in green infrastructure
U.S. 85
China 25
Germany 5
Remaining countries 35
Source: Morgan Stanley, “The Infrastructure Opportunity, 2009”
Source: Siemens, June 2009
that China will account for approximately 80 percent of
the total infrastructure expenditures in East Asia. Worldwide, stimulus programs for recovery from the
economic crisis of 2008 with a total volume of about €2
trillion have been announced and are already being im-
plemented in part. Roughly one third of this sum — €700
billion — will be in the form of infrastructure invest-
ments, with the rest to be used for measures such as tax
breaks for private households. For Siemens, analyses
show that the market volume relevant to the company in
terms of planned spending on infrastructure in the three
fiscal years from 2010 to 2012 is about €150 billion. The
largest share of this total, more than €85 billion, will be
spent in the U.S., followed by China with €25 billion and
Germany with about €5 billion. In all these countries,
plans call for devoting major shares of the stimulus pro-
grams to green technologies. In China the figure is about
52 percent, in Germany it amounts to 60 percent, and in
the U.S. it adds up to 31 percent. Based on Siemens’ cur-
rent share of the global market, calculations indicate that
the markets served by Siemens could generate a poten-
tial contract volume of approximately €15 billion for the
company, including about €6 billion, or 40 percent, for
environmental technology.Sylvia Trage
by 10 percent and electricity consumption by 12
percent. For its study, BT examined the terminal,
waiting halls, and office and equipment buildings.
Along with energy-saving considerations, the
study also took into account the impact the pro-
posed measures would have on the environment,
operating capacity, and on passenger comfort.
The study produced a total of 26 proposals,
the most effective of which involve measures that
would address heating, cooling, ventilation,
lighting, and baggage transport systems, which
together account for more than 80 percent of to-
tal energy consumption. “Naturally, airports are
looking to achieve extensive savings in terms of
not only costs but also energy consumption and
carbon dioxide emissions—and to do so as sim-
ply as possible and at a low level of investment,”
says Uwe Karl, head of Airport Solutions at BT.
There are also more expensive measures, such
enver International Airport is a majestic fa-
cility. The roof of its passenger terminal is
adorned with 34 pinnacles made of translucent
Teflon as a tribute to the nearby Rocky Mountains.
With 51 million passengers in 2008 [2010 num-
bers are available from ACI], the airport is one of
the world’s busiest. Its passenger traffic is the
11th-highest in the world, and its number of
flights is the fifth-highest. However, its complex
infrastructure also makes it a huge consumer of
energy. In 2007 it used 216 millions kilowatt
hours (kWh) of electricity, or more than 4 kWh
per passenger.
In early 2008, the airport’s operating company
therefore asked Siemens’ Building Technologies
(BT) division to draw up concepts to cut airport
energy consumption. In mid-2009 BT released a
study offering optimization proposals aimed at
reducing the airport’s overall natural gas demand
| Facts and Forecasts
pacity at Münster/Osnabrück Airport since 2001.
Here, savings were achieved with systematic op-
timization. The operation of the cogeneration
plant, for example, was continuously improved
in response to the prices of electricity and nat-
ural gas. Many unnecessary lights were shut off
completely, incandescent bulbs were replaced
with LEDs, and the switch points of the lighting
circuits were optimized with respect to time and
Siemens BT is also active at Stuttgart Airport
where it is responsible for efficient energy man-
agement on the basis of values calculated from
the counting pulses of roughly 500 water meters
and 400 heat and cooling meters. The setpoints
as well as the controller settings from the au-
tomation and field level are also documented and
processed by the airport’s energy management
system. In addition to monthly, quarterly, and
yearly reports, hourly values also play a key role
in assessing the efficiency of the systems. The pro-
gram for analyzing the energy data compares cur-
rent values with the building’s numerical mod-
el. Energy savings of up to 40 percent can thus
be achieved.
These examples illustrate how major energy
savings can be achieved through smart mod-
ernization and optimization. At the same time,
more pleasant temperatures and lighting plus bet-
ter air quality make the time spent at airports
more comfortable for passengers and employees.
In new buildings, the energy required for heat-
ing and air conditioning can be reduced by up to
40 percent just through architectural measures
and new insulation and ventilation concepts. CO
emissions can be reduced by 70 percent or
even more if alternative energy sources, such as
wind, solar, and hydroelectric are used to gen-
erate the required energy, if geothermal energy,
biomass and biogas, and cogeneration are used,
if equipment is replaced with devices that use lit-
tle energy, and if this equipment is operated only
on an as-needed basis.
“A lot can be achieved if you look at an airport
and its complex infrastructure from a holistic per-
spective,” says Karl. Siemens is in an ideal posi-
tion to do just that, as it can serve as a single
source for all the required services and solutions
needed by airport authorities from its various
Groups. This brings the green, i.e. CO
-free, air-
port almost within reach, which is the stated goal
of Airports Council International (ACI), an inter-
national association of airport operators with 567
members operating in more than 1,650 airports
in 176 countries. “If the political and public en-
vironment demanded it, CO
-neutral airports
could already be in operation today. Even the CO
free airport does not have to remain a vision if
we take advantage of all the opportunities avail-
able to us,” says Karl. Gitta Rohling
In Brief More and more people are moving to cities,
which now account for 80 percent of greenhouse
gas emissions. To steer this rapid urbanization to-
ward a greener future, major cities are increa-
singly turning to new, energy-efficient technolo-
gies of a sustainable urban development. (p.10)
The European Green City Index, a study by the
Economist Intelligence Unit in cooperation with
Siemens, compares the environmental compatibi-
lity of 30 European cities. Topping the list are for
instance the Scandinavian Copenhagen and Oslo.
(p.13, 16, 18) Paris has one of the world’s densest and oldest
subway networks. Automation technology from
Siemens is making the system more energy effi-
cient. Meanwhile, light sensors are helping buil-
dings to cut power consumption. (p.20)
Cities are responsible for four fifths of all
greenhouse emissions. That means that effective
steps to cut emissions in urban areas can have
profound effects on the environment. A new
study based on the city of Munich shows how a
major metropolitan area could make itself virtu-
ally carbon-free within a few decades. Most of the
technology that’s needed is already available —
and putting it to work would save money. (p.21)
Singapore has established itself as the world’s
„Water Hub“ — a perfect place for Siemens Water
Technologies, with its worldwide water R&D acti-
vities. Working with local partners, the company
is developing energy-efficient water treatment
technologies there. (p.24)
Rising energy prices, growing environmental
awareness, and increasingly stringent legal requi-
rements are forcing airports to sustainably reduce
their energy consumption. Solutions from Siemens
demonstrate the kinds of energy savings that are
possible if complex airport infrastructures are loo-
ked at holistically. Siemens already serves as an
energy manager at many airports in Europe and
US. (p.27)
City-Studies: Karen Stelzner, Siemens Issue Management
Copenhagen: John Finnich Pedersen, CC Denmark
Tanja Thorsteinsson, CC Denmark
Oslo and Smart City Trondheim: Gry Rohde Nordhus, CC Norway
Christian Jahr, CC Norway Paris: Valérie Rassel, CC France
Catherine Mach, CC France
Waterhub Singapur: Dr. Rüdiger Knauf, Industry
Energy-saving Airports: Uwe Karl, Industry
Green City Indices:
Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environ-
ment and Energy:
Studie München:
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
being taken at Detroit Airport, where Siemens has
been serving as an “energy manager” since
2001. “Our objective here is to increase the com-
fort and safety of existing systems and reduce en-
ergy and maintenance costs — and to do so with
as little expenditure as possible,” says Karl. The
airport operator therefore sought out a compa-
ny that had the comprehensive expertise that was
necessary and could also offer energy perform-
ance contracting. With this form of financing, the
vendor contractually guarantees the savings, de-
cides which measures will be implemented,
and finances them. In return, the saved energy
costs are paid to the vendor until its expenses for
financing, planning, and monitoring are paid in full.
With energy performance contracting, the cus-
tomer doesn’t have to spend any of its own mon-
ey, but benefits from the savings once the in-
vestment has been paid off. The operator of De-
troit Airport assessed numerous energy service
companies, and two remained in the running fol-
lowing the call for bids. Siemens offered the low-
est price and guaranteed the greatest energy sav-
ings — and was awarded the contract. In addition to new centrifugal chillers, pumps,
lines, and flow sensors, the control equipment
was also replaced. A new computer control sys-
tem is the new nerve center of the system. Ad-
ditionally, the lighting systems were modernized
and numerous smaller measures were imple-
mented. The cost of the complete energy- sav-
ing project totaled $15 million. The project re-
duces energy costs by 23 percent each year, which
corresponds to an $2 million in savings.
How to Exploit Savings Potential.Siemens
Building Technologies is also active as an ener-
gy manager in Germany, having served in this ca-
| Airports
18 hours a day, seven days a week; those in the
parking garages and on the runways and apron
burn even longer. Use of energy-efficient light-
ing systems could reduce electricity consumption
by more than 11 million kWh per year, which, giv-
en the U.S. energy mix, corresponds to around
10,000 tons of CO
. Another measure involves
the provision of heat and hot water using bio-
mass, which can cover all requirements in the
summer and serve as a supplementary energy
source in the winter. Installation costs for such
a system would total approximately $3.5 million,
while savings would add up to almost $500,000
per year, with an associated CO
reduction of
around 7,000 tons. Such a measure would pay
for itself after about seven years.
After conducting a detailed analysis of the pro-
posals, the Denver International Airport operat-
ing company will decide which measures it will
implement, and at which times. The fact is that
airports need to take steps to increase their en-
ergy efficiency, since their complex infrastructures
make them major energy consumers. After all,
thousands of airports around the world are
used by billions of passengers and airport em-
ployees every year. In addition, studies conducted
by Airports Council International (ACI), the In-
ternational Air Transport Association (IATA), and
the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) show that passenger volumes are rising
at a consistent average rate of between 3.5 and
5.8 percent per year.
IT Solution for Energy-Hungry Systems.
“Our energy-saving measures are implemented
in three areas,” says Uwe Karl. The first area in-
volves finding out which devices can be turned
off or modernized, as old machines are often the
biggest energy wasters. It therefore makes sense
at any airport to use energy-saving lamps that op-
erate in accordance with ambient light conditions
and utilization requirements. “In many cases you’re
dealing with just one main switch for all the
lights,” says Karl. “But if you optimize lighting sys-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
tems to function in line with ambient light con-
ditions and the utilization of specific areas, you
can cut costs substantially.”
The second area addresses the use of re-
newable environmental-friendly energy sources
such as wind, biomass/biogas, geothermal
sources, and fuel cells. “Here, decisions have to
be made based on individual circumstances,” says
Uwe Karl. “Denver’s airport covers almost 140
square kilometers, for example, making it by far
the largest in the United States in terms of
area; so it makes sense to consider the use of bio-
mass/biogas and wind energy.” The Siemens study
thus proposes such measures as well.
The third area focuses on solutions in the fields
of power generation, alternative energy, baggage
and freight logistics, IT services, and building tech-
nologies. The goal here is to manage the many
energy-hungry systems in use with the help of
intelligent IT solutions aligned with airport
processes, and to regularly monitor and compare
energy consumption over time. “Many airports
have distributed and independent systems, how-
ever, which makes it difficult to gain a good
overview,” Karl explains. Here as well, the key is
to implement intelligent controls that eliminate
the problem of constant energy consumption.
Investments that Pay for Themselves.The
comprehensive analysis of energy consump-
tion patterns at an airport forms the basis for the
generation and implementation of energy- sav-
ing measures by specialists. This is the approach
-free airport is possible if a facility’s complex
infrastructure is looked at holistically.
Siemens is responsible for the efficient energy management of the Airport Stuttgart (below). In addition to monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports, hourly values also play a key role for reducing the consumption.
32 Intelligence is their Model
Buildings are coming to life.
Thanks to automated manage-
ment systems that ensure optimal
lighting and ventilation via sophis-
ticated sensors, building ener gy
consumption can be reduced im-
mense. The pays are based on en-
ergy savings – as Siemens is aready
demonstrating with its Perform-
ance-Contracting. Pages 32, 36
38 Meters that Stabilize the Grid By allowing customers to benefit
from flexible electricity rates, in-
telligent meters can reduce grid
loads and save users money. 49 A Toll Booth in Every Truck
Road pricing for trucks, phased
traffic lights, hybrid buses and dri-
verless subways are major trends
that are set to transform the way
we travel. Pages 43, 45, 49, 51
52 From Wind to Wheels
Electric cars could play a stabi-
lizing role in tomorrow’s power
grid, as mobile electricity storage
units. Siemens is investigating how
vehicles, the grid, and renewable
energy sources interact. 55 Get a charge!
Siemens researchers are develop-
ing technologies that will make it
possible to recharge electric vehi-
cles in just a few minutes
Fun Jie Fan explains to his friend Tan Xiao
the sophisticated efficiency features of a
high-rise in a district of London that he
helped modernize. Now that the project has
been completed, residents are not only puri-
fying their own wastewater but also need to
buy 90 percent less drinking water. The use
of distributed power systems has also low-
ered their dependence on externally-pro-
duced energy to practically zero. Air-flow simulations for optimized climate conditions
Membrane filters for drinking water purificationv
Small home energy units for cogeneration Intelligent meters for flexible
heat and electricity rates
Gas and odor sensors for build-
ing management systems
Light sheets and empyreans
made of organic LEDs
un Jie, I’m thrilled — it’s exactly as you de-
scribed it on the phone,” says Tan Xiao,
who clearly cannot believe what his friend Fun
Jie Fan, a famous efficiency planner in Eng-
land, has done with the smallest neighbor-
hood of the british capital London. “This neigh-
borhood is really thriving and beautiful now,”
Tan remarks. “There’s no noise, no smog,
you’ve got a light rail system instead of all
those cars, and there are parks where streets
used to be. I can hardly recognize it any more.”
Summer 2020. Efficiency planner Fun Jie Fan is showing his friend and mentor Tan Xiao his latest successfully completed project — the modernization and efficiency optimization of a district in London in which Tan Xiao lived for many years before moving to Beijing. Master of Efficiency
B ui l d i ng s a nd Mo b i l i t y
| Scenario 2020
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2008
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2008
“However, many building owners are con-
cerned by the initial investment for installing
efficient solutions. They often prefer less ex-
pensive technologies that consume more ener-
gy,” explains Ulrich Brickmann, an expert on
energy efficiency solutions for buildings who
works at the Siemens Building Technologies
(BT) division in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
With regard to residential buildings, an addi-
tional factor is that the person who usually has
to make the investment — the landlord — is
not the one who will benefit from reduced ad-
ditional costs, i.e. the tenant. “These circum-
stances tend to limit buildings from achieving
maximum energy efficiency. That has to
change,” says Brickmann. Electricity-saving technologies and equip-
ment with quick amortization due to low oper-
ating expenses have already been developed,
and, for the most, part they are already avail-
able on the market (see Pictures of the Future,
Spring 2007, p. 86). Simple measures such as
the correct setting of the technical facilities
and electricity-saving lighting based on ener-
gy-saving lamps or LEDs can dramatically in-
crease building efficiency. Other measures in-
clude equipment for combined heat and
power that generates electricity and heat on
site, as well as solutions that utilize sensors
and building management systems, for in-
stance, to ensure optimal air and light condi-
tions automatically. Big Savings. How effective can the installa-
tion of energy-saving technologies be for a
major city? In London, for instance, buildings
account for two thirds of the city’s total CO
emissions. But by 2025 the British capital could
cut its CO
2 emissions by ten million tons by im-
plementing currently-available technologies.
Associated energy savings alone would be suf-
ficient to pay for nearly 90 percent of the solu-
tions used. In Sydney, Australia, the office complex at
30 The Bond, illustrates the extent to which
emissions can be decreased using a combina-
tion of energy-saving measures. Optimal air
conditioning inside the office complex is
achieved through integrated building manage-
ment systems and a specialized cooling system
that works with cold water instead of an air
conditioning unit. The complex produces
around 30 percent less greenhouse emissions
than conventional office buildings of a similar
size and has correspondingly lower energy
Abu Dhabi would like to prove that it is pos-
sible to save even more. In 2016 solar sails
with solar panels will provide shade and gener-
ate electricity at the same time for the newly
established Masdar City, which will boast a
population of 50,000. Narrow shaded alleys
will provide natural cooling, and electric trains
will almost make cars unnecessary. The Emi-
rates’ ambitious target is to create a CO
tral city.
These examples illustrate the growing
awareness of buildings’ potential for cutting
energy costs and protecting the environment
— not least because efficient solutions are ex-
periencing increased demand due to rising
prices for raw materials. Political decision-mak-
ers are also backing legislation that promotes
Buildings and Mobility
| Scenario 2020
Fun Jie grins sheepishly. “I’m pleased to hear
those words from you, my friend,” he says.
“Another thing that makes me proud is that the
government has acknowledged the success of
our pilot project by awarding us new contracts
for the gradual modernization of the rest of
the city.” “A city of 12 million consisting of… Fun Jie,
please excuse me, but I’m an old man and I for-
get things quickly,” Tan says. Fun Jie laughs.
“You mean energy-self-sufficient buildings —
like the one we’re standing in front of now.” The two men look up at the skyscraper
above them. “The government issued strict
guidelines,” Fun Jie explains. All the energy
used by every building has to come from re-
newable sources, and each building also has to
purify its own water and reduce its need to buy
drinking water from external sources by at least
90 percent. The government also wanted the
neighborhood to have a better quality of life.” “But I know this building from back when I
used to work in the area,” says Tan. “It looks
the same — only the glass facade is darker.”
“That’s because of the solar foils mounted on
the front of the glass,” Fun Jie explains. “The
foils not only produce electricity but also cool
the building by shading it from the sun. But
you’re right — you can’t see most of the tech-
nology we use because it does its work inside
the building. For example, we’ve got an anaer-
obic biogas plant that transforms organic
waste into combustible gas that’s used to fire
the cogeneration units we installed in the of-
fices and apartments, which in turn generate
electricity and heat.” While Fun Jie continues
his explanation, Tan makes a discovery as he
looks at the upper floors of the skyscraper. “Am
I seeing things?” he says. “Every other floor is
missing on the top stories of the building.” “Oh, sorry,” says Fun Jie, “I almost forgot
that. We gutted some of the floors at the top,
left the elevator shafts in place, statically stabi-
lized the free-standing floors, and installed
flat-lying windmills that optimally harness the
wind up there to produce electricity. In this
sense, the building is also a power plant that
not only meets its own energy needs but also
transfers power to the local grid. For example,
if a building like this needs more electricity
during peak hours than it can produce, it sim-
ply obtains the energy from the surplus in oth-
er buildings. This system actually reduces the
neighborhood’s need for externally-produced
energy to more or less zero. We also installed
special meters on each floor. Anybody who’s
interested can simply push a button on one of
these meters and see not only how much elec-
tricity has been consumed but also how much
has been transferred — and sold — to the grid.
This motivates the building’s occupants to re-
duce their energy consumption. The city gov-
ernment is even thinking about running a
competition for a prize for the most efficient
building.” Tan looks a little confused. “But what
about in the summer, when the air condition-
ing is running in all of these buildings all day?
Is the energy they produce themselves enough
to cover demand?” he asks.
“We came up with solutions for that issue as
well,” Fun Jie replies. “For example, the win-
dows don’t open, which means no hot air from
outside can get into the building. Instead, out-
side air is channeled through ducts into the
basement, where it cools off before being fed
into the ventilation system. We’ve also got
small sensors that create a balanced climate by
adjusting temperature, light, and fresh air lev-
els precisely to predefined values. For lighting,
we use both efficient LEDs and OLEDs, which
are flat, luminous, flexible plastics that can illu-
minate entire walls inside a building. So, as
you can see, despite all the conservation meas-
ures we’ve taken, no sacrifices were made in
terms of comfort or convenience. Our auto-
matic fresh air intake system makes for an ide-
al climate, and this has led to greater produc-
tivity among office workers. The effect is
further enhanced by air flows that were opti-
mized using simulations. To ensure that the air
in the building remains either warm or cool for
the longest possible time — depending on the
season, of course — all the floors were fitted
with a combination of a double-layered facade
and vacuum windows. In the winter, we also
use special heat accumulators installed in the
ceilings. These absorb heat during the day and
emit it again at night.” “And how have you reduced the residents’
need to buy drinking water from outside?” Tan
asks. “Oh, that’s simple,” says Fun Jie. “We uti-
lize proven membrane technology that we’ve
been employing for years. This technology is
now so versatile that we can desalinate and
purify water from the nearby sea without us-
ing much energy at all. We no longer use
steam here but instead desalinate the water
with the help of the membranes.” Tan makes a
face. “So that’s why I had that stale taste in my
mouth after I had a drink of water.” “What do
you mean?” Fun Jie says with a look of surprise.
“Fun Jie, you haven’t changed a bit,” Tan
laughs. “Even after all these years, it’s still so
easy to pull your leg. By the way, all this tech-
nology talk has made me hungry — let’s go get
something to eat. Hey, I see someone selling
food from a grill over there — fired up with
good old charcoal. He must be the only one
left in the neighborhood who’s still producing
greenhouse gases.” Sebastian Webel
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2008
energy supply, while industry and transport ac-
count for approximately 30 percent. The corre-
sponding figures for greenhouse gas emissions
in buildings, industry, and transport were 21,
34, and 14 percent respectively. The rest was
due to agriculture and forestry (see Pictures of
the Future,Spring 2007, p. 83). The good news is this: Buildings have the
greatest energy-saving potential. The 2007 re-
port of the Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-
mate Change (IPCC) estimates that more effi-
cient technologies could reduce CO
from houses by up to 40 percent by 2030.
| Trends
Efficient building technologies save money and reduce the burden on the environment. In London,
such technologies reduce the amount of CO
emitted annually by millions of tons.
Simple Steps that
Save a Bundle
any a reader may have been astonished
by an article about the future of con-
struction in a July 2008 issue of the German
current affairs magazine Der Spiegel. It
claimed that “buildings are climate killer Num-
ber One, worse even than the huge fleet of
cars on the road worldwide.” To laymen this
might seem to be a bold theory, as up to now
cars and factories have been branded as the
main energy gobblers. The facts, however, tell
a different story. High-rises, residential build-
ings, old buildings, office buildings and the like
burn up around 40 percent of the total primary
Buildings account for about
40 percent of energy con-
sumption worldwide, and ap-
proximately 21 percent of all
greenhouse gas emissions.
Simple measures can make it relatively easy to save at least
a quar ter of energy in most
bu ildings. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
lm/w. “However, sodium’s energy efficiency
comes at a cost. The quality of light is inferior,”
says Matthias Fiegler, who is responsible for Os-
ram’s global product portfolio for outdoor light-
ing. People often find it difficult to recognize col-
ors and contrasts in yellow light, which also of-
ten gives them an uneasy feeling. This is why
these lamps are less suitable for residential areas. Among conventional technologies, ceramic
metal halide lamps are now leading the way. The
powerful beams of white light produced by
these lamps reproduce colors very well. They are
mostly used in areas requiring a tremendous
amount of light, such as stadiums. Today’s LEDs,
with their 100 lm/w energy efficiency and a col-
or rendering index of 80, are almost on a par with
ceramic metal halide lamps. The index measures
the extent to which a lamp can reproduce colors
in comparison to natural daylight (index 100). Nevertheless, there‘s still room for improve-
ment with LEDs. Researchers hope to achieve 150
lm/w and are working on reaching a color ren-
dering index of 90. All in all, LEDs offer the great-
est potential for savings. Compared to the old-
Buildings and Mobility
| Trends
the efficient use of energy. For instance, from
2009 on, all houses in Germany will require an
Energy Performance Certificate that docu-
ments their energy consumption. This, in turn,
is expected to put pressure on building owners
whose prospective tenants will be comparing
the energy costs of different properties. In January 2008 the European Union (EU)
also put forward a package of laws in its “20-
20-20 to 2020,” legislation according to which
the EU should reduce greenhouse gas emis-
sions by 20 percent by 2020. At the same time,
the total proportion of renewable energy
should increase to 20 percent and energy effi-
ciency should rise by 20 percent. In Brickmann’s opinion, however, such po-
litical leverage is not enough to introduce effi-
ciency solutions in buildings. “Saving energy
through technologies that require a high initial
investment is often a real dilemma for the
managers of public buildings. They need new
system solutions to cut their electricity bills
and to take pressure off of their budgets, but in
many cases they can’t get over the investment
hurdle,” he says. Selling Efficiency. An answer to the energy-
investment challenge is Siemens’ combination
of consulting, installation service, and financ-
ing models. Here, the customer does not need
to make any preliminary investment. In stead,
it pays for improvements over a contracted pe-
riod based exclusively on energy savings. By
way of such so-called Energy Saving Contracts,
Siemens has renovated over 1,600 buildings to
date in Germany alone. According to Brickmann,
this has been a huge success. “We have invest-
ed in efficient technologies with a contract val-
ue of around €120 million in total, thus saving
over €160 million in energy costs,” he says. With this success in the bag, Siemens is
looking for partners and platforms with which
it can continue to promote energy efficiency to
the public. One platform that the company is
already involved in is the EU’s Green Building
Program, which has been in operation since
2005. Through the program, the European
Commission gives advice on energy efficiency
to the owners of commercial premises all over
Europe and works with them to develop action
plans for greater energy efficiency. The aim is
to reduce their use of primary energy by at
least 25 percent. If a participant reaches this
target, it is awarded the status of a Green
Building Partner, which it can use in its own
advertising. By now, more than 70 European
companies and institutions have joined the
program as building owners. As one of more than 30 “backers of technol-
ogy” for the Program, Siemens has committed
itself to supporting a plan for promoting the
Green Building Program. Siemens informs
building owners about the program and helps
participants to successfully implement their ac-
tion plans with the aid of technologies and En-
ergy Saving Contracts. “The program allows us to kill two birds
with one stone,” says Brickmann. “For one
thing, our Energy Saving Contracts generally
allow us to fulfill the Green Building Initiative’s
energy-saving criteria from the outset. For an-
other, the EU is offering our partners an incen-
tive — their environmental activities can be
publicized with the help of the Green Building
Certificate.” The Berlin University of the Arts and Italian
banking giant UniCredit are two of the most
prominent partners to hold the certificate
thanks to Siemens. After a comprehensive
“technology facelift,” the bank’s headquarters
in Milan today uses up to 32 percent less elec-
trical energy per year. These and a lot of other
examples show that energy-efficieny truly pays
off.Sebastian Webel
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2008
| LED Streetlights
ventional lighting. LEDs are immediately bright
when turned on and can be continuously
dimmed down to full darkness. With many oth-
er lamps, the gas discharge that produces light
stops working if it drops below a certain level. And
in the future it will be possible to automatically
regulate the color of LED streetlights by, for ex-
ample, mixing light from a white LED with that
of a red one. All this makes the little diodes ide-
al partners for smart controls. Their longevity also
makes them very attractive for municipalities. At
over 50,000 hours of light, their service life is
twice that of conventional lamps, and they
need to be replaced only every ten years.
Energy-efficient street lighting has become an
important issue in many cities — especially fol-
lowing the European Union’s regulation that in
2009 heralded the end of incandescent lamps. The
regulation will also progressively phase out less ef-
ficient streetlight lamps by 2015, including wide-
ly-used mercury vapor lamps, which only deliver
50 lumens of cool white light per watt (lm/W). An alternative is the high-efficency sodium
lamp, which illuminates many highways with 120
stroll after dark in the historic city center of
Regensburg, Germany, raises a question. Do
modern LED streetlights fit in harmoniously in the
narrow medieval lanes of a World Heritage Site
city? The light comes from quite a variety of lamps.
Some alleys are bathed in a yellowish, almost oth-
erworldly light. Then, just a few steps away, nar-
rowly-focused light cones create a pattern of light
and darkness on the cobblestones. Illuminating
narrow lanes, streets and squares are cylinders
with many tiny points of light — lamps with light-
emitting diodes (LEDs) developed by Osram
Opto Semiconductors. The lamps were manufac-
tured by Siemens in Regensburg and are designed
to be screwed directly into the streetlight sockets.
Up to 54 individual LEDs fit into one cylinder. The warm light cast by LEDs on the city’s his-
toric facades makes the city appear every bit as
picturesque by night as by day. The alleys are also
more brightly lit, with hardly any dark corners.
That’s because many of the LEDs create long light
cones along the narrow streets, while a few also
focus light downward. The LEDs that light the op-
posite walls are adjusted to use only 30 percent
of the electricity required for lighting sidewalks.
This is another reason why the lamps require only
40 watts compared to the 90 watts required by
their predecessors. “Another advantage of LEDs
is that their light can be directed at specific points,”
explains Dr. Martin Moeck, Project Manager at Os-
ram. “This isn’t possible with conventional lamps,
so they often have to be overly bright in order to
illuminate areas they otherwise couldn’t reach.
LED lamps can focus their light more effective-
ly, so they’re a lot more energy-efficient.” Alfons
Swaczyna, Head Construction Manager and Di-
rector of the Civil Engineering Office of the mu-
nicipality of Regensburg, also likes the new
lamps. “The LEDs have reduced light pollution,
meaning light that used to glare into residents’
windows or up into the sky,” he says.
LEDs stand out due to their high energy effi-
ciency and their light’s excellent color repro-
duction. And they can do much more than con-
Low energy consumption can be achieved by all, regardless of age, whether at the Berlin University of the Arts (left) or Masdar City in Abu Dhabi (right). World Her itage in a New Light
Streetlights that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) cut electricity
consumption by up to 80 percent. Not only are LEDs efficient;
their light can also be optimally directed. est systems based on mercury vapor lamps, LEDs
could reduce energy consumption by up to 80 per-
cent, says Fiegler. “And LEDs can be combined
with control systems that can exploit their ide-
al dimming characteristics,” he adds. “But the key
factors for LED use in long-term street lighting will
be standardization and modularization, for in-
stance in the form of exchangeable light mod-
ules.” Osram, in cooperation with international
committees, is moving forward in these areas.
Cutting Costs in Half. Procurement costs for
LED lamps, however, are two to three times as
high as those of conventional light sources.
The amount cities could save by using LEDs de-
pends on the technologies they are currently
using. Experts forecast, on average, a 50 per-
cent reduction in electricity use and amortiza-
tion periods of between ten and 20 years. To
ease the transition, Osram is developing “con-
tracting models” in cooperation with munici-
palities, energy providers, and financing part-
ners like Siemens Financial Services. Such
models enable cities to use energy savings to
pay for the investment in installments. Osram
also plans to cut lamp costs by half, so that the
purchase prices of future LED systems will be
at most only 50 percent more than those of
conventional lighting systems. Many projects are now being financed through
funding programs, as is the case in Regensburg.
The city won first prize with its LED lighting concept
in Germany’s “Energy-Efficient City Lighting”
competition. It will therefore receive a refund of
60 percent of the costs incurred if it replaces all
250 lanterns in the historic city center with LEDs
within two years. In the future, Regensburg’s soft
LED lighting will enchant visitors and inhabitants
at night — while using only half as muchelectric-
ity as it did in the past. Christine Rüth
New LED street lamps from Osram light Regensburg’s historic center. The lamps cut electricity consumption by 80 percent and have twice the lifespan of conventional lamps.
dict demand, and thus offer new products, in-
cluding dynamic rates, which can change every
15 minutes. Entire grids will benefit as it will be easier to
spread energy consumption. In fact, experts pre-
dict a savings potential of up to 20 percent. Small cogeneration plants in buildings (Pic-
tures of the Future, Fall 2008, p. 78) could also
be better integrated into power networks in the
future. “If electricity demand is high, a co-
generation plant will deliver energy to the net-
work, while the waste heat will be fed into a lo-
cal heat storage system or into the thermal ca-
pacity of the building,” predicts Christoff Wittwer
from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy
Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany. “This heat
can be used later by residents.” Well-insulated water tanks capable of acting
as heat stores are already available. In contrast,
heat storage based on phase change is still at the
R&D stage. Here, for example, surplus heat is
used to melt a salt. Later, when demand for heat
increases, the melted salt releases its stored
heat and solidifies. Yield is very high: “These types
of cogeneration plant have an overall efficien-
cy of over 90 percent,” says Wittwer. “In terms
of primary energy, that’s much more productive
than large-scale fossil fuel power plants that don’t
exploit waste heat.”
Managing Demand. Conversely, consumers
can also selectively switch off devices at peak
times to ease network loads. The key is to know
when rates are lower. For example, washing
machines and driers can be run at night when
electricity is cheaper. But which hours offer the
best prices? “Many appliances are already capa-
ble of determining this through signals in pow-
er lines,” says Dragon. “On and off times can be
determined by a smart meter.” This scenario would give utilities the advan-
tage of being able to manage demand within
their networks. It would also help them to pre-
vent sudden peak loads from occurring — for ex-
ample, when large numbers of consumers turn
on appliances at the same time. However, consumers would have to consent
to having their appliances turned on or off by a
utility depending on the network’s load —
based on the premise that they would be pay-
ing less for their power. Ultimately, both parties
have an interest in a flat load curve, which is
achieved by leveling demand over each 24-hour
period. The challenge is to coordinate each building’s
sub-systems with one another and control their
communication with their surroundings. In other
words, all isolated solutions should be combined. “That is not a trivial matter because these sys-
tems have developed independently over many
measures are expected to dramatically reduce
that figure in Masdar.
Masdar, which was developed by Sir Norman
Foster, is scheduled to be completed in 2016. If
it proves a success, urban developers and architects
from around the world may orientate their
plans according to the techno lo gies that prove
themselves here. Sie mens is involved in the proj-
ect. “The Masdar initiative is not only a fascinating
project; it also fits in very well with our energy
efficiency program and the solutions offered by
our Environmental Portfolio,” says Tom Ruyten,
who manages Siemens’ activities in Dubai.
he environmentally-friendly city of the future
is being built in a desert in the United Arab
Emirates. Not far from Abu Dhabi, workers
from all over the world are building Masdar City.
When complete, the city is expected to have
50,000 inhabitants, meet its energy require -
ments entirely from renewable sources, and pro-
duce zero carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse
gas (Pictures of the Future, Fall 2008, p. 76). Pow-
er is to be generated primarily by solar-thermal
power plants and photovoltaic facilities.
City planners expect improved efficiency to
offset the high cost of implementing advanced
energy solutions. In fact, the energy required per
Masdar resident is projected to be only one fifth
of today’s consumption.
This goal can be achieved if forward-looking
planning and modern technology complement
each other. In line with this philosophy, buildings
in Masdar will be built close together, thereby
providing each other with shade and thus re-
ducing air conditioning requirements. In addi-
tion, buildings will be built on concrete pedestals,
thus helping to maintain cool temperatures by
allowing air to circulate beneath them. Today, 70
percent of the energy consumed in Abu Dhabi
is used to cool buildings. Planned architectural
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
years,” says Dragon. “We therefore need inter-
faces that allow control systems to communicate
with one another.” Software solutions that address this challenge
are being developed by Siemens Building Tech-
nologies under the name “Total Building Solu-
tions” (TBS). Here, a variety of systems are be-
ing linked into one unit. They include building
control and security technologies, heating, ven-
tilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, room au-
tomation, power distribution, fire and burglary
protection, access control, and video surveillance. “Only if all of these systems harmonize per-
fectly can their economic potential be fully re-
alized,” says Dragon. “Whether in a stadium, an
office complex, a hospital, a hotel, an industri-
al complex or a shopping mall — TBS will ensure
that the facility is working productively, users are
being reliably protected, and energy is being used
Large Savings Potential. The amount of en-
ergy that can be saved through the intelligent
networking of power utilities and consumers
varies from case to case. However, experts
generally agree that savings of 20 to 25 per-
cent are realistic. “This figure fluctuates de-
pending on the type of building,” says Dragon.
“Shopping malls and office buildings often
have a savings potential of up to 50 percent.
For hospitals, we’re talking about five to ten
percent.” These differences depend on how
buildings are used. For instance, in Europe
many shopping malls are open ten to 12 hours
a day and closed on Sunday. But a hospital op-
erates around the clock. “That’s why hospitals
don’t have much scope for saving large amounts
of energy. The heating can be turned off in an
office but not in a hospital,” says Dragon.
Advanced technologies not only save ener-
gy in hot and temperate zones; they can also do
so in icy areas. Take the new Monte-Rosa Hut of
the Swiss Alpine Club, for instance, which is
perched at an altitude of 2,883 meters. It is large-
ly self-sufficient — thanks to sophisticated
building technology and components supplied
by Siemens (p.7). Power is supplied by a pho-
tovoltaic system, supported when necessary by
a cogeneration unit. In order to maximize efficiency, the building’s
control system will use weather forecasts and in-
formation on guest bookings, thus helping it to
coordinate its power and heating systems as well
as energy storage and applicate power de-
mand. A smart algorithm will periodically cal-
culate the best end temperature, so that the de-
sired room climate can be realized with the least
resources — thereby ensuring that not even the
smallest amount of energy is wasted.
Christian Buck
Buildings and Mobility
| Networking
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
ciency at Siemens’ Building Technologies Division
in Zug, Switzerland. “Intelligent electric meters –
the smart meter – will usher in a lot of change
in this area.”
These small boxes will not only measure en-
ergy consumption, but will also be able to
communicate with household appliances and
utilities (p. 38). Starting in 2010, a European
Union directive and legal regulations in Germany
will require all new and modernized buildings to
be equipped with smart meters. Customers
will have better insight into their electricity costs,
while utilities will be able to more accurately pre-
In the future, buildings will actively
participate in the grid. In Masdar City (small pictures) narrow spaces between and under buildings will enhance cooling.
Plugging Buildings
into the Big Picture
Masdar is, of course, unique. After all, how
often do you have the opportunity to build a com-
plete city with a focus on minimizing its envi-
ronmental footprint right from the start? How-
ever, intelligent building management tech-
nology is in demand everywhere. In industrial-
ized countries, for example, buildings are being
transformed from mere energy consumers to ac-
tive participants in the electricity market, where
they offer self-generated power for sale. “More
and more buildings have photovoltaic or small
wind power plants on their roofs,” says Volker
Dragon, who works in the area of energy effi-
Around 40 percent of the energy consumed worldwide is used in buildings to provide heating and lighting. But in the future, intelligent building management systems will ease the load on power and heat networks — and even feed self-generated electricity into the grid.
and such information only shows the sum of the
electricity used over a specific period of time. Having such data made available in some-
thing closer to real time would conserve re-
sources, as consumption could then be flexibly
adjusted, prices for consumers lowered or raised
in line with peak loads, and power generation
capacity stepped down when less electricity is
needed. Meters capable of such real-time data deliv-
ery were not available to the average con-
sumer until recently — but now, more and more
power suppliers are installing smart meters
that electronically measure electricity con-
sumption. Alexander Schenk, head of the AMIS
Business Segment at Siemens’ Power Distribu-
tion Division, explains. “Smart meters don’t
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
regions are now being supplied with electricity
for the very first time. A total of 150,000 vil-
lages in India alone will be hooked up to the
grid over the next few years. As smart metering
technology will be used here from the start, inte-
grating it into existing systems won’t be a prob-
More developed markets — like Brazil, for ex-
ample, where the vast majority of households
already have electricity — will have to modernize
their systems to reduce electricity theft and in-
crease supply reliability. Smart meters will thus
also be installed in many areas in these markets.
Finally, in many of the most developed countries,
legislation enacted as part of electricity market
deregulation is leading to the rapid introduction
of smart meters. The European Union, for ex-
ample, has an energy efficiency and services di-
rective that stipulates that all conventional me-
ters be replaced by smart meters by 2020. In-
deed, all new buildings built today have to have
such meters. According to Knaak, smart meters represent
just a small component of a much larger project:
the smart grid. With this energy network, it will
be easier to incorporate renewable sources of en-
ergy. In addition, electricity storage will one day play
a major role here and with improved network load
planning it will be possible to reduce the oc-
currence of the sort of major blackouts that have
caused havoc in Europe and the U.S. over the last
few years. “Without smart meters, there would
never be a smart grid,” says Knaak. “Together with
Siemens, we, in our little town of Arbon, have
laid part of the foundation for this flexible net-
work of the future.” Andreas Kleinschmidt
just substitute a digital display for mechanical
cogs; they also automatically forward con-
sumption data to a control center and have a
feedback channel.” Among other things, this en-
ables suppliers to send price signals to customers,
who can then reduce consumption during peak
times in order to save money. One smart meter now on the market is the
AMIS model from Siemens. It got installed
20,000 times until today. Some 100,000 of which
are scheduled to be installed in Upper Austria by
early 2012 (see Pictures of the Future,Fall
2008, p.63). More and more residents of Arbon
in the Alpine country Switzerland, on the shores
of Lake Constance will also soon be enjoying the
benefits offered by the Siemens intelligent elec-
tricity meter.
Buildings and Mobility
| Smart Meters
hen asked about the electricity meters in
the Swiss municipality of Arbon, Jürgen
Knaak, head of the local power utility, Arbon En-
ergie AG, says, “It’s time to get out of the dark!”
What Knaak is referring to is the fact that for a
very long time nearly all electricity customers and
suppliers around the world have suffered from
a huge lack of information. Consumers know
nearly nothing about their electricity consump -
tion habits, while suppliers know very little about
the state of their grids at any given — including
such basic information as whether loads in
certain sections are dangerously high, or whether
the supply voltage has dropped dramatically in
particular areas. That’s because data from elec-
tricity meters generally doesn’t become available
until months after power is actually consumed,
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
ample, has been able to automatically carry
out 210 million meter readings. The initial in-
vestment of €2.1 billion can be amortized rel-
atively quickly through savings of around
€500 million per year, while service costs per
customer and year have been reduced from
€80 to €50.
EnBW ODR, which supplies electricity to the
region east of Stuttgart, Germany, is now re-
placing its conventional meters with Siemens
AMIS units along with the complete meter data
management system. Ninety percent of the com-
pany’s new meters communicate with a central
server that processes the huge amounts of
data, with most of this data transfer occurring
via power line communication — in other
words, the grid itself. Siemens prepared itself well for such new
types of cooperation models for smart metering
systems by partnering with U.S.-based eMeter,
one of the world’s leading providers of meter data
processing services. Such partnerships require
a high degree of flexibility, however, since the
business logic behind smart metering projects
differs greatly from region to region. By 2030,
global electricity production is expected to in-
crease by 63 percent over its 2008 level to ap-
proximately 33,000 terawatt hours (TWh).
Whereas today’s poorer countries are expected
to expand their annual production by around four
percent, electricity production in the most de-
veloped regions will grow by only about 1.3 per-
cent per year. Time for Smart Meters. Completely new grid structures are now being set up through-
out large parts of India and China, and many
“The near-real-time transmission of data
from households, special contract customers, and
the power distribution structure gives us the kind
of insight we need as to what’s going on in the
grid,” says Arbon Energie’s Knaak. “This allows
us as a supplier to make more precise forecasts
of peak load times, and thus plan more effi-
ciently.” Arbon residents are the first in Switzer-
land to know exactly how much electricity
they’re using every month, instead of having to
pay estimated fees, as was the case in the past,
and then receiving a huge bill at the end of the
year. So living in the dark about one’s own elec-
tricity consumption will soon no longer be an is-
sue, at least not in Arbon. The benefits that smart energy meters offer
utility companies go far beyond improved grid
load planning. For one thing, the manual read-
ing of conventional meters is subject to errors
that generate additional costs, such as the
need for a second readings. These require disproportionate amounts of
time and energy in comparison with standard
reading trips. Smart meters, on the other hand,
are read automatically. “On average, around three
percent of the readings of conventional meters
are erroneous and need to be repeated,” says Dr.
Andreas Heine, head of Services at Power Dis-
tribution. “Smart meters reduce this error rate to
nearly zero. So, if you’ve got an area with a mil-
lion customers, you can save more than €1.6 mil-
lion per year, which corresponds to 53 percent
of the previous cost for readings.”
No More Flying Blind. Most smart meters
are now being used in highly developed coun-
tries, with dozens of projects currently under
way in the U.S. and Europe. Direct economic
benefits are generated in such nations mainly
through a decrease in blackouts and efficiency
gains in service processes. By installing
around 30 million smart meters with feedback
channels, Italian energy supplier ENEL, for ex-
Power companies worldwide have begun installing electronic smart meters that allow customers to monitor consumption practically in real time and thus conserve energy. Such companies benefit from better grid load planning and lower costs. Siemens offers complete solutions that include everything from hardware to software.
Transparent Network Smart meters enable consumers to monitor and manage their power use. Utilities also save
money and, for the first time, gain detailed insight into network dynamics.
Completely new business models based on smart
metering will arise in coming years.
t’s a summer day and Vienna's trams are
packed. The air conditioning is running full
blast. “In extreme cases, heating, air condition-
ing, and ventilation systems (HVAC?) can ac-
count for 30 to 40 percent of a tram's energy
use,” says Dr. Walter Struckl, an expert on sus-
tainable public transport systems at Siemens.
That's ample reason to think about energy con-
servation. But how can climate control be
made energy efficient while at the same time
keeping costs under control and satisfying pas-
sengers? Since March 2010 the Ecotram re-
search project has looked at this challenge. In-
volved are Siemens, the Vienna University of
Technology, local Vienna transport-related com-
panies, the rail infrastructure company, and cli-
mate control system manufacturer Vossloh
Kiepe. The project will run for 18 months and
is being funded by Austria’s Climate and Ener-
gy Fund. The partners cover all pertinent tech-
nologies – from air conditioning units to cli-
matic test labs and the production and
operation of rolling stock. Thereby the railways’
efficiency together with their systems should be
analyzed and – where possible – optimized.
Climate and ventilation systems for a state-
of-the-art tram use about 100,000 kilowatt
air-conditioning to its surroundings and cool
less in tunnels, are on trial. Carbon dioxide
sensors for air regulation, since CO
provides an indication of how many passen-
gers are on board also seem promising to
Struckl. He's also thinking about the color of
the light used to illuminate the trams – that’s
important for the felt temperature. “Using the
type of lighting provided by LEDs, for example,
would conserve a lot of energy because it
would enable you to alternate between warm
and cold-white colors as needed,” Struckl says.
hours of electricity per year. The Ecotram proj-
ect would like to reduce this figure. Günter
Steinbauer, the managing director of the city's
transportation authority, anticipates at least a
10 percent reduction. Applying that figure to
the city's 300 modern trams would allow an-
nual savings of over 3,000 megawatt hours.
This corresponds to the electricity consumed
by 1,200 households.
Ecotram partners plan to study the effec-
tiveness of 20 energy-saving ideas. For exam-
ple, forward-looking regulators which adapt
efficient technologies. Using Munich as an example, the
Wuppertal Institute and Siemens conducted a study that
showed that energy-efficient solutions could transform a
city with some one million inhabitants into an almost
completely CO
-free area (Pictures of the Future,Spring
2009, p. 6). Major reductions in CO
emissions could be
achieved by expanding local mass transit systems and in-
troducing technologies such as state-of-the-art building
systems, traffic management systems, and electric vehi-
cles. Growing demand for electricity could also be met in
an environmentally-friendly manner by boosting energy
efficiency. The systems that could be employed here
range from combined heat and power plants to smart
grids and techniques for transmitting electricity with min-
imal losses.
The German Environmental Ministry (BMU) estimates
that the global market for environmental technologies will
more than double between now and 2020, to over €3 tril-
lion. This development will be boosted by the financial cri-
sis. For example, London-based investment company
HSBC estimates that around €300 billion or about 15 per-
cent of the amount being spent on economic stimulus
programs worldwide is flowing into the creation of green
infrastructures, with about 68 percent of this sum being
invested in energy-efficient technologies. The energy-savings potential from buildings is particu-
larly large, as they account for about 40 percent of global
energy demand. Around 30 percent of this demand could
be eliminated through improved insulation, controlled air-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
Buildings and Mobility
| Facts and Forecasts
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
Tough Tests for Trams conditioning, and efficient heating systems. According to
the BMU, these measures would suffice to give the global
market for building systems a major boost and increase its
volume by more than €400 billion by 2030. The Federa-
tion of German Industries (BDI) expects the worldwide
market for power plant technology to grow by five to ten
percent a year. Demand is particularly high for more effi-
cient and low-CO
plants. At the same time, the global
market for renewable sources of energy is expected to
grow three-fold or even six-fold over the next 15 years,
expanding from €45 billion to as much as €250 billion.
To create “green” cities, city managers will have to in-
vest huge sums in complex projects. Because municipal
budgets will often not suffice for such tasks, cities will
have to work with private investors. Each year, the private
sector accounts for up to 15 percent of the investments
made in infrastructure projects worldwide. Such invest-
ments are frequently made in the form of public-private
partnerships (PPP), whereby companies not only supply
products and services, but also conduct project manage-
ment and provide long-term financing for a part of the
costs. Siemens’ energy-saving performance contracting
represents a special kind of PPP. Here, the use of environ-
mental technologies is financed solely through the sav-
ings achieved in energy costs. To date, Siemens has imple-
mented more than 1,900 such projects for buildings
worldwide with guaranteed savings of €2 billion and a re-
duction of 2.4 million tons of CO
. For the affected cities
this means greener buildings — for free. Anette Freise
How can you reduce the electricity use of a tram’s climate control system without making the vehicle less comfortable? Siemens and its partners in the Ecotram research project are develop-
ing effective energy-saving measures that require no sacrifices in terms of passenger comfort.
| Rail Vehicle Optimization
Whether in an ice chamber (below left), under UV exposure, or undergoing passenger simulations
using heated pads, Vienna’s trams are subjected to
extreme tests to optimize their systems.
ities are growing at a breathtaking pace worldwide.
More than half of the world’s population already lives
in cities, and this figure is set to grow to 70 percent by
2050. This trend is creating huge challenges for city man-
agers, who will have to greatly expand municipal infra-
structures because 6.4 billion city residents will need elec-
tricity, water, and transportation services in 2050,
compared to 3.3 billion today. At the same time, cities will
have to reduce their energy consumption and CO
sions. At present, they already account for 75 percent of
the energy consumed worldwide and are responsible for
80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate protec-
tion measures thus promise to be particularly effective in
cities — and will open up market opportunities for green
urban-infrastructure solutions.
The potential in this regard is huge. After all, a large
part of the infrastructure in emerging markets and devel-
oping countries will have to be completely renewed, as
these countries account for 95 percent of the world’s pop-
ulation growth. Many industrialized countries will also
have to modernize their infrastructures. Business consult-
ing firm Booz Allen Hamilton estimates that the world’s
cities will have to spend around €27 trillion over the next
25 years to modernize and expand their infrastructures.
Of this amount, €15 trillion will be spent on water man-
agement systems, €6 trillion on power grids, and €5 tril-
lion on road and rail networks. To allow cities to satisfy their infrastructure needs in a
climate-friendly manner, they will have to employ energy-
Huge Growth Market for Green Urban-Infrastructure Solutions
The Global Market for Environmental
Technologies will Grow to over €3 Trillion
155 94 35 538
615 335 53
Billions of euros, by sector
Energy efficiency
Sustainable water management
Sustainable mobility
Environmentally-friendly energies and energy storage
Resource and material efficiency
Recycling economy
200 361
Total market in 2007: €1,383 billion
Total market in 2020: €3,138 billion
Economic Stimulus Programs Include
€300 Billion for Green Solutions Worldwide
Billions of euros, by sector
Energy efficiency
Renewable energies
Low CO
-emission vehicles
Rail systems
Power grids
26 14
Total: €300 billion
Source: HSBC
Source: BMU, Roland Berger
ündersbühl subway station in Nuremberg:
a red and white test train pulls in. You get
on and the train heads out. At first, it looks like
any other modern subway train. But then you
take a second look and notice that there’s no
driver’s cab. All you see is the subway tunnel
stretching out ahead of the train’s windshield.
“The view from the front car is the only visible
difference for a passenger traveling in a driver-
less train,” says Georg Trummer, who heads
Siemens’ activities in Germany’s first driverless
subway. Trummer’s team managed the imple-
mentation of the project together with the
many test-drives. And today, the driverless sub-
way – known as Rubin (Realisierung einer auto-
matischen U-Bahn in Nürnberg) – has revolu-
tionized Nuremberg’s transit. ranging from — 20 to +32 °C. Tram doors have
been opened and closed during tests, and dif-
ferent speeds have been simulated to account
for the fact that heat escapes to the outside
more rapidly at higher speeds. Heating pads
were put on the seats to simulate body heat
and a varied number of passengers. As during
normal operations, the climate control and
ventilation systems automatically adjusted
temperatures to target values. Richter continu-
ally monitored external and internal tempera-
ture, wind speed, sunlight, and the power in-
put of climate control and ventilation com-po-
nents. “For the first time we are seeing how
much energy individual systems use,” he says.
Richter has already devised initial energy-sav-
ing approaches. “Sometimes it gets cooler than
it should in the trams because the air condi-
tioning doesn't step down until it actually reg-
isters temperatures that are too low,” he says,
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2008
don, and — since 2006 — Turin for more than
25 years. Nevertheless, what Siemens did in
Nuremberg was unique. The new U3 line ran
initially on part of the route used by the con-
ventionally operated U2 line. This means that
conventional and driverless subways shared
one and the same route. No other subway in
the world had such mixed operations of trains
with and without drivers till this time. The Nuremberg project was pioneering in
another respect as well. In January 2010, the
U2 line was also converted to driverless opera-
tion over its entire length, thus ending the
mixed operation. And all of these changeovers
took place without any interruption of normal
subway service. “Nobody’s ever done that be-
fore,” says Trummer as he opens a door at the
adding that this can be solved by optimizing
the control software.
On-the-Job Testing.After leaving the test fa-
cility in May 2010, Ecotram entered regular
service for several months of evaluation. Dur-
ing that period, its sensors have been collect-
ing data 24 hours per day. Photoelectric de-
vices register the number of people entering
and leaving the tram at each stop. Passenger
comfort has been measured by analyzing tem-
perature, air velocity and carbon dioxide con-
tent (Pictures of the Future, Spring 2006, p. 68).
While the tram is in service, Kozek is devel-
oping a thermal behavior simulation model.
It's based on a physical model—for example,
heat losses caused by airstreams. Results ob-
tained under real conditions will be compared
with the measurements from wind tunnel
tests. Data from the field tests will help the
program simulate operation, including tunnel
segments, tram stops, and varying passenger
counts. The completed software will send
trams on virtual runs and calculate the impact
on use and comfort.
Siemens will be able to use the model to
demonstrate which measures are most eco-
nomical. “I expect that this will help to provide
evidence against the preconception that ener-
gy efficiency drives up costs and reduces com-
fort,” says Struckl. “The model will also boost
energy transparency under a range of condi-
tions. Many tram operators scale their systems
in line with extreme situations such as a rush
of festival-goers in the summer, but forget that
the tram has to pay for the overweight for the
rest of the year” he says.
The results will be incorporated into an eco-
tram prototype in the follow-up project Eco-
tram II as of October 2011, and will be com-
pared to the projected energy savings.
Passenger reactions will then show if all the
work was worth it. “The key is to save energy in
such a way that nobody notices,” says Struckl.
What might the energy-efficient streetcar
of the future look like? “The trend is toward
high-efficiency climate control and ventilation
systems, lightweight design, and onboard en-
ergy storage,” says the mobility-expert Walter
Struckl. “The latter involves regaining energy
released by braking and waste heat from cli-
mate control units. This is already possible in
some places. That's why the intelligent power
grids now being developed in conjunction
with renewable energy systems are a key issue
for rail traffic. If you combine all possible ener-
gy-saving measures for the vehi- cle and infra-
structure, tram energy consumption could be
cut in half by 2030.” Christine Rüth
Buildings and Mobility
| Rail Vehicle Optimization
| Driverless Subways
Climatic Chambers for Trams.Rail Tec Arse-
nal is a unique climatic test facility for rail vehi-
cles. Experts have fitted Vienna's latest
tramway model with measurement systems at
the facility, which is co-owned by Siemens (see
Pictures of the Future, Spring 2009, p. 4). In
the site's two chambers (100 and 34 m long)
entire trains are exposed to extreme weather
conditions. Here, giant rotors generate air-
streams, and powerful halogen lamps simulate
hot summer days. Technicians can alter humid-
ity, and even make it rain or snow. Even a
storm is possible, which is also used by com-
petitive athletes like the ski jumpers from the
Austrian national team in the climate test labo-
ratory, says Gregor Richter, a project manager
at Rail Tec Arsenal.
Thanks to the facility's weather simulation
capabilities, Ecotram has been tested under
typical Vienna conditions, at temperatures
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009; Fall 2010
Exhaustive training is devoted to operations
such as automatic starting, braking, and pre-
cise stopping, opening the doors, securing the
tracks, switching and automatic coupling as
well as putting trains into and taking them out
of service. Final test operations have been run-
ning since November 2006 — in close harmo-
ny with the future timetable, but as yet with-
out passengers. Official commissioning took
place on June 14, 2008. At the end of 2001, the city of Nuremberg
and VAG Nürnberg — the local public transport
operator — decided to equip the U3, and later
the U2, subway lines for driverless operations.
Automated subway systems are nothing new.
Driverless subway trains have been operating
in European cities such as Lille, Toulouse, Lon-
More and more driverless trains are travelling through Europe’s cities. These trains run at short-
er intervals, while at the same time increasing flexibility and reliability. Siemens is providing
the technology, systems and trains worldwide. Also in Nuremberg, where the subway system is
the first in Germany which use trains without drivers.
Driverless in Nuremberg
Driverless subway trains entered service in Nurem-
berg in summer 2008. Today, the seats with the best
views of the tunnel are the most popular ones. The
trains are monitored from a control center. Mobility Concept Vienna
Vienna, the Danube metropolis, is a model city for
modern mobility. This is established by the research
report “Vienna: A Complete Mobility Study” carried
out by the UK transport consultants MRC McLean
Haze. According to this study, Vienna, already a key
transport and logistics hub at the heart of Europe, is
currently reaping the rewards of a long-term strategy
that embraces all modes of transport. What’s more,
the city plans to expand its public transport infra-
structure while assigning a low priority to automobile
traffic in the city center and promoting the interests of cyclists and pedestrians. Vienna is putting a
consistent focus on the expansion of the urban public transport (ÖPNV).“The study shows how suc-
cessful Vienna has been in implementing an efficient transport strategy that could serve as a model
for cities everywhere,” says Dr. Hans-Jörg Grundmann, CEO of the Siemens Mobility Division, in refer-
ence to Vienna’s “Transport Master Plan 2003,” which covers the period until 2020. Today, the Aus-
train capital has 227 kilometers of streetcar tracks, one of the largest streetcar networks in the world.
The transit network run by transport operator Wiener Linien is over 960 km in length, including 116
subway, streetcar, and bus lines with 4,559 stops, from which any location in the city can be reached
within 15 minutes on foot. On weekdays, public transport accounts for up to 35 percent of total traf-
fic, one of the highest mass transit quotients in the world. Vienna plans to increase this share to 40
percent by 2013 with capital expenditures of €1.8 billion, some of which will be used to extend exist-
ing subway lines and to build new streetcar lines in outlying districts. Siemens is supporting this ef-
fort by providing high-speed trains, 40 subway trains as well as the associated control signaling. Fur-
thermore, Vienna ordered 300 ultra-low-floor streetcars, which Siemens is delivering to the city’s
transport operator at the rate of 15 to 20 per year. Last but not least, Siemens is supplying a system
to control traffic lights on the basis of traffic volumes, with a view to smoothing traffic flow and to
preventing gridlock. In addition, the system for controlling traffic lights and the overall traffic man-
agement system, which 200,000 commuters benefit from daily, regulates transportation throughout
the metropolis. The system is fed by traffic data, most of which is collected by Siemens’ sensor solu-
tions. With the Siemens complete mobility approach, different transport systems can be networked
with one another as effectively as possible. The “Ptnova” pilot project, which can connect all ticket ma-
chines, ticket printers, and point-of-sale systems, is helping to automate all sales-related processes such
as ticketing, customer management and the administration of season tickets. Nikola Wohllaib
This wasn’t possible in Nuremberg due to
the former mixed automatic/driver operation,
and because the platforms of some stations
are curved,” explains Trummer. Absolute safety is ensured by video moni-
toring and a new high-frequency transponder
system that sends a dense grid of sensing
beams out over the tracks from transmitter
and receiver rails installed underneath the
platform edge. If a person or object falls onto
the track or between a train coupling, the sys-
tem will immediately stop all trains in the area.
Solid sills extend from doors when trains are in
stations to ensure that no one can get caught
in the gap between train and platform. When it’s time to go, an infrared sensor in
the rubber edges of the door halves registers
even the slightest pressure — the seam of a
coat stuck in between is all it takes to keep the
train from leaving the station. The control cen-
ter monitors train-car interiors via video cam-
eras. Passengers who activate an alarm are au-
tomatically put into direct contact with the
control center via digital voice radio. Control
center staff can immediately dispatch mainte-
nance or rescue services to the train.
“In general,” says the former leader of the
overall project, Trummer, “the trend in Europe
is toward fully automated systems — at least
for closed systems like subways. Unlike street-
cars or buses, subway trains don’t have imme-
diate contact with street traffic, which means
it’s much easier to monitor and secure them.”
The “driverless future” is already reality in
Nuremberg — and the seats with the best view
of the tunnel are the most popular ones. Dagmar Braun
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
the human respiratory system. But there is an-
other reason for retiring the combustion en-
gine. More than half of the world’s population
already lives in cities, and traffic is becoming
denser and denser. This, in conjunction with
environmental concerns, explains why even
more buses will have to take to the streets in
the future. After all, fuel consumption per pas-
senger in a full bus is as much as one-third less
than the equivalent figure for a full car. Many
people already use buses to get around big
cities, and not just in developing countries,
where a privately-owned vehicle is a luxury.
Even in industrialized nations like Germany,
buses account for roughly half of all public
transportation — every second mass transit
kilometer is driven by a bus. The more densely
populated big cities become, the greater the
Buildings and Mobility
| Driverless Subways
putting additional trains into service, for exam-
ple for major events. “Although investment
costs are higher, the new system is more eco-
nomical. One reason for this is that it takes less
time to get trains moving in the opposite direc-
tion at terminal stations, which means we
need fewer trains and we don’t need to hire
additional personnel,” says Konrad Schmidt,
who headed the project for VAG Nürnberg. Experience in other cities with automated
systems has confirmed this. In Paris, for exam-
ple, where Metro line 14 has been in driverless
operation since 1998, the system has proved
itself primarily through improved capacity and
safety. As a result, the Paris Metro’s historic
Line 1 was also to automated by 2010. Anoth-
er driverless subway line was under construc-
tion in Barcelona, and a third took shape in Ui-
jeongbu, Korea — all of them with technology
from the Siemens Mobility Division. The VAG Nürnberg control center is located
just a few kilometers from the line U2 and U3.
Staff at the space center-like facility can moni-
tor all automated operations on computer
screens in semicircle formation and on large
wall monitors, so that they can intervene in
the event of an emergency. In such a case, the
various computers will provide diagnostic in-
formation and video images. Control center
staff can then take over control of the system. The control center also monitors messages
from the safety systems, which represent
pioneering joint developments from Siemens
and Honeywell. “Normally, automated sub-
ways are equipped with platform doors
that block the dangerous area at the edge
of the platform until the train has stopped.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2008
end of the platform. Behind the door are key
components of the ATC (Automatic Train Con-
trol) system developed by Siemens: computers
for the routes and the signal boxes. These com-
puters continually exchange data with those in
the higher-level control system, as well as with
train computers, via fiber optic cables and induc-
tive loops embedded in the tracks. The data in-
clu des the train’s destination and speed, track
switching information, and the side of the train
that will face the platform in the next station. Digital Drivers. An onboard computer (Auto-
matic Train Operation) in the subway train it-
self uses this data to control the entire driving
process. A second computer (Automatic Train
Protection) monitors the actions of the first
and makes corrections if necessary. The ATC
system registers all train movements via a re-
transmission channel, which means it always
knows where each train is at any given mo-
ment and how fast it is moving. The latter ca-
pability is made possible by Siemens’ two-car
train sets equipped with navigation units and
transmission and reception antennas, among
other things. Thanks to these, the ATC system
can monitor and control subway train move-
ments completely autonomously.
Passengers need not be aware of any of
this. What they will be aware of, however, is
that the train begins moving smoothly as if
guided by a magical hand, brakes slightly, then
accelerates once again to its top speed of 80
kilometers per hour, and seems to float to a
stop at the next station. “The trains travel at an
optimal speed in accordance with the time -
table and the distance between the stations.
That’s one reason they drive so smoothly,”
explains Trummer. The result is greater com-
fort, along with a unique view into the subway
tunnel. Other benefits of the driverless system
include shorter train intervals — 100 seconds
instead of 200 — and the possibility of quickly
Nuremberg was the first place where conventional
and driverless subway trains shared a track.
f it were up to the environment, the good
old combustion engine would have been put
out to pasture long ago — for a number of rea-
sons. For example, the unbridled use of gaso-
line and diesel fuel is depleting oil reserves.
And, of course, engine exhaust contains car-
bon dioxide, which is heating up the earth’s at-
mosphere. And let’s not forget the fact that
fine particulates and oxides of nitrogen irritate
| Hybrid Drives for Buses
The first City Hybrid buses from MAN are now on the road in Munich. Equipped with drive technology from Siemens, they use up to 30 percent less fuel than conventional buses.
Next Stop: Bonus for Braking
With a view to helping big cities get a handle on their traffic problems while reducing fuel consumption, engineers are working on environmentally-compatible means of mass transit. Buses, for instance, could operate more efficiently if their diesel drives were supplemented with an electric motor that charges itself with braking energy. With its highly efficient “ELFA” hybrid drive, Siemens now has a leading role in hybrid bus technology. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
together” by a combining gearbox. If synchro-
nous machines based on permanent magnets
are used instead, less electricity has to be fed
into the machine to generate the magnetic
field that then turns the motor. This reduces
losses, the machine has a higher efficiency and
transfers more energy to the axle, which results
in an additional 10 percent savings of diesel
fuel. In addition, such a setup also reduces wear. Granted, a hybrid bus is still more expensive
than a conventional diesel bus that costs
around €250,000. Schmidt estimates the
added cost for the hybrid bus to be around
€100,000. However, he is convinced that
economies of scale resulting from mass pro-
duction will cut the added cost in half, in
which case the price would be only about
20 percent above the normal price.
The subject of hybrid buses is picking up
steam. If the Chinese capital city Beijing man-
ages to follow through on its announcement
and replace half of its bus fleet with hybrids by
2015, this alone would represent tremendous
demand for the vehicles. “Interest around the
world is already extremely high,” says Schmidt.
“In fact, we can hardly keep up with orders.”
Siemens in Nuremberg is working with numer-
ous bus manufacturers, with ELFA orders com-
ing not only from MAN, but also from Mer-
cedes, Belgian commercial vehicle
manufacturer Van Hool, and Indian transporta-
tion giant Tata Motors. In Use around the World. Wrightbus, a bus
manufacturer from Northern Ireland, has or-
dered Siemens’ drive technology for double-
decker buses in London. When London Mayor
Boris Johnson presented the plan for the new
vehicles in May 2010, he raved not only about
the slick design, but also about “innovative
green technology.” Johnson said that London-
ers would have every reason to be proud of
their new, fuel-efficient, and quiet means of
transportation. He predicted that hundreds of these hybrid
buses would be ferrying passengers around
the streets of the United Kingdom’s capital in
the future. ELFA buses are now in operation
throughout Europe in Spain, Belgium, the
Netherlands, and Italy. In addition, they can
also be seen in Turkey, the U.S. and Brazil. In
Germany, Hamburg’s municipal transport com-
pany is planning to deploy ELFA-based Mercedes
hybrid buses that use a combination of batteries
and fuel cells. Beginning in 2020, every new bus
in Hamburg is to be a hybrid model. “The development of Emission-free inner
city areas is a political issue,” says Schmidt. In
this case, even garbage trucks would be suit-
able candidates for the hybrid drive. MAN al-
ready developed a 12-ton truck with a 220-hp
four-cylinder engine and 60 kW electric motor.
The vehicle is primarily suited for longer distri-
bution runs with frequent stops. And Faun, a
German company, offers a garbage truck with
ELFA. The “Roto press Dualpower” is currently
hauling waste to a disposal facility in Leipzig. “Hybrid buses,” says Schmidt, “are just a
stop along the way to zero-emission transpor -
tation.” After all, the goal is zero-emission traffic.
Schmidt sees two possible ways to achieve this:
with battery-powered buses, whose energy
sto rage devices are charged at the terminal
sta tion or at the depot, or with a hybrid model
that uses both a battery and a fuel cell for moti ve
power. The fuel cell would be used to charge
the battery during operation. However, Schmidt
is reluctant to predict when and where which
buses will be used. “Whether hydrogen or elec-
tricity is ultimately used as fuel will depend on
how and where we produce our electricity in the
future,” he says.Jeanne Rubner
constraints. “As a result, up to two-thirds of the
valuable braking energy is wasted and the sav-
ings effects are relatively slight,” says Schmidt. With a serial hybrid bus, on the other hand,
fuel savings as great as one-third can be
achieved — with a corresponding reduction in
carbon dioxide (CO
) emissions. Depending on
the number of hills and bus stops on a route, a
typical bus consumes between 40 and 60 liters
of fuel per 100 kilometers. Assuming roughly
60,000 kilometers per year, this amounts to
30,000 liters of diesel fuel. With a hybrid, how-
ever, this figure is just 20,000 liters. Because
the combustion of one liter of diesel fuel pro-
duces 2.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide, a hy-
brid bus can save around 26 metric tons of car-
bon dioxide each year compared with a
conventional bus.
Siemens engineers employ a trick to throt-
tle back this diesel fuel consumption even fur-
ther. The drive typically includes two three-
phase, asynchronous machines that are “linked
teries. When the UltraCap is depleted, the
diesel engine springs to life and powers a gen-
erator, which in turn produces electricity for
the energy storage unit. A hybrid bus of this
type can generally drive an average of 200 me-
ters from a bus stop before its UltraCap is emp-
ty. The UltraCap is then ready to store all of the
energy generated during the next braking
phase. Added up over the course of the day,
that amounts to major fuel savings.
More Storage. Hybrid technology enables
more braking energy to be fed in than is the
case with conventional parallel systems “be-
cause the dimensions of the electric motor can
be larger,” explains Schmidt. When a bus
brakes, it typically provides around 150 kilo-
watts of power. In a parallel hybrid drive, the
electric motor is too small to deal with this lev-
el of power. Typically, it can only handle be-
tween 50 and 80 kilowatts. Ultimately the mo-
tor cannot be made any larger due to space
Buildings and Mobility
| Hybrid Drives for Buses
desire for clean and quiet vehicles. London, for
example, has been restricting access to its
downtown since 2003. There and in Stock-
holm, Sweden, cars have to pay a toll, and gas-
guzzlers are charged an extra levy. In Munich,
Germany, trucks are no longer permitted to
drive in the inner-city zone. It’s very plausible
that many communities will decide to issue
even stricter emissions regulations for inner
cities in the future. In such a case, only extremely fuel-efficient
vehicles or vehicles with electric drives would
be permitted to travel in city center areas. But
buses drive two to three hundred kilometers a
day and thus require many times more energy
than an electric car. “A battery capable of pow-
ering a bus all day long is still very heavy and
expensive,” says Manfred Schmidt of Siemens
Industry’s Drive Technologies division in
Nuremberg, Germany, where electric drives
are developed.
That’s why Siemens is putting its faith in the
hybrid bus. Hybrid means the combination of a
combustion engine with an electric drive. The
bus doesn’t have to be plugged in, though.
Whenever the driver steps on the brakes, the
energy that would otherwise be lost as heat is
fed into an electrical storage system. This is the
same principle that hybrid cars have been us-
ing since the late 1990s. Schmidt is convinced that “hybrid technolo-
gy makes even more sense in a bus than it
does in a car.” Not only is a bus in operation all
day long, it also spends between 25 and 40
percent of its time standing still at bus stops
and red lights. It is thus constantly braking and
starting. For the latter, buses can use stored
braking energy to quietly accelerate without
producing any emissions.
MVG, Munich’s public transport company,
currently operates two hybrid buses on its
routes. One of these is the Lion’s City Hybrid
from MAN, for which Siemens supplies the drive
technology. “We want to test and compare dif-
ferent hybrid buses,” says Herbert König, who
heads MVG. “By doing so, we are supporting
the manufacturers as they strive to develop
this innovative vehicle technology.” Drivers and
passengers are enthusiastic everywhere hybrid
buses are in operation. There is no reving up
noise while the bus is starting off, and in con-
trast to the sometimes jerky ride typical of con-
ventional vehicles, hybrid buses seem to glide. What makes ELFA, as the Siemens drive
technology is known, so special is its serial hy-
brid solution. With the parallel hybrids typically
used today, both a combustion engine and an
electric motor drive the axle via the drive shaft.
But with a serial hybrid the drive shaft is turned
solely by the electric motor that preferentially
draws its energy from a storage device called
an UltraCap — a high-performance capacitor
installed on the roof of the bus. The UltraCap’s
high energy density and high efficiency make
it superior to a conventional battery (see
Pictures of the Future, Fall 2007, p. 74). The UltraCap can therefore store a lot of en-
ergy in a small package. It is also largely main-
tenance-free and has a substantially longer
service life than conventional lithium-ion bat-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
Too quiet? Some passengers still react skeptically
when a silent bus approaches. Nevertheless, the City Hybrid isn’t just quiet. It is also economical and comfortable.
A hybrid bus emits up to 26 tons less carbon dioxide per year than a conventional bus.
he driver of the tanker truck doesn’t know
that he’s heading for disaster. He’s unaware
that the braking system on one of his rear
wheels is blocking and beginning to glow red
hot. There’s a tunnel coming - in three kilome-
ters - but the potential catastrophe doesn’t have
a chance to unfold thanks to safety systems that
have already detected the rolling time bomb
and triggered an alarm in the tunnel operator’s
control center.
This is still a future vision. Nevertheless, the
three-year research project “Protection of Critical
Bridges and Tunnels on Roads” (German
acronym: SKRIBT) is moving closer to making
this vision a reality. Ten partners from govern-
ment agencies, industry, and research institutes,
including Siemens Corporate Technology (CT)
and the Mobility Divison, are participating in the
project, which is being funded by the German
Ministry of Education and Research. Most major accidents in tunnels are caused
by trucks with burst tires or defective engines.
That’s why Alla Heidenreich, infrastructure proj-
ect manager at Siemens CT, has been working
with her team since 2008 on two safety systems
that can identify defective trucks and those
transporting hazardous materials - before they
enter a tunnel. The researchers, who are from
Munich and Princeton, New Jersey (USA), came
up with the idea of combining video images
with thermal imaging technology to determine
if certain vehicle components are overheating. A
video processing program linked to surveillance
cameras identifies a passing truck.
The thermal image of the truck, which is
recorded using an infrared camera, is linked
hristoph Wondracek needs just a few
moves to start the system. First he uses
suction cups to fasten a small non-descript box
to the windshield, after which he inserts a plug
into his vehicle’s cigarette lighter. “Now we can
get going,” he says as he turns the key. The car
Wondracek is now driving through the streets
of Vienna is a laboratory on wheels. Siemens is
using the vehicle to test its latest ideas for mak-
ing future road traffic more economical and
more environmentally friendly.
“This onboard unit contains all the technol-
ogy we need,” Wondracek explains. The unit’s
navigation system utilizes satellite signals to
pinpoint the vehicle’s current location, and
then sends the positioning data to a central
computer via GSM technology familiar to cell
phone users. This technology can be employed
to set up a highway toll system for trucks or an
inner-city congestion charge system for reduc-
ing traffic during rush hours.
Siemens is developing these state-of-the-
art solutions in Vienna, Austria, where it oper-
ates a Toll Systems Competence Center that it
established in 2006. “We were already working
on toll systems before that,” says the center’s
director, Dr. Karl Strasser, “but developments
didn’t start moving toward extensive complex
systems until a few years ago.” That’s why
Siemens is utilizing the center as a base for
pooling the required expertise from through-
out its worldwide organization. As a result, ex-
perts from the fields of satellite navigation,
mobile data transfer, traffic guidance, and oth-
er areas are now working together in Vienna. Research at the center’s labs is both virtual
and physical. Specialists not only design on-
board units that incorporate the latest naviga-
tion and data transfer technologies but also
develop software that enables the reliable col-
lection of hundreds of thousand of data sets.
Whenever an urban congestion charge or
highway toll system is being planned any-
where in the world, technicians in Vienna go
to work on customized solutions that are in-
cluded in the company’s bids.
No Toll Plazas Required. Strasser’s core team
comprises 40 specialists. Once a project is up
and running, the teams are expanded to in-
clude experts from related areas. The acid test
involved the introduction of a state-of-the-art
truck toll system in Slovakia in the spring of
2010, for which Siemens supplied the onboard
units and software. “One hundred of our peo-
ple refined the various technologies before the
system was launched,” Strasser reports.
Toll fees in Slovakia vary depending on
whether a truck travels on a major highway or
a state road. In similar projects, such as in the
with a 3D image, after which an analysis pro-
gram searches for anomalies that could indicate
components susceptible to fire, such as wheels,
brakes, axles or engines. It does this using
knowledge gained from models that provide in-
formation on things such as how hot one axle
may get in relation to the others. In a next step
Siemens researchers will test whether infrared
images alone are able to discover risky parts
such as tires, brakes and axles. Dr. Andreas Hut-
ter, an expert in real time image processing:
“This might reduce costs significantly.”
The situation becomes high-risk when it
comes to material transports. Some materials
like gasoline may only be transported through
certain tunnels. Although trucks carry orange
stickers bearing coded information on how dan-
gerous their freight is. But it can’t be controlled
automatically and reliably if they only travel
through specified tunnels. However, using
Siemens’ RFID-Chips (Radio Frequency Identifica-
tion) information on the load can be selected.
Transmission-Enabled Stickers.Such a sys-
tem would function roughly as follows. When a
truck transporting hazardous materials passes a
reading point approximately three kilometers
before a tunnel, its cargo data would be regis-
tered by the RFID system and forwarded to a
control center. Only one truck would be permit-
ted in the tunnel at a time. Should an accident
occur, firefighters would tackle the blaze using
precisely the right extinguishing agent. Any
truck attempting to enter a tunnel with prohib-
ited freight would be stopped by a red light in
front of the entrance. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
Buildings and Mobility
| Tunnel Safety
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
The CT team is particularly proud of its newly
developed RFID transponder system’s ability to
meet extremely high demands. The chip can
transmit its signal to the unit’s reading device
over a distance of around 50 meters - and send
the data at least twice within two seconds.
“Conventional passive radio chips without a
built-in energy source have a range of only six
meters,” says Daniel Evers, an RFID expert at CT.
“That’s why we use an active chip that has a
built-in battery and transmits in the high-fre-
quency range of 2.45 gigahertz. To ensure the
battery lasts as long as possible, the transmitter
in the transponder sleeps until it’s woken by a
radio pulse issued by the reading device at the
checkpoint.” To ensure this is the case, Siemens
researchers employ an encryption technique
they previously developed for passive RFID chips
(Pictures of the Future, Spring 2009, p.45). “Pre-
vious solutions needed too much energy,” says
Hermann Seuschek, an IT security expert at CT.
“However, our cryptochip is so energy efficient
that the transponder can run for at least three
years without needing a replacement battery.” Research activities were followed by road
tests in mid-2010, when Siemens researchers
installed truck detection system components at
the Aubinger Tunnel near Munich. Plans call for
the tunnel safety system to be tested until the
end of July 2011. “Up until now, activities have
focused on improving safety within the tunnel,”
says Heidenreich. “But in the future, we’re going
to be able to detect and prevent danger before a
vehicle gets there. Video, RFID, and infrared
technologies will play a key role in this process.” Rolf Sterbak
| Road Pricing
Danger Made Visible
Trucks with defective engines, faulty brakes or hazardous freight can trigger an inferno in a tunnel. Siemens researchers are investigating hoe to use RFID technology, video analysis, and thermal imaging cameras to spot vehicles that are at risk.
Cameras that combine thermal and video images can
identify otherwise invisible sources of danger. CT researchers (right) check the functions of an RFID chip
designed to detect trucks carrying hazardous freight. A Toll Booth in
Every Truck
Siemens is developing a toll collection system that utilizes state-of-the-art satellite technology. The system
opens the door to flexible, real-time, international tracking
and charging of commercial vehicles depending on their
route, weight, and emissions, thus helping to reduce congestion and increase safety.
demonstrations with his vehicle and its equip-
ment. France is planning a toll system similar
to the one in Slovakia, as are Poland, Slovenia,
the Netherlands, and Belgium. “Demand is so
high we can barely keep up with the work,”
says Wondracek.
Highway toll systems are one of two areas
that Siemens experts in Vienna specialize in;
the other is city toll systems, the most well-
known of which is to be found in London.
Every vehicle that enters the center of the UK
capital now has to pay a flat fee. As a result,
traffic congestion in the City declined by ap-
proximately 26 percent shortly after the sys-
tem was introduced, and public transport has
become a more attractive option. This, in fact,
was precisely the effect officials wanted to
achieve. In addition, Siemens has provided the
London congestion fee authority with an auto-
matic license plate recognition feature and var-
ious communication and computer systems
(for more, see Pictures of the Future, Spring
2007, p. 28).
Strasser’s business trips to major cities
around the world have given him a sense of
just how important such systems are. “Take
Paris,” he says. “There’s so much traffic in the
center of that city that the average traveling
speed is now as low as it was when the streets
were filled with horse-drawn carriages.” Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
minutes in line with traffic levels, which are
measured using induction loops. “Every traffic
light responds to induction loop data and
switches to red, for example, if no cars have
passed from a certain direction for a given peri-
od of time,” explains Mück. “At the same time,
Motion MX also tells each traffic light how
long it should remain switched to green and
how long the cycle should take in between two
green lights in the same lane.”
Achieving a green wave was a complex
mathematical optimization task for Mück. “It's
about minimizing waiting times and the num-
ber of stops,” he says. Even if vehicles can only
drive in two directions along a route with ten
traffic lights, there are so many possible ways
of changing the green phases, waiting times,
and other variables that it would take the
world's best computer millions of years to cal-
culate all the combinations of solutions.
This is why other control systems haven't
differentiated between cars on the main route
and vehicles on side streets, to simplify the
math involved. To ensure that drivers on the
main route can travel unimpeded, Mück's team
developed a new method. “To do that, you
need to depict the cars together as a group at
several signaling stations,” he says. A study by Ruhr University in Bochum, Ger-
many showed that the new system reduces the
time drivers lose at traffic lights on Albersloher
Weg by up to a third and that, on average, 20
to 30 percent of the traffic light stops during a
trip can be eliminated. Public transit also benefits
from the system, because transit buses can now
stick to their schedules even during rush hour.
According to Mück, the control system could
cut CO
emissions by several hundred tons a
year. “A cautious estimate revealed that bet ween
25,000 and 30,000 stops are eliminated on
workdays.” As a result of this success, Münster
is equipping another main road with the adap-
tive control system. Using adaptive control, Mo-
tion MX is now also smoothing the flow of traf-
fic in other cities, including Warsaw, Vilnius, and
parts of Copenhagen. Ute Kehse
And the same goes for thousands of other
cities. Around the globe, metropolitan areas
are growing so fast that a large portion of their
infrastructure can’t keep up with traffic vol-
ume. But intelligent toll system technology of
the type Siemens offers can help cities flexibly
manage traffic in response to real-time de-
mand, and thus reduce travel times while cut-
ting air and noise pollution.
There are a number of customized city toll
systems from Siemens. One involves dividing a
city into segments and charging drivers a set
fee to enter each one. This setup is similar to
the system used in London. It’s also possible to
charge tolls based on the number of kilometers
driven. That’s the principle behind the on-
board-unit system. The third possibility is a
combination of the first two in which individu-
alized tolls are charged depending on the time
of day, type of vehicle, and route . Which system is the best? Siemens and the
Technical University of Denmark (DTU) used
various traffic parameters to simulate three toll
system options for Copenhagen. The result is a
special “Eco Care Matrix” that allows re-
searchers to determine which system is best
for the environment and which one is the most
economical. The researchers found that both
the combined system and the distance-based
version produced the best result forecasts at a
relatively short amortization period for the
Danish capital. “The results differ from city to
city, however, because many factors are at
Buildings and Mobility
| Road Pricing
| Intelligent Traffic Management
Czech Republic, toll plazas used to be set up
along roads in a complicated and expensive
process. Devices at the plazas receive a mi-
crowave signal transmitted via a small box in
vehicles that use the roads. But in Slovakia, Siemens embarked on a dif-
ferent approach — one that, for the first time,
made it possible to eliminate the high level of
investment required for toll plazas. Instead,
trucks that travel on toll roads must now be
equipped with an onboard unit like the one in
Wondracek’s car. This system can precisely
measure the distance traveled, and thus the
amount each shipping company will be
charged for each vehicle. There are other po-
tential benefits. For example, a country could
decide to track the exact location of shipments
of hazardous goods or animals in real time.
“The flexibility of this technology is unri-
valled,” says Wondracek. For example, an on-
board unit can be programmed in line with a
truck engine’s emission class and whether or
not a trailer is being used. The toll fee can then
be adjusted according to the vehicle’s impact
on the environment and road surface. A simple
alteration to the software on the central com-
puter is all that’s required if a government de-
cides to extend the system to other roads.
The Slovakian system has been successfully
launched and 220,000 onboard units
equipped with Siemens technology are now
on the road in that country, which has to ac-
commodate a high volume of international
transit traffic. Domestically-registered trucks
have a built-in onboard unit, while trucks pass-
ing through are issued a mobile device at the
border. “This is a breakthrough,” says Won-
dracek, who has already been invited by gov-
ernments all over Europe to carry out driving
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
An Affordable Track-and-Charge System Satellite-based toll system Source: Siemens AG
Route is determined
Central computer
Virtual toll plaza
Truck with onboard unit
Road and vehicle type?
Hazardous materials?
= Charges
*”Electronic Tolling Back Office” computer
A satellite-supported onboard unit (left) enables a toll
system to calculate the length of trips not only on
major highways but also on minor roads.
A minor alteration to central computer software is all
it takes to expand the toll system to additional roads.
work,” explains Dieter Geiger from Siemens’
Mobility Division. “Factors include road capaci-
ty, weather and population and traffic density.” Tolls that Shape Behavior. Another trial be-
ing carried out by Siemens — this one in Den
Haag in the Netherlands — shows how pre-
cisely traffic flows might be controlled in the
future using toll system data. Siemens has
equipped several hundred passenger cars with
an onboard unit in a test designed to simulate
the influence tolls have on driving behavior.
Do, for example, test subjects avoid rush hours
to reduce their tolls? Do many of them switch
to public transport?
“I believe this is the wave of the future,”
says Dr. Alexander Renner, head of Develop-
ment at the Vienna Competence Center. “If cer-
tain roads became expensive during peak traf-
fic periods, we could ease congestion. That in
turn would speed up traffic flows and lower
emissions.” The onboard unit Wondracek is us-
ing on his trip through Vienna demonstrates
that such technically-complex solutions can al-
ready be implemented today. Back in his office, Wondracek points to a
screen. “The onboard unit sent my trip data to
this computer,” he says. The system software
can reconstruct the route down to individual
lanes, thereby providing the basis for toll calcu-
lation. Nor is privacy a problem, according to
Wondracek, because all data is sent to a cen-
tral computer that collects the information in
accordance with the onboard units’ anony-
mous registration numbers. This computer for-
wards only information on the number of kilo-
meters driven on toll roads to a second
computer center, which then calculates the toll
for the user based on the device number.
“Our goal is to merge the different systems
and achieve European-wide compatibility over
the next few years,” says Renner. Satellite-
based systems could play the key role here. “In
the long run, every car and truck will be
equipped with an onboard unit,” Renner says.
At that point, many of the different approach-
es used today will be combined into a single
system, which means the same devices used
to determine highway tolls for trucks will also
do the same for city toll systems and those
used for bridges, tunnels, and mountain pass
roads. Because Siemens’ system can be used
across borders, drivers won’t need a different
onboard unit for each country. “It will thus be
possible to regulate personal transport so that
it is more economical and less polluting,” says
Renner. “Moreover, the combination of differ-
ent features in a single system will make life
easier than ever before as far as drivers are
concerned.” Kilian Kirchgeßner
Faster Commuting
The average driver in Germany spends 60 hours a year in traffic jams, and much of it takes place in cities. Engineers at
Siemens are developing advanced information systems and
traffic light management systems that reduce congestion.
nvironmentally-compatible mobility is a
primary concern for transportation plan-
ners in the northern German city of Münster.
The city has started to modernize its traffic
light control system, parts of which are several
decades old. City planners would like to create
the perfect “green wave,”: “Fewer stops mean
reduced fuel consumption, air pollution, and
noise. Creating a wave of green lights is essen-
tial for sustainable urban traffic management,”
explains Jürgen Mück, a technical cybernetics
engineer at Siemens Mobility.
The city decided to test the system on Al-
bersloher Weg, a major thoroughfare with 24
traffic light intersections along a 6 km route
that had already been outfitted with Siemens'
Sitraffic Motion MX adaptive network control
system back in 2008. “Now, however, a mathe-
matical method is being used here for the first
time to calculate a green wave. It's a key inno-
vation that sets us apart from our competi-
tors,” says Mück.
As an “adaptive” control system, Motion MX
adjusts traffic light intervals every five to 15
Münster Moves Faster
Traffic light stops for all road users
Source: Ruhr University Bochum, Lehrstuhl fur Verkehrswesen
Morning peak
7:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Afternoon peak
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
With fixed-time control
With conventional
With adaptive
Reduction in %
28 20 26 22
-13% -38%
-26% -37%
hen the west wind rises and the North Sea
begins to churn and send its heavy break-
ers crashing against the dunes of Jutland, thou-
sands of windmills go into action on the Danish
coast. Today, 20 percent of Denmark’s electrici-
ty is produced by wind power, making it the world
leader in this area, and this figure is set to rise to
50 percent by 2025. Still, the good feeling
about so much renewable energy is dampened
by the fact that when the wind blows too
strongly, the wind-turbine rotors already gener-
ate more electricity than Denmark’s grid can han-
dle. Until now, Danish power utilities have had
400 volts. Charging times will depend mainly on
what type of output the outlet offers. Develop-
ers expect to see an initial charging power of
around 10 kilowatts (kW), and up to 43 kW over
the medium term, which corresponds to a charg-
ing time of between 20 minutes and two hours.
Charging will take place via an electrical con-
nection under the fuel tank flap.
In the spring of 2009 at the Geneva Motor
Show in Switzerland, Ruf and Siemens present-
ed a Porsche 911 Targa-styled model that had
been converted into an electric car known as the
eRuf Roadster (see Pictures of the Future, Spring
2009, p. 96). This vehicle, with a capacity of 270
kW of power, impresses with high acceleration
and impressive torque right from the start.
Whereas a combustion engine needs some time
in order to fully develop its power, an electric mo-
tor delivers its full performance immediately.
The eRuf Roadster is a demonstration vehicle
that shows just how chic electromobility can be.
Still, because the model was developed in only
three months, its individual components were not
all part of a new component approach but instead
represent a combination of available standard
components. “Within the ongoing project of the
German Environment Ministry (BMU) ‘emotion
without emission’ the new eRuf Roadster mod-
el will have optimally matched components,” says
Prof. Gernot Spiegelberg, head of the concept de-
velopment Electromobility at Corporate Tech-
nology (CT). Such components include a fast-
charge unit and precisely tuned components for
motor control, and charging electronics. A small
test fleet of the eRuf Roadster 2 will be completed
in May 2011.
Standardized Charging.At the UN Climate
Change Conference in Copenhagen, the eRuf
Stormsters were charged with wind power and
used in a shuttle service between the conference
center and the airport. The Stormster concept in-
cludes a “power pump” from Siemens that com-
municates with the vehicle’s electronics. This is
arate buildings. After all, if 10,000 vehicles si-
multaneously tap the grid for 20 kW each, the re-
sulting required output will be 200 MW — a medi-
um power plant.
Batteries on Wheels.The energy specialists for
“Inside Car” and “Outside Car” are currently par-
ticipating in Denmark’s EDISON project, which
stands for “Electric vehicles in a Distributed and
Integrated market using Sustainable energy and
Open Networks.” EDISON, the world’s first and
most extensive project of its kind, will bring a pool
of vehicles to power outlets and connect them
to the fluctuating power of the wind. The asso-
ciated technology for vehicles and the grid will
be developed and prepared for use in 2011.
Practical testing will begin in 2011 on the Dan-
ish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. There,
test vehicles will be charged with wind power
from the public grid. When demand in the grid
rises — at breakfast time, for example — parked
cars will feed electricity back into the network.
The Danes are hoping that a fleet of thousands
of vehicles will be able to offset fluctuations in
the wind-power supply in the near future. Instead
of having separate electricity storage units to
buffer against the fluctuations, the cars and their
batteries would provide additional storage ca-
pacity, which is why EDISON will focus on
achieving a bidirectional flow of electricity from
the grid into vehicles and back. The results
could be significant. If, for instance, 200,000 ve-
hicles, each rated at 40 kW, are connected to the
grid, a total output of 8 GW would be available
at short notice — more than Germany requires
as a cushion against consumption peaks.
In addition to Siemens, the EDISON consor-
tium includes the Technical University of Denmark
one of the key challenges for electromobility —
and not just in Denmark. After all, drivers will want
to recharge their electric vehicles at any location
— be it a garage, supermarket, or company park-
ing lot. In a manner similar to cell phone invoicing,
the electricity used will be billed by a provider.
However, for such a system to work it will be nec-
essary to identify the vehicle and exchange
data between its onboard electronics and the
charge pump. Siemens is pursuing the development of
electromobility through a comprehensive ap-
proach involving not only automotive engi-
neering — as is the case with Roadster and Storm-
ster — but also systems for connecting vehicles
to the power grid. Here, both the charging
process and communications are being ad-
dressed. Siemens refers to these two areas as “In-
side Car” and “Outside Car.” “We’ve started our
own corporate project named ‘Smart Grid Ap-
plications and Electromobility’,which covers all
facets of electromobility,” says Richard Hausmann,
head of the cross-sectoral project. Meanwhile
across the group, more than 300 experts from all
sectors and Corporate Technology are address-
ing the issue. This does not only apply to elec-
trocars, but especially to charging infrastructure,
the modernization of the power grid, and the
communication of all components with one
another. It will, for example, be necessary to in-
stall systems that can accommodate the total elec-
tricity requirements of the individual vehicles in
public areas such as inner-city parking garages
and sports stadiums. This means several dozen
such transformers have to be linked via medium-
voltage switchgear. Having several thousand cars
parked in one place will require major facilities,
and these will perhaps have to be installed in sep-
to send this surplus electricity to neighboring
countries — and pay for doing so.
It is therefore not surprising that Denmark is
a pioneer in the development of storage tech-
nologies to accommodate excess electricity,
with researchers focusing mainly on the batter-
ies used in electric vehicles. Current plans call for
one out of ten cars in Denmark to run on elec-
tricity from wind power in ten years. Although
this goal may seem ambitious, given that there
are hardly any electric vehicles on European roads
today, Denmark is moving ahead rapidly with elec-
tric mobility through a broad range of projects—
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
Buildings and Mobility
| Electromobility
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
and Siemens is providing support as a develop-
ment partner in two areas: connecting vehicles
to the grid and automotive engineering.
Road to the Climate Summit. For example, to-
gether with Ruf, a German company that spe-
cializes in custom vehicles, Siemens presented
three electrically-powered Stormster automobiles
at the UN World Climate Change Conference in
Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009.
These vehicles are based on the Porsche Cayenne
chassis and have an integrated charging system,
including electronics, with which they can be
charged from any power outlet that provides 230–
Tomorrow’s electric vehicles will redefine mobility.
Not only will they recharge in only minutes at fast-
charge stations. They will also function as mobile
power storage units for the smart grid.
Siemens covers all facets of electromobility — from
vehicle technology to power grid integration.
From Wind to Wheels
Industrial companies and energy suppliers are working closely together to make the vision of electric
mobility a reality. Along with automotive engineering, the focus here is on the interaction between ve-
hicles, the power grid, and the technologies needed for storing and bidirectionally transmitting energy
derived from renewable sources.
various new components for different drive sys-
tems will be integrated into the e-cars and then
tested. The ideas range from central-motor, au-
tomatic two speed gear box to a double-motor
with a so-called Torque Vectoring. These concepts
opens a new dimension in driving dynamics.
The double-motor concept uses an electron-
ic control system that ensures optimal propulsion
of the right and left wheels, which are exposed
to different loads in a curve. It’s thanks to this phe-
nomenon that a driver can still handle a vehicle
perfectly in extreme situations. With a central mo-
tor concept, all the power must be transferred via
a bulky and heavy differential, which adds
weight to the car. With the double motor concept,
however, a small control unit is all that’s need-
ed to send commands by wire to the individual
electric motors. It’s already clear to Spiegelberg what will hap-
pen next. “The coming years will see the devel-
opment of electric vehicles whose four wheels
will each be equipped with their own small drive
unit,” he says. These motors will recover brake en-
ergy and eliminate the need for a large central
motor and the transmission and axle shafts, there-
by creating more space.
Moreover, unlike axle shafts, electronic com-
ponents can be installed anywhere in the car and
don’t necessarily have to be located near the elec-
tric motors. This will offer designers complete-
ly new possibilities for things like side-mounted
wheels that also hold the drive units. In addition,
vehicle entry and exiting could be facilitated in
large multi-passenger cars by removing the cen-
ter console and installing active fold-out seats.
In general, the interior could be completely re-
designed and made even safer — for example,
by getting rid of the hard steering column and
replacing it and the pedals with levers or joysticks
for operating the car. Completely new func-
tionalities are conceivable. It is hard to imagine
what type of revolutionary breakthroughs elec-
tromobility will lead to.Tim Schröder
parks can sometimes fly in the Siemens En-
ergy Sector labs in Erlangen and Fürth,
both of which are located in southern Ger-
many. When several hundred amps flow
through testing systems consisting of large in-
verters, capacitors, and transformers, techni-
cians have to be extremely careful — in order
to protect not only themselves but also the
components they’re testing.
“We develop stationary direct-current (DC)
chargers with an output of between 12 and
100 kW,” says Dr. Heike Barlag, who manages
the tests. “The devices are designed for trac-
tion batteries in electric vehicles.” Barlag’s
goal: A charging unit for use at highway rest
stops or parking lots that all drivers will be able
to use safely and easily as a filling station.
“Here, we’re using components that Siemens
normally manufactures for industrial applica-
tions and are finally adapting them to our re-
quirements,” explains Barlag.
But why DC? Wouldn’t a conventional alter-
nating current (AC) socket like those found in
households suffice? “No, because charging
times would be much too long,” the project
manager says. A normal 230 volt,16 amp Euro-
pean household socket supplies an output of
around 3.7 kW. That would take more than
eight hours to charge a 30 kWh traction bat-
tery — in other words, overnight. This would
be sufficient for an average electric car to trav-
el up to 200 km - is enough for city use but not
for longer trips.
Automakers around the world are trying to
increase the charging power of chargers in
electric vehicles — for example, through the
use of currents of up to 63 amp (44 kW). This
would enable a 30 kWh battery to be charged
in less than 45 minutes. “Basically, charging
with AC from a plug is feasible for everyday
use,” says Sven Holthusen, a Siemens product
manager specializing in electric mobility infra-
structures. Automakers have announced that
they will begin introducing electric vehicles in
large volumes by 2014. When they do so, such
technologies will usher in a new age.
Energized Tanks.AC technology also has
drawbacks. For one thing, the inverters it re-
quires become larger and heavier as output in-
creases, which in turn drives up energy con-
sumption and operating costs. That’s why
Siemens is pursuing a different goal, namely
that of having vehicles “fill up” directly with DC
rather than converting AC inside the vehicle to
the DC. The heavy equipment required for AC-
DC conversion would be housed in the charg-
ing station itself. Holthusen explains the bene-
fits of this approach: “It enables us to achieve
very high charging powers of several hundred
in mind, Holthusen and his colleagues are work-
ing on a fast-charge function that operates with
much higher voltages and currents — initially with
400 volt and 63 ampere. Holthusen’s approach
is considered to be realistic since every household
already has a 400 volt connection.
Holthusen: “We go a great deal further in our
tests, however, in order to determine what’s pos-
sible,” says Holthusen. More specifically, he
wants to raise charging power to as much as 300
kW so that batteries can be recharged in six min-
utes. Electrics would then be on a par with con-
ventional vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries with such
fast charging capability are expected to be ready
for market launch in the near future. However,
new battery technologies will have to be devel-
oped if a car is to be charged in as little as three
Siemens’ testing activities are not limited to
Denmark, of course. The company’s researchers
are also active in Germany where, for example,
they are working with Harz.EE.mobility in a
project designed to determine how distributed
wind, solar, and biogas power systems can be bet-
ter aligned with the grid. Therefore Siemens supplies for example a
charging point, the energy management, the in-
tegration of the electrocars into the smart grid
communication solutions.
Where Motors Are Going.While the eRuf Road-
ster 1 was a concept car, the Roadster 2 will be
produced for a test fleet as part of the BMU-pro-
ject “emotion without emission”. In this process
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
which is why today’s standard batteries with
an energy capacity of 30 kWh are only charged
at a rate of 1/3 C per hour. In this case, that
means a power of 10 kW, which increases the
charging time to three hours.
Holthusen: “We need batteries that are de-
signed for higher temperatures, exhibit lower
power losses or have better cooling properties.”
Buildings and Mobility
| Electromobility
| Electric Vehicles
(DTU) and its Risø-DTU research center, as well
as Denmark’s Dong Energy and Østkraft power
utilities, the Eurisco research and development
center, and IBM. In the EDISON project, various
working groups are responsible for developing
all the technologies needed for electromobility.
Here, Siemens is mainly responsible for fast-
charge and battery replacement systems.
“Siemens’ portfolio already contains many com-
ponents that we are now adapting and repro-
gramming,” says Sven Holthusen, who is re-
sponsible for the EDISON project at Siemens’ En-
ergy Sector.
Contaminated Grid?One of Holthusen’s jobs
is to study how the grid will be affected when mil-
lions of electric vehicles are plugged into it and
disconnected every day. He is therefore carrying
out his research at the Risø research campus,
which has its own electricity grid. “This enables
us to monitor the effects of such a situation on
a small scale,” he explains. In this context,
things become particularly tricky if harmonics oc-
cur when batteries are hooked up to the 50 hertz
grid, as these can resonate and unbalance the grid
frequency. Such disturbances, which are re-
ferred to as “grid-quality contamination,” can lead
to failure of the entire network if large waves form.
There are no quick fixes for such a scenario yet,
but Holthusen is working on answers. In his tests,
he connects up to 15 batteries, each of which
weighs 300 kg and has an energy content of 25
kilowatt hours (kWh). By comparison, a mid-range
vehicle requires around 18 kWh to travel 100 km.
Holthusen then uses software to measure how
the batteries affect the grid and to cushion the
results of connection.
Another major obstacle to electromobility is
the length of battery recharging times. With this
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
kilowatts, which means an electric car could be
recharged in only a few minutes.”
However, this puts a great strain on the bat-
tery - the higher the charging power, the faster
the electrons and ions in the battery move
around. Cells begin to heat up, increasing
power losses . Rising temperatures then dis-
rupt the chemical processes in the battery,
Below: Prof. Gernot Spiegelberg hooks up an electric
car with a charging station in a Siemens lab. The
charging process of the battery is closely monitored by
the electromobility-experts. We can’t even begin to imagine the type of revolution-
ary breakthroughs that electromobility will lead to.
With the eRuf-Roadster, Siemens and the German
car manufacture Ruf are demonstrating just how at-
tractive electric cars can be. When used as grid-con-
nected storage units, they can even earn money
with their batteries. It still takes hours to recharge an electric-vehicle battery.
Obviously, at the charging stations of the future, this
process will need to be much faster. Siemens researchers
are therefore developing devices that will make it easy for
drivers to recharge their car batteries within minutes.
Get a Charge!
It remains to be decided which communica-
tion channel will be used to exchange data be-
tween chargers and batteries. There are basi-
cally three possibilities. The first involves the
CAN (Controller Area Network) bus technology
already used in cars to digitally link their con-
trol devices. The second option is to utilize a
communication standard known as Powerline
Communication (PLC), which would allow per-
tinent information to be transmitted “piggy-
back” on the charging current by low or high-
frequency signals of up to 30 MHz.
Siemens is now testing this concept in sev-
eral projects, including one since September
2010 with BMW and the Munich municipal
utility. For this project, a prototype DC charging
unit is being used with a modified BMW 1 Se-
ries model.
The third option is wireless communication
via a system such as Bluetooth. “We’re looking
into all of the possibilities,” says Barlag. “The
standardization commission will decide which
one will ultimately be utilized, but Siemens al-
ready has the expertise required for all three
technologies.” Despite the extensive work being carried
out on charging technologies with cables and
plugs, specialists like Barlag and the members
of her team are also exploring other charging
techniques, such as battery replacement at fill-
ing stations, a process that could be carried out
by robot-controlled devices within just a few
minutes. Siemens experts already have a con-
cept for such an approach.
Electricity in the Air.It’s also possible that
the electricity needed for recharging tomor-
row’s cars might be delivered wirelessly — in
other words, inductively via electrical and
magnetic fields. This is already possible at the low powers
that are needed to recharge electric tooth-
brushes, for example. Holthusen also finds this
idea appealing because inductive charging
would be much more convenient for drivers,
who would no longer have to handle plugs and
could enjoy the benefits of a largely automat-
ed charging procedure.
On the other hand, this alternative is ex-
pensive compared to the plug-in model. “There
still aren’t any sufficiently advanced solutions
for higher outputs in the kilowatt range,” says
Barlag, “but we’re working on initial ideas in
the lab.” These ideas are already flowing into
the “Contactless Charging of Battery-Electric
Vehicles” project with BMW. The project is fo-
cusing on the development of inductive charg-
ing stations that are scheduled to undergo
testing at the end of 2011 in Berlin.
Rolf Sterbak
electricity from pumped storage or gas-turbine
power plants. “Different ideas are being ex-
plored to address this problem,” says
Holthusen. “For example, we could use a setup
in which several DC charging stations are not
directly connected to the grid but instead oper-
ate via a large interim battery that acts as a
buffer. This solution would make DC charging
more expensive, however. So we’ve got a lot of
development work to do, especially because
we still have almost no standardized proce-
dures and technologies for DC charging.” Stan-
dards will be required, however, if DC charging is
to become the established international norm.
Siemens is therefore working with the auto-
mobile industry in various standardization
commissions. Among other things, these bod-
ies focus on safety concepts designed to pre-
vent drivers from starting their vehicles or
pulling out plugs during the charging process,
for example. The key thing here is that com-
munication between charging units and vehi-
cle batteries should function properly. For ex-
ample, the charger needs to know what power
level the battery can handle — information
that it will receive from the battery manage-
ment system. This procedure therefore also
needs to be standardized, given the variety of
electric vehicles that will be on the road in the
Buildings and Mobility
| Electric Vehicles
Such developments will take some time to
achieve, according to experts. Until the break-
through comes, Siemens researchers are look-
ing to further optimize the charging process —
for example, by participating in a Danish re-
search project known as EDISON. The acronym
stands for “Electric vehicles in a Distributed and
Integrated market using Sustainable energy
and Open Networks.”
Other EDISON project partners include the
Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and its
Risø research center, as well as Denmark’s
Dong Energy and Østkraft power utilities, the
Eurisco research and development company,
and IBM. The goal of the partnership is to de-
termine how frequently unused wind energy
in Denmark can be temporarily stored in elec-
tric car batteries and later returned to the grid.
Siemens is responsible here for fast charging
technologies, among other things.
Battery Management.The experts who
work for Barlag and Holthusen enjoy ideal test
conditions at Risø. “We can test all components
individually in a closed power grid,” Barlag ex-
plains. “We want to find out which charging al-
gorithms can be used to optimally charge bat-
teries in various states,” she says. That’s
because the speed at which a battery can be
charged depends on both the charging power
and the state of the battery, whereby a com-
pletely discharged battery can generally ac-
commodate a higher power than one that is
partially charged.
Researchers are therefore testing the most
diverse types of charging techniques, one of
which is known as pulse charging. The battery
is charged at a high current for a short time, af-
ter which the heated cells are cooled down
and the charging process begins anew. “Our
rapid charging tests in Risø will show us if we
can save time and transfer a higher output
with pulse charging, or whether a continuous
charging curve would be better,” says Barlag.
”We’re hoping to achieve a charging rate of
two to three C.“
Managing Charging Peaks.In addition to
determining how quickly batteries can be
charged, Siemens researchers are also striving
to evaluate what effect charging will have on
the grid infrastructure. This is important be-
cause the German federal government expects
one million electric vehicles to be on the road
by 2020. Because these cars will obtain their
energy from the power grid, there’s a risk that
load peaks will occur — for example when
hundreds of vehicles simultaneously recharge
fat airports or stadiums. To ensure the power
grid doesn’t fail, energy suppliers will have to
compensate for such peaks with expensive
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010
One of the things being tested in the EDISON
project is how wind energy can be integrated into
the power grid. Electric car batteries could be the ideal intermediate storage medium.
Communication between external charging units and a vehicle’s battery management system will be a must.
In Brief
Buildings account for about 40 percent of energy
consumption worldwide, and approximately 21 per-
cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. However, the
implementation of a number of simple measures
can make it relatively easy to save at least a quarter
of energy in most buildings. And in the future, intel-
ligent building management systems will ease the
load on power and heat networks—and even feed
self-generated electricity into the grid. (p.32, 37)
Streetlights that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
cut electricity consumption by up to 80 percent. Not only are LEDs efficient; their light can also be
optimally directed, as an example in Regensburg
shows. (p.35)
Power companies worldwide have begun instal-
ling electronic smart meters that allow customers to
monitor consumption practically in real time and
thus conserve energy. Such companies benefit from
better grid load planning and lower costs. Siemens
offers complete solutions that include everything
from hardware to software. (p.38)
To reduce traffic-related pollution in cities, engi-
neers are developing green mass transportation sys-
tems. In particular, buses could operate more effi-
ciently if their diesel drives were augmented with
electric motors. Siemens engineers are also develo-
ping smart solutions that reduce traffic congestion
while preserving the environment. These solutions
include toll systems that utilize cutting-edge satellite
technology to reduce traffic in metropolitan areas.
(p.43, 45, 49, 50)
Industrial companies and energy suppliers are
working closely together to make the vision of elect-
ric mobility a reality. Along with automotive engi-
neering, the focus here is on the interaction bet-
ween vehicles, the power grid, and the technologies
needed for storing and directionally transmitting
energy derived from renewable sources. (p.52)
It still takes hours to recharge an electric-vehicle
battery. Obviously, at the charging stations of the future, this process will need to be much faster. Siemens researchers are therefore developing devices that will make it easy for drivers to recharge
their car batteries within minutes. (p.55)
Ullrich Brickmann, Industry LED Regensburg:
Dr. Martin Möck, Osram
Buildings in a Smart Grid:
Volker Dragon, Industry
Smart Meters:
Alexander Schenk, Energy
Ecotram Vienna:
Walter Struckl, Industry
Hybrid buses:
Manfred Schmidt, Industry
Satellite-based toll systems:
Christoph Wondracek, Industry
Prof. Gernot Spiegelberg, CT
Michaela Stolz-Schmitz, Energy
Rubin Nuremberg:
Osram Opto Semiconductors:
Vienna Climatic Wind Tunnel:
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
64 Colossus with a world record
The world’s largest turbine en-
tered trial service in December
2007. It will help to ensure that
the power plant in Irsching achie -
ves a record-braking efficiency in
66 Virtual Power Plants
In order to link decentralized pow-
er plants and renewable energy
sources to the power grid, they
are being integrated into power
station networks.
68 Fine-tuning Power Plants
There are hundreds of fossil fuel
power plants throughout the world
that can dramatically increase their
efficiency by modernizing. Siemens
has the necessary solutions at the
74 Trapping the Wind
In the future, fluctuations in wind
power will have to be balanced
by storage systems in order to
prevent power grids from being
overloaded. One option could be
gigantic underground hydrogen
storage centers.
79 The Desert lives
The goal of the Desertec initiative
is to help Europe meet its future
energy requirements by supplying
solar power from North Africa.
The necessary technology exists
already today.
Harvesting electricity in 2030. A solar ther-
mal power plant in the Moroccan desert cov-
ers 100 square kilometers, which makes it
the world’s largest installation of its kind.
Using HVDCT lines, the electricity is transmit-
ted as direct current at 1000 kilovolts to the
coast, where it transforms salt water into
pure drinking water. From there, it is trans-
mitted across the sea to Europe, where it
provides clean power to many countries. T
he reflected image of the man walking past
the glittering parabolic mirrors is oddly dis-
torted. It wanders like a mirage through the
seemingly endless row of mirrors, stops briefly
and then continues on its way. There’s not a
breath of wind, and even though the sun is
now low, the temperature is still over 30 de-
grees Celsius. Karim is in a hurry, because he
Morocco in 2030. Karim works
as an engineer in the world’s
largest solar thermal power
plant, which transmits energy
from the desert to faraway Europe. Every evening he takes
the time to admire the sunset
above the countless rows of
parabolic mirrors. But today
he’s not doing it alone.
The Electric Caravan
E n e r g y T e c h n o l o g i e s
| Scenario 2030
doesn’t want to miss the daily evening show.
Before the sun sets he wants to reach the hill
above the “frying pan” — his colleagues’ name
for a huge solar thermal installation in the Mo-
roccan desert. In the glow of sunset, the level field of
countless mirrors is transformed into a sea of
red flames. It’s a spectacle Karim has never yet
missed in the five years since he was sent here
to help manage the world’s biggest solar ther-
mal power plant. Together with his colleagues, he lives and
works in a small settlement on the edge of the
installation. With the help of thousands of sen-
sors, solar thermal power experts here monitor
the power plant, which covers 100 square kilo-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
Pictures of the Future | Green Cities
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
for the general distribution of power to popu-
lation centers or large industrial sites, where, de-
pending on the region, the voltage is stepped
down again to between six and 30 kV for the
medium-voltage grid. This is followed by local dis-
tribution. Here, substations reduce the voltage to
230 and 400 volts and send the power into the low-
voltage grid, which feeds consumers’ outlets.
Needed: Electricity Highways. Until now,
electrons have flown relatively smoothly
through Europe’s grids, despite the fact that
many of the continent’s power lines are now
over 40 years old. Gridlock is inevitable, how-
ever, as traffic continues to increase. Accord-
ing to the International Energy Agency, the
European Union generated roughly 3,400 ter-
a watt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2008. This
is expected to reach 4,500 TWh by 2030. In addition, the energy mix is getting more
environmentally friendly. In 20 years, some 30
percent of the world’s electricity is expected to
come from renewable sources. Today the figure
is only 18 percent. But as the percentage of elec-
tricity generated by renewables grows, so does
the instability of the network (p.71). Because eco-
friendly electricity is primarily generated by
wind farms much more energy than can be used
is pumped into high voltage network in stormy
weather, while supply cannot be guaranteed on
calm days. In addition to being able to accom-
modate a fluctuating supply of wind-generat-
ed electricity, tomorrow’s grids will have to in-
corporate a growing number of small, regional
power producers. “The generation of electrici-
ty will become increasingly decentralized, in-
corporating small solar installations on rooftops,
biomass plants, mini cogeneration plants and
much more,” says Dr. Michael Weinhold, CTO of
Siemens Energy. “As a result, the previous flow
of power from the transmission to the distribu-
tion grid will be reversed in part or for periods
of time in many regions.” According to Weinhold,
our grid infrastructure is not yet prepared for that. Grid operators and governments agree on
how the challenge should be met. In addition to
a massive expansion of electricity highways, the
grids must undergo a fundamental change.
“Right now they are not very intelligent,” says
Weinhold. “The level of automation for the sys-
tem as a whole is very low.” The low-voltage dis-
tribution grid, in particular, is often a total
mystery to utilities. Because it includes hardly any
components capable of communication in its
Energy Technologies
| Scenario 2030
meters. As soon as these tiny digital assistants
register a defect, Karim and the rest of his
maintenance crew go to work. Karim, a true son of the desert, moves
through the heat very slowly and carefully —
and in contrast with his European colleagues,
who rush around sweating, his shirts always re-
main dry. But now he too is in a hurry, and he’s
relieved when he has reached the garage with
the off-roaders. Trained as an engineer, Karim is a calm and
deliberate man. He seldom uses bad language
— only in the rare cases when there isn’t
enough sugar in his tea or when one of his col-
leagues has forgotten to “tank up” the off-
roader, as has just happened. The electric vehicle wasn’t plugged into an
electrical socket — sockets that are supplied
with power from the solar thermal installation.
Nevertheless, Karim gets into the driver’s seat
and presses the starter button. The vehicle’s
150 kilowatt electric motor starts up with a soft
purr. A pictogram on the control panel indicates
that the battery only has 10 percent of its full
capacity. When fully charged, the vehicle has a
range of 350 kilometers — and ten percent is
not enough to get him up the hill. But the off-roader is equipped with a small,
highly efficient gasoline engine for emergen-
cies, which works like a generator and gives the
vehicle an additional range of 300 kilometers.
And the gas tank is still full. Karim is satisfied,
steps on the gas pedal, and the off-roader jolts
off almost silently along the sandy trail toward
the hill.
The final meters are the most difficult ones.
The electric off-roader pushes through the sand
with great effort, but eventually it reaches its
goal. Karim climbs out of the vehicle and hur-
ries to the top of the hill. The sun has already
reached the horizon, and the temperature has
dropped noticeably. A gentle breeze is coming
from the sea. But Karim doesn’t notice it, be-
cause he now smells something burning. Nearby he finds a small campfire. In front of
it sits a nomad holding a teapot above the
crackling flames. The old man greets him with
the traditional “Salam” and motions for him to
come closer. Karim hasn’t seen any nomads in
this area for a long time now — but he knows
that they’re always on the go. He gives the old
man a friendly nod and sits down beside him at
the campfire. “My name is Hussein,” says the nomad as he
hands Karim a glass of tea. “What brings you
here?” Karim shovels several spoonfuls of sugar
into his tea. He points down the hillside. “Do
you see those countless mirrors that are just
now reflecting the last rays of the sun? They are
generating electricity from the sun’s heat. This
power plant produces enough electricity to sup-
ply all of Morocco. My job is to make sure
everything runs smoothly.” Hussein looks down at the installation,
which is starting to glow red in the sunset. “A
power plant? I’d say it looks like a work of art
created by some crazy European.” Karim grins. “You’re not too far off the mark.
This technology was in fact developed in Eu-
rope. Installations like this one are being built
all over North Africa. They’ve been going up for
years. The mirrors automatically swivel so that
they’re always facing the sun. They capture the
sun’s beams and focus them on a pipe that is
filled with a special salt. The salt is heated to as
much as 600 degrees Celsius and generates
steam, which in turn drives a turbine that pro-
duces electricity.” Hussein points to the west, where the sun is
dipping beneath the horizon. “And what hap-
pens after it gets dark?” he asks. “The power
plant is equipped with storage systems that
contain the same kind of salt that’s in the
pipes,” explains Karim. “This salt stores so much
heat that the plant can also produce electricity
at night.” The nomad looks thoughtful. “But what do
we need all that electricity for?” he asks.
“There’s only dust and gravel here wherever you
look, and Casablanca is far away.” Karim points
to a gigantic high-voltage overhead line leading
northward from the installation through the
desert until it is lost from sight. “We use some
of the power to change seawater into drinking
water,” he says. Hussein nods. This makes sense
to him. Karim likes explaining things to people and
is now hitting his stride. “But we also sell a lot
of it at good prices to European countries that
want to become less dependent on oil, natural
gas, and coal. The energy is transported to
them via electricity highways like this one. It
works like a caravan — the electricity travels
across distances as great as 3,000 kilometers to
European cities that use enormous amounts of
power. However, by transmitting it at 1,000
kilovolts hardly any electricity is lost in transit.” Karim sips his tea with satisfaction. “The
desert holds our past and also our future,” he
muses. “In the old days we pumped petroleum
out of the ground and today we’re harvesting
solar energy.” The old man lays a hand gently on Karim’s
shoulder. “The sun gives us everything we need
to stay alive — our forefathers already knew
that,” he says with a smile as he hands a warm
blanket to his guest. “But the night is coming
on quickly. Here, take this. In spite of your gi-
gantic power plant down there you’re shivering
like a sick camel.” Florian Martini
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
otorists who venture into the maze of a
major city are part of a larger whole. Tens
of thousands of vehicles stream along highways
from all directions and find their way through a
dense network of roads. But keeping that net-
work flowing is no easy task. Already hopelessly
clogged under the best of circumstances, such
networks can easily face gridlock. All it takes is
a few fender benders — to say nothing of cir-
cumstances such as a subway strike or a snow
storm. As a result, sooner or later, every city gov-
ernment must decide whether to expand its
transportation infrastructure or face collapse.
The situation with our power grid is similar.
Electricity flows on copper “highways” from
power plants to centers of demand. Along the
way, it passes through various “road networks”
that are separated by substations. These facili-
ties function as traffic lights or railroad switch-
es while also adjusting the electricity before for-
warding it to the next grid. In the highest volt-
age alternating current lines, electricity flows at
220 to 380 kilovolts (kV) across hundreds of kilo-
meters from power plants to substations, where
the voltage is reduced to 110 kV before the elec-
tricity is then fed into the what is called the dis-
tribution or high-voltage grid. This grid is used
| Trends
More and more electricity will be generated in the future. However, old grids can scarcely handle the electricity generated today. Electric “gridlock” is a real threat.
Switching on the Vision
Our power grids are facing new
challenges. They will not only
have to integrate large quantities
of fluctuating wind and solar
power, but also incorporate an
increasing number of small, decentralized power producers.
Today’s infrastructure is not up to this task. The solution is to de-
velop an intelligent grid that
keeps electricity production and distribution in balance.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
could be used to transport enormous quantities
of solar energy from Northern Africa to Europe,
as described in the Desertec project. “Electricity
will draw the world together,” predicts Weinhold.
In addition to new electricity highways, to-
morrow’s grid will need more buffers to stop it
from bursting at the seams. Intermediate stor-
age is needed for the excess power fed into
the grid by fluctuating energy sources (p.74).
Traditionally, this has relied on pumped stor-
age power plants, but there is hardly any ca-
pacity for further expansion in Central Europe.
As a result, wind farms will either have to be
shut down to prevent them from overloading
the grid during periods of overproduction or
producers will have to pay someone to take
the electricity. One future solution could be electric cars,
which temporarily store excess energy and lat-
er return it to the grid when needed — at a higher price (p.52). For example, 200,000
electric cars connected to the grid could make
eight gigawatts of power available very quick-
ly. That would be more than is currently re-
quired in Germany. As part of the EDISON
project, in which Siemens is also participating,
testing will begin on the electric cars concept
and other solutions in Denmark in 2011. It is abundantly clear to Weinhold that we are
moving full speed ahead into a new era. “Just yes-
terday the big issue was oil, but climate change
is moving things in a different direction,” he says.
Weinhold believes that we are currently on the
threshold of a new electric age. Electricity is in-
creasingly becoming an all-encompassing energy
carrier. This is good for the climate, because elec-
tricity can be generated ecologically and trans-
mitted very efficiently.Florian Martini
Virtual Networks. Another component of
the smart grid is the “virtual power plant”
(p.66). Here, the idea is that small energy pro-
ducers such as cogeneration plants, wind, so-
lar, hydro or biomass plants, which have previ-
ously fed their power into the grid individually
and inconsistently, could be connected to
form a virtual network. “This would allow
them to bundle their power and sell it in a
marketplace that is inaccessible to small sup-
pliers,” says Günther. The grid would benefit
too. “Consolidated into a virtual power plant
and acting as a flexible unit, small plants
could make balancing power available and
thus help to stabilize the grid,” says Günther.
Balancing power is provided in addition to the
base load to cover peaks in demand. As this
type of power requires power plants that can
begin producing energy quickly, the price for a
kWh of balancing power is much higher than
for a kWh of base load power. Base load power
is generally provided by the workhorses of
power generation — coal-fired or nuclear
power plants that run around the clock.
Stability will be crucial to tomorrow’s grid. But
intelligent systems alone will not be enough to
manage the large amounts of energy provided
by the growing numbers of wind farms or solar-
thermal power plants. “There is also work to be
done on the hardware side,” says Weinhold. “We
need to greatly expand the number of power
lines, as physics limits the transmission of elec-
trical energy to wires or cables.” According to the German Energy Agency
(DENA) study, some 400 kilometers of high-volt-
Energy Technologies
| Trends
present configuration, a lot of important infor-
mation remains concealed, such as the actual
amount of energy being used by consumers and
the condition and efficiency of the line system. According to an Accenture study, up to ten
percent of energy disappears from the grid ei-
ther due to inefficiency or electricity theft with-
out being noticed by power providers. In large
cities in some developing nations, as much as 50
percent of electricity disappears this way, and
power providers are often unaware of outages
— at least until the first complaint is received. With a view to heading off impending prob-
lems, in 2005 the European Union came up with
a concept, which it called the “smart grid” — a
vision of an intelligent, flexibly controllable
electrical generation and distribution infra-
structure. “The energy system plus information
and communications technology all enter into
a symbiosis in the smart grid,” says Weinhold.
“Not only does this make the grid transparent and
thus observable, it also makes it easier to mon-
itor and control.” Governments and companies
are committing large amounts of money to en-
sure that this vision becomes reality. The U.S. De-
partment of Energy, for instance, has provided
roughly $4 billion in subsidies for smart grid proj-
ects in the U.S. German energy utilities are plan-
ning to invest roughly €25 billion in smart grid
technology by 2020. Key components for the
power grid of the future are already available and
have even been installed on a limited basis in
some countries. One example is smart meters —
intelligent, electronic electric meters. “Smart metering is a key technology for the
smart grid,” says Eckardt Günther, who heads the
Smart Grid Competence Center at Siemens En-
ergy in Nuremberg, Germany. “With smart me-
tering, energy providers and consumers can for
the first time record in detail where and how
much electricity is being used and fed into the
grid.” The advantage is obvious: If electricity con-
sumption is precisely recorded, flexible rates can
be used to match consumption to supply. This
lowers electric bills and CO
emissions. In con-
trast, at present if more electricity is being
consumed than was forecast, the production of
electricity must be increased. Shedding some
light on the distribution grid isn’t the only ad-
vantage associated with smart meters. “Smart
meters heighten energy use awareness and help
to better control it,” adds Günther. “In addition,
they are a prerequisite for actively participating
in electricity markets.”
Sebnem Rusitschka of Siemens Corporate
Technology is also convinced that tomorrow’s grid
will have to be smart. As part of the E-DeMa (de-
velopment and demonstration of locally-pro-
duced energy marketplaces) project, which is sub-
sidized by the German federal government,
Rusitschka is responsible for developing the in-
formation and communication interface be-
tween smart meters, the system for meter data
management, and the electronic marketplace.
“Among the things we are investigating is how
these digital links need to be configured, i.e. what
data should be transmitted and how can we ob-
tain useful information from it,” she explains. The
interfaces will connect both private and com-
mercial electricity customers within model re-
gions to an electronic marketplace and link them
to energy traders, distribution grid operators, and
other participants. The project is scheduled for
completion in 2012. Rusitschka believes that proj-
ects like E-DeMa will boost the smart grid’s
prospects. “The technology is available and it
works,” she says. This is shown by the project of
the Energy AG Upper Austria, which gets sup-
ported by Siemens, apart of provision of control
and supervisory techniques, with more than
20,000 intelligent electricity meter. With these, the
Energy AG will provide an electricity tarrif which
arrange different price brackets in 2011 (p.38). 62
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
age grid needs to be reinforced and an additional
850 kilometers of lines need to be erected by
2015 simply to transmit the wind energy that will
be generated in Germany.
Super Grids. The steadily increasing distances
between power generation sites and consumers
must also be bridged. One element of a solution
to this problem could be high-voltage direct cur-
rent (HVDC) transmission, which is capable of
transporting large amounts of electricity across
thousands of kilometers with low losses. Siemens
has put the world’s highest capacity HVDC trans-
mission systemin China with a voltage of 800
kV into operation. Since the end of 2010 the sys-
tem transmits electricity generated at hydro-
electric plants with a record voltage of 800 kV
across a distance of 1,400 kilometers by 2010.
Weinhold believes that these electricity highways
will not only cross borders in the future, but will
link entire continents. “We will see the estab-
lishment of super grids in regions that can be in-
terconnected across climate and time zones,” he
says, adding that this would allow seasonal
changes, times of day and geographical features
to be used to their optimal benefit. Super grids
“In the future, electricity highways will not just cross
borders but will link entire continents.”
Most of tomorrow’s electricity will be generated
from renewables such as wind. With HVDC tech-
nology, the power can be transmitted over long
distances (here an 800 kV transformer). ERP
Call center
CRM etc.
systems (EMS)
System integrity
Solar power
systems (DMS)
Meter data
Substation automation and protection
HVDC and
Wind power
Distributed energy resources
Electric cars
automation and protection
Smart meters
and demand
Electric cars
Distribution grid
Transmission grid
Smart generation
Smart grid
The Smart Grid will Optimize Interconnections between Producers and Consumers Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2007
to test all systems. It seemed like a final check be-
fore a space mission—and the countdown was
under way, with ignition scheduled for mid-De-
cember, 2007.
There’s good reason for Siemens’ and E.ON’s
decision to use the giant turbine: “The price per
megawatt of output and efficiency correlate with
the size of the turbine—in other words, the big-
ger it is, the more economical it will be,” explains
Willibald Fischer, who is responsible for devel-
opment of the turbine. Engineers at Siemens Energy overcame two
challenges while designing the turbine. They in-
creased the amount of air and combustion gas-
es that flow through the turbine each second,
which causes output to rise more than the loss-
es in the turbine, and they raised the tempera-
ture of the combustion gases, which increases ef-
ficiency. “It’s tricky when you send gas heated to
1,200 to 1,500 degree across metal turbine
blades,” says Fischer, “that’s because the highest
temperature the blade surfaces are allowed to be
exposed to is 950 degrees, at which point they
begin to glow red. If it gets any hotter, the ma-
terial begins to lose its stability and oxidizes.”
Ceramic Coating.Siemens engineers have
been creative in tackling this problem. One
thing they did was lower the heat transfer from
the combustion gas to the metal by applying a
protective thermal coating consisting of two lay-
ers: a 300 micrometer-thick undercoating directly
on the metal and a thin ceramic layer on top of
that, which provides heat insulation. The blades
are also actively cooled, as they are hollow inside
and are exposed to cool airflows generated by the
compressor. The blades at the front also have fine
holes, from which air is released that then flows
across the blades, covering them with a thin in-
sulating film, like a protective shield.
As turbine blades spin, massive centrifugal
forces come into play. The end of each blade is
exposed to a maximum force of 10,000 times the
earth’s gravitational pull, which is the equivalent
of each cubic centimeter of such a blade weigh-
ing as much as an adult human being. Now the
blades on the giant turbine in Irsching contain al-
loys that have mostly been grown as single crys-
tals through the utilization of special cooling
processes. They are therefore extremely resistant
to breaking, as there are no longer any grain bound-
aries between the crystallites in the alloy that can
rupture. Engineers also optimized the shape of
the blades with the help of 3D simulation pro-
grams, whereby the edges were designed to keep
the gap between the blades and the turbine wall
as small as possible. As a result, practically all the
gas passes across the blades and is utilized. Each off the measures produces only a frac-
tional increase in operational performance. But
taken together they add up to a new record. Fi-
nally the 18-month trial period proved that
everything worked as planned. The go-ahead for
the launch was given in August 2009. Meanwhile engineers installed an additional
steam turbine on the shaft at the end of the gen-
erator. The turbine makes use of the generator’s
600°C gas to generate steam in a heat ex-
changer. Only through this combined cycle
process can the energy in the gas be so effectively
exploited as to achieve the record efficiency of
60 percent. Thereby the Irsching 4 power plant
will set a new world record for efficiency and en-
vironmental friendliness when it commences op-
eration in the summer of 2011. The turbine is also slated to be used at a num-
ber of other locations besides Irsching. In 2013,
six of the record-setting systems will be operat-
ing in Florida, where Florida Power & Light is mod-
ernizing its power plants in order to achieve net
savings of almost $1 billion over the life cycle of
the turbines. A company in South Korea also ordered
one of the turbines in early 2011, making the sys-
tem a very successful export item for increasing sus-
tainability.Bernhard Gerl
ten years, more than 800 Siemens employees
from around the world were involved in the de-
velopment and subsequent testing of this mas-
terpiece of engineering.
“Block 4 is our project at the moment,” says
Winter. Siemens will use the existing infrastruc-
ture here, purchase gas from E.ON-Ruhrgas,
and sell the electricity it produces at the plant.
That was not that important in 2007, however,
as the turbine first had to be tested over the fol-
lowing 18 months. To this end, the unit has been
equipped with 3,000 sensors that measure just
about everything modern technology can register.
Efficiency Record.Winter points to one of the
walls and explains that it is the connection to the
air intake unit, which will draw in fresh air from
the outside. Equipped with a special housing, fil-
ters, and sound absorbers, the unit channels in
800 kilogram of air per second when the facili-
ty operates at full capacity. But it will be worth
the effort because the gas turbine and a down-
stream steam turbine will set a new world
record: This technology reduces the fuel costs on
average by one third compared to the currently
installed fleet of gas and steam power stations.
At the same time, compared to the average coal-
fired plant, the new facility in Irsching can reduce
emissions by nearly two thirds. What’s
more, the turbine can be started up within five
minutes from standby mode and delivers full out-
put after just 15 minutes. This makes it ideally suit-
ed for offsetting the natural fluctuations asso-
ciated with the rapidly growing sector of re-
newable energies such as wind and solar.
There was still plenty of work to do even af-
ter the plant was built in 2007, as technicians had
Siemens has now built a combined cycle plant
at the Bavarian facility (Block 5) for E.ON
Kraftwerke GmbH. The plant includes two small
gas turbines and a steam turbine. Siemens has
also built the plant’s new Block 4, where the gi-
ant turbine is used. The new turbine’s output of
375 MW, which equals that of 17 jumbo jet en-
gines, is enough to supply power to the popu-
lation of a city the size of Hamburg.
At the same time, the turbine’s size and
weight (444 metric tons — as much as a fully fu-
eled Airbus A380 jet) have earned it an entry in
Guinness World Records. Over a period of about
Energy Technologies
| World’s Largest Gas Turbine
n 2007, residents of the town of Irsching in
Bavaria, came out in large numbers to witness
the traditional raising of their white and blue may-
pole. Three weeks later, they appeared in droves
again — this time out of concern for the pole, as
an oversized trailer had shown up carrying a new
turbine for the town’s power plant. The residents
were worried that the turbine, which measured
13 meters in length, 5 meters in height, and
weighed 444 tons, could pose a threat to their
beloved maypole. This was not the case, however;
specialists supervising the transport were actu-
ally more concerned about a bridge at the en-
trance to the town, which they renovated as a pre-
cautionary measure prior to the turbine’s arrival.
The world’s largest turbine, which was built
at Siemens’ Power Generation plant in Berlin, trav-
eled 1,500 kilometers to get to Irsching — initially
by water to Kelheim, where it was loaded onto
a truck for the final 40 kilometers. This odyssey
was undertaken because the only way to test such
a powerful turbine is to put it into operation at
a power plant. “It was a nice coincidence that the
energy company E.ON was planning to expand
the power station in Irsching,” says Wolfgang Win-
ter, Siemens project manager in Irsching.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2007
After assembly at Siemens’ gas turbine plant in
Berlin (below), the world’s largest gas turbine
hits the road. Right: The turbine arrives on a
flatbed trailer at its destination.
The turbine can produce enough electricity to supply
the population of a city the size of Hamburg.
The world’s largest turbine, with an output of 375 megawatts (MW), entered trial service in December 2007. In combination with a downstream steam turbine, it will help ensure that a new combined cycle power plant achieves a record-breaking efficiency of more than 60 percent when it goes into operation in 2011.
Unmatched Efficiency
he many hiking trails around the village of
Niederense in the state of Westphalia, Ger-
many, offer tranquility, bird songs, the Möhne
River and unspoiled nature. As idyllic as this set-
ting is, a small hydroelectric power station
built in 1913 does not look out of place here.
With an output of 215 kilowatts, the facility is
one of the region’s smaller power plants. Yet its
Siemens-Halske generators have been tireless-
ly producing electricity for nearly 100 years. And
now these hardworking old-timers have become
a key part of a much larger, innovative high-tech
plan. Since October 2008 they have been in-
terconnected with eight other hydroelectric
plants on the Lister and Lenne Rivers in a rural
part of Westphalia known as Sauerland as part
of ProViPP, the Professional Virtual Power Plant
pilot project of RWE (a power plant operator) and
Just about everybody stands to gain from the
project — power plant owners, electricity
traders, power grid operators, and of course the
end customer, who could profit from more in-
tense competition. The virtual power plant
concept complements the big utility companies
with their large, central power plants by creat-
ing new suppliers with small, distributed pow-
er systems linked to form virtual pools that can
be operated from a central control station.
Such a pool can unite wind power, cogeneration,
photovoltaic, small hydroelectric, and biogas sys-
tems as well as large power consumers such as
aluminum smelters and large process water
pumps to function as a single supplier. With the
Sauerland project Siemens and RWE have
achieved the technological and economic util-
ity of virtual power plants and expanded their
knowledge base for further applications. “The
project and the technology worked so well that
we’ve connected some additional power plants ,”
says Martin Kramer, RWE Project Manager for Dis-
tributed Energy Systems.
Externally, the nine small hydroelectric plants
in the project function as a single large one. At
first, their total initial output for pilot operation
was 8.6 megawatts. Meanwhile, further plants
like cogeneration units or emergency generators
were added. The bundling of the distributed gen-
erating plants has established a key prerequisite
for new forms of marketing. “Individually, such
plants are too small to market their capacities
through energy traders on the energy ex-
change, or as a balancing reserve for load fluc-
tuations to power grid operators,” says Kramer.
“To market electric power on the energy markets
for minute reserves — the power that must be
available on demand within 15 minutes — a vir-
tual power plant is required to have a minimum
capacity of 15 megawatts at present.” Today,
since the nine-member virtual power plant
does not reach that level, a part of it feeds its
energy into the grid in accordance with Ger-
many’s Renewable Energy Law (EEG). Following
a planned expansion, however, its power will be
sold directly in the energy market.
Cool Controls. At the heart of Sauerland’s
virtual power plant is Siemens’ Distributed En-
ergy Management System (DEMS). The sys-
tem displays the present status of systems,
generates prognoses and quotations, and
controls electric power generation as sched-
uled. The system overview is subdivided into
producers and loads, contracts, and power
storage. Conveniently positioned at the cen-
ter of the display is the “balance node” (the
sum of the incoming and outgoing power
must equal zero). Additional information is
provided on “forecasting and usage planning”
and “monitoring and control.” As a result, a
portfolio manager can view color bar graphs
showing which power stations are currently
running at peak load or at base load and how
much power they are producing. Using plant status information, such as elec-
tric power output, and combining it with mar-
ket forecasts, DEMS generates a forecast that also
takes into account the next day’s prices and the
with the control center via wireless communica-
tion modems. The advantage of this approach is
that it requires no costly cables or rented landlines.
The virtual plant is highly distributed. Its DEMS
computer is in a control center in Plaidt near
Koblenz, the operator stations are located at ano -
ther site near the headquarters and the power plants
are in the Sauerland and in the northern Ruhr area.
In spite of this complex mix, no standards exist
yet for distributed power plant communications.
“Uniform interfaces and protocols have yet to be
defined,” says Werner, who points out that
each virtual plant therefore requires tailored so-
lutions. “We need open standards to substantially
simplify the design of virtual power plants,” he adds.
Lucrative Reserve Power. Existing business
models for virtual power plants already prom-
ise attractive profits. As a case in point, power
grid operators need to maintain a constant
balance in the power grid despite fluctuations
in consumption and electric power genera-
tion. This is where the virtual power plant’s
operator can sell reserve power and make a
specific capacity available as a minute reserve.
When needed, the purchaser places an order
for the agreed-on power for a fee. The seller
then starts up or shuts down generators as
specified in the contract within the agreed-on
timeframe to stabilize the net frequency at 50
or 60 hertz.
Prof. Christoph Weber of Duisburg-Essen
University estimates that an energy trader with
a virtual power plant can increase earnings by
several hundred thousand euros by paying less
to the power grid operator for “compensation
power.” Such payments are due when less or
more power is fed into the grid than had been
total power available. Even weather data is fac-
tored into the energy management system to pro-
vide a forecast of the power available from sources
with fluctuating availability, such as wind and sun. Before a quotation is placed on the energy
market through an energy trader, it is checked
and approved by the portfolio manager. Once it
has been approved and accepted by the market,
DEMS generates an operating schedule for the
individual power plants in the virtual plant. The
schedule specifies exactly when and how much
power must be available from which plant.
“DEMS does such a good job of modeling that
its schedules can be run exactly the way it de-
fines them,” says Dr. Thomas Werner, Product
Manager, Smart Grid Solutions at Siemens En-
ergy. No manual corrections are needed. Martin Kramer of RWE agrees. “The system is
working extremely well. Once a schedule has
been generated, the energy management sys-
tem controls the entire process — including the
requirements of the individual power plants —
fully automatically.” DEMS was developed by Siemens when it be-
came evident how the electric power grid and
the electric power market would be affected by
increasing supply from distributed and renewable
energies (Pictures of the Future,Fall 2007, p. 90).
In the background, communication systems
ensure reliable connections between the control
center and individual power plants. Communi-
cations devices in power stations link the stations
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
Energy Technologies | Virtual Power Plants
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
Hydroelectric plants in Germany like those at Ahausen and Niederense (below) have been in operation for decades. They are now enjoying new
significance as part of a virtual power plant.
As part of a virtual plant, even small energy producers
can sell their power on the electricity market. Distributed Energy Management System software
shows the current status of all systems included in a
virtual power plant and generates an operating
schedule (right) for its power generation. This
schedule is controlled in the demand mode (left).
Power in Numbers
Small, distributed power plants, fluctuating energy sources such as wind and sunlight, and the deregulation of electric power markets have one thing in common. They increase the need for reliable and economical operation of electric power grids. The virtual power plant is an intelligent solution from Siemens. It networks multiple small power stations to form a large, smart power grid. A
ccording to Dr. Oliver Geden, an expert for
EU climate policy at the German Institute for
International and Security Affairs in Berlin, ef-
fective climate protection begins when “many
people consume in an environmentally sus-
tainable way, without having to think twice about
what they’re doing.” For this to happen, says
Geden, it will take huge structural changes in
how we generate and consume electricity, in-
cluding expanded use of renewable energy, and
more efficient conventional power plants. Significant progress has already been made
in the construction of new power plants. Over
the period from 1992 to the present, the effi-
ciency of the latest coal-fired power plants in the
industrialized West has risen from 42 to 47 per-
cent. This amounts to a huge advance in climate
protection. For instance, for a 700-megawatt
(MW) generating unit, an increase in efficiency
of five percentage points translates into a re-
duction in annual CO
emissions of around
500,000 metric tons. This is particularly impor-
tant for the Middle Kingdom China, where, ac-
cording to the International Energy Agency, one
new coal-fired power plant with an efficiency of
over 44 percent enters commercial service
every month. When it comes to upgrading existing power
plants, however, there is still massive untapped
potential, both in economic and environmental
terms. The average efficiency of Europe’s coal-
fired power plants is a mere 37 to 38 percent.
Only about one in 10 plants tops the 40 percent
mark. That’s hardly surprising, given that steam
turbines in Europe are, on average, almost 29
years old. Gas turbines, on the other hand, are
usually of a more recent vintage, with an aver-
age age of just under 12 years. Nevertheless, the
German Association of Energy and Water In-
dustries (BDEW) estimates that around one-quar-
ter of Germany’s power plants will need to be
modernized in the immediate future. As Ralf Hendricks from Siemens Energy ex-
plains, the increasing exploitation of alternative
energy sources is also accelerating the pace of
modernization. “In Europe, power companies
have to convert a lot of older combined-cycle pow-
er plants from base- to peak-load operation,” says
Hendricks, who is responsible for so-called lifetime
management and thus for power plant upgrades. The reason for the conversions is that Europe
is ramping up use of land-based and offshore
wind farms. When winds are strong, these
farms generate lots of electricity, which means
conventional plants can scale back output. But
when winds die down, the latter have to be able
to reach peak load rapidly to compensate for load
tual power plants could also be “produced”
from less obvious components, such as by in-
terconnecting the emergency power generators
in hospitals and factories with the battery stor-
age systems common in telephone and Internet
communications centers.
Virtual power plants also have a macroeco-
nomic advantage. “The benefit of a power sta-
tion network extends far beyond its present ap-
plications,” says Werner. At present consumption
rates, for example, global copper reserves will
be exhausted in 32 years (Pictures of the Future,
Fall 2008, p. 22). And if the infrastructures of
countries such as India and China consume as
much copper as the industrial countries, short-
ages and price increases of this scarce metal are
likely to occur even sooner. But if newly-industrializing countries base the
expansion of their energy infrastructures on in-
telligent power grids and virtual power plants that
generate electricity near where it will be used,
i.e. in a distributed system, fewer power lines will
have to be built to transport electricity, and the
limited copper reserves will last longer.
Harald Hassenmüller
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
an additional 15 to 20 years. As a rule, Siemens
also renews the control system for the turbine
set or the power plant as a whole (Pictures of the
Future, Spring 2009, p. 27). According to Dr. Nor-
bert Henkel, responsible at Siemens for the mod-
ernization of fossil-fuel and nuclear power
plants, it costs between €20 million and €60 mil-
lion to comprehensively upgrade a steam turbine
system for a medium-sized power plant. “By mod-
ernizing the turbine, we can tease an extra 30
to 40 megawatts out of the plant. As a result, the
initial capital expenditure is amortized within just
a few years,” he explains. Power generator Energie Baden-Württemberg
(EnBW), for example, has invested around €30
Energy Technologies | Virtual Power Plants
| Power Plant Upgrades
specified in the operating schedule. To avoid this,
the electric power producer needs to adhere as
closely as possible to the agreed-on operating
schedule — and that’s the purpose of an ener-
gy management system such as DEMS. An in-
teresting alternative to generating additional
power is for the central control station to briefly
shut down large-scale consumers such as alu-
minum smelters. Another useful alternative is to
sell electric power at the European Energy Ex-
change (EEX) in Leipzig, provided that the cost
of producing one megawatt hour is lower than
the current exchange price. There are other uses of virtual power plants,
as was shown in the case of a municipal power
plant in Germany’s Ruhr district. Augmenting
electric power lines to supply energy for a new
residential area would have required a large cap-
ital investment. So instead of new lines, the area’s
electric power needs were met by installing dis-
tributed, gas-powered,mini block-type cogen-
eration plants and interconnecting them to
form a virtual power plant that delivers electric
power and heating. This made it possible to post-
pone a huge investment for several years. Vir-
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
fluctuations. The ability to react rapidly not only
secures a power company high prices on the
power market; an upgraded power plant also
reaches its operating point more quickly, which
cuts CO
Siemens is a specialist in upgrading steam tur-
bines, a job that primarily involves replacing the
rotor and the inner casing. The latest in turbine
blade technology and enlarged flow areas boost
the efficiency and performance of the turbine.
In addition, the use of new seals in high- and in-
termediate-pressure turbines reduces clearance
losses, which likewise increases efficiency.
These measures lengthen the service life of the
turbine, allowing it to remain in operation for
The average age of steam turbines in the industrialized world is around 30 years. Replace-
ment, upgrading, and new control systems (left) can
boost efficiency substantially.
New Life for Old Plants
Worldwide, there are hundreds of fossil fuel-fired power plants that could, if modernized, improve
their efficiency by 10 or even 15 percent. Such upgrades would reduce CO
emissions accordingly,
which would be a major contribution to climate protection. The biggest potential lies in North
America as well as parts of Europe and Asia.
Energy exchange
Weather service
Remote meter
Distributed loads
Distributed mini block-type cogeneration and photovoltaic systems Wind farm
PV system
Block-type cogeneration
power plant
power plant
Network management
Communications network
Fuel cell
Advanced IT is the Core Element of a Virtual Power Plant
Energy management system
As part of a virtual plant, even small energy producers
can sell their power on the electricity market. 1,500 rpm. The generator is hidden at the back
and can produce 2.3 megawatts (MW) of elec-
trical power once the wind speed exceeds
eleven meters a second — but only if no visitors
are present in the nacelle. “When anyone is vis-
iting, the wind turbines are switched off for safe-
ty reasons,” says Møller, who heads Offshore
Technology at Siemens Wind Power division in
Denmark. However, this is small consolation for
visitors. Even though you are standing on a se-
cure grid, you can’t help but feel there’s very lit-
tle between you and the abyss beneath your feet.
nybody visiting Jesper Møller at his fa-
vorite workplace needs to have a head for
heights, good sea legs, and no inclination toward
claustrophobia. Secured with ropes, we climb nar-
row ladders and ride unsteady freight elevators
in order to get to the top of a windowless tow-
er. On arrival, Jesper Møller invites his guests into
the inner sanctum: the approximately six me-
ter-long cylinder that forms the head of a wind
power plant. A neon tube lights up the long shaft
containing the gearbox, which transforms the
rotation of the blades into a generator speed of
least-efficient power plants. In Europe, there are
over 500 steam turbine plants that are older than
25 years and in urgent need of modernization.
This figure includes all the aging plants in Cen-
tral Europe and is unrivaled anywhere else in the
world. In India, for example, exists a consider-
able modernization need for 200 megawatt-class
plants of a similar vintage. Also in China, on the
other hand, still has a lot of coal-fired power
plants rated at efficiency levels of between 26
and 30 percent. To cover the rapidly-growing de-
mand for electricity from industry and house-
holds, China is currently building a raft of new
power plants, 60 percent of which are ultra-
modern facilities. According to the IEA, China has
been able to radically reduce construction costs
for such plants, which feature extremely heat-
resistant steam turbines, by building a large num-
ber of them at the same time and thus exploit-
ing the effects of standardization. China, which
tends to close unprofitable power plants rather
than upgrade them, has been decommissioning
around 50 GW of older fossil generating capacity
since 1997 — a process that is due to be com-
pleted by 2010.
Rewarding Efficiency. Back in Europe, pow-
er companies in the western member states
are rapidly upgrading their facilities. In this
sector, climate protection is still largely a cor-
porate affair. Unlike its stance on the automo-
bile industry, the European Union is prepared
to let market forces, rather than regulation,
bring about power plant modernization. That
said, climate expert Geden foresees a major
upheaval in the power plant market from
2013 onward, when CO
emission certificates
in this sector will all be auctioned. Power companies will therefore have to pay
for a percentage of their CO
emissions through
the purchase of emission certificates. An ex-
ception, however, has been made for many Cen-
tral and Eastern European countries, giving
them until 2020 to catch up. During this time, the most efficient power
plants will set the benchmark there too. Power
plants meeting this standard will receive emis-
sion permits free of charge. Emissions trading
will thus ensure that old power plants become
increasingly unprofitable. And once the last in-
efficient plant has been decommissioned, each
electricity consumer will have become a little bit
easier on the environment — without even think-
ing about it.Katrin Nikolaus Energy Technologies
| Power Plant Upgrades
million on upgrading its cogeneration plant in
Altbach, near Stuttgart, a measure that will keep
it in action for the next 30 years. Siemens re-
newed the plant’s control systems and upgrad-
ed its steam turbine, replacing the blades and
seals, which boosted its output by 11 MW. The
entire outer casing could be retained. With
around 4,000 operating hours at full load per
year, the plant has benefitted from the upgrade
with a reduction in its annual CO
emissions of
50,000 metric tons. As a result, the plant is now
classified as one of EnBW’s “green” facilities and may,
if required, rack up additional operating hours.
North America’s power plants are even old-
er than Europe’s, with an average of 34 years for
steam turbines in the U.S. and Canada, and 17
years for gas turbines. Siemens is involved in a
number of major upgrades in this area. Some of
these cover more than just the turbines: Siemens
renewed the complete control system for a num-
ber of plants, including a coal-fired facility in Car-
neys Point, New Jersey, a combined-cycle plant
in Redding, California, and combined-cycle in-
stallations in Syracuse and Beaver-Falls, New York,
all of which are being fitted with the SPPA-T3000
web-based instrumentation and control system.
This system integrates the power plant and tur-
bine control functions in a common, easy-to-use
platform. For the operators of Carneys Point, for
example, this will provide greater flexibility to tai-
lor operation of the individual generating units
to actual demand, along with greater reliabili-
ty and reduced maintenance costs. In contrast
to fossil-fired power plants, many of which
were commissioned over the last few decades,
most of the world’s nuclear plants date from the
1970s and 1980s. “The conventional components
of these plants, including the turbines, all need
upgrading at around the same time,” Henkel ex-
plains. At present, in a contract awarded by Flori-
da Power and Light (FPL), Siemens is overhaul-
ing the generator and renewing a high-pressure
turbine and two low-pressure turbines at the St.
Lucie nuclear plant in Florida. This will increase
the output of each of the two reactors by 100
MW. In addition, Siemens is installing new
high-pressure turbines and modernizing the gen-
erator at FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear plant, which
will boost its output by around 100 MW. Both
projects are scheduled for completion by 2012. With the exception of France, which gener-
ates the lion’s share of its power using nuclear
plants, the energy mix in Europe still includes a
major share of coal. This applies particularly to
Central European countries, including Poland,
which meets over 90 percent of its power
needs from coal. At the same time, these countries have the
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
In Europe alone, there are over 500 steam turbine
plants that now require modernization. | Offshore Wind
The construction of the world’s largest offshore wind
farm — the Horns Rev II off Denmark — is a challenge
from the production of rotors and trans-shipment at
the harbor to assembly on the open sea. Siemens is building the world’s largest offshore wind farm 30 kilometers from the Danish coast. The project is both a technical and logistical challenge because the individual components are huge, weigh dozens of tons, and must operate flawlessly in the windy North Sea — even during a hurricane. What’s more, they have to do all this for 20 years or more. The North Sea swell is lapping at the foundations
60 meters below. At the same time, the struc-
ture sways lightly in the wind — despite its
weight of over 300 tons. “It’s designed to do that,”
says Møller, “because flexibility is what provides
our wind power plants with their tremendous sta-
bility. Even severe storms haven’t caused any
problems.” Møller presses a switch and two roof
wings open up above the nacelle to unveil a view
of the North Sea. Dozens of wind turbines extend
out in a row toward the horizon like a string of
pearls. Some are rotating energetically in the
High-Altitude Harvest
A new control system and upgraded steam turbine
from Siemens boost output at EnBW’s cogeneration
plant in Altbach, Germany by 11 MW and reduce CO
emissions by 50,000 metric tons a year. Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
a kind of “sandwich.” The bottom and top sec-
tions are subsequently joined and a vacuum is
created inside. The vacuum sucks liquid epoxy resin through
the fiberglass mats and the balsa wood. Here,
the resin finds its way through all of the layers
and evenly joins the two sides of the blade. Fi-
nally, the blades are “baked” in a gigantic oven
at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius for
eight hours. “At the end of this process we have a seam-
less rotor blade with no weak points,” says
Nielsen. Weaknesses are unacceptable because
maintenance costs must be kept to a minimum
during the 20 years in which the blades must
withstand wind and weather. “Repairs on the
open sea cost about ten times as much as repairs
on land,” says Nielsen. To further increase their
resilience, all the blades are equipped with a light-
ning conductor. “Statistically, each blade will be
struck at least once by lightning.” Swimming Packhorse. By the time a blade
begins its life on a mast at Horn Rev II, it will
have an amazing journey behind it. First of all,
blades are strapped onto articulated trucks for
the 280-kilometer journey to Esbjerg harbor,
one of Siemens’ transport hubs for wind farms
in Europe. Here, the individual blades are attached to ro-
tors and loaded — together with the nacelles and
the masts — onto the “Sea Power,” an assembly
ship that transports the components of three sep-
arate wind power plants to their destinations in
the North Sea. Gigantic cranes lift the 60-ton ro-
tors onto the deck of the ship, stacking three huge
propellers per rotor on top of one another, be-
fore placing the tower sections and the nacelle
beside them. This swimming packhorse then
transports its freight, which weighs over 1,000
tons, 50 kilometers to Horns Rev II. From his nacelle 60 meters above the North
Sea, Jesper Møller has spotted the Sea Power. “It
takes six to eight hours to completely assemble
a wind power plant,” the wind power-expert says.
The assembly ship’s crane lifts the steel tower,
the nacelle, and finally the rotor onto a yellow
pedestal — a steel foundation that was driven
20 meters into the sandy seabed some time ear-
lier. The components are then bolted together
by hand. “Naturally, this is possible only with good
weather. As soon as the height of the waves ex-
ceeds 1.5 meters the work is called off. And this
can happen quite often on the North Sea,
which is renowned for being rough,” says
Møller. He points at an old ferry that is anchored
not far from the wind farm. “That’s our so
called hotel ship. It’s home for the workers who
are responsible for the installation and cabling
of the wind mills. They spend two weeks at a
time here at sea.” In contrast, stays in the nacelles above the sea,
which are far from comfortable, are of course
much shorter. The limit is three days. In case evac-
uation is impossible in the face of a rapidly-de-
veloping storm, each tower is outfitted with
emergency storage facilties for fresh water and
energy bars. On the other hand, there are visitors who have
climbed the tower with Jesper Møller who have
indicated that they would rather stay a little
longer because, even when there is no emer-
gency, the cramped nacelle seems preferable to
the idea of climbing back down to a swaying boat
at the foot of the mast — especially when you’ve
forgotten your seasickness pills.
Florian Martini
experts can detect anomalies and prevent dam-
age from occurring. Only the most observant visitors notice that
the nacelle and blades incline slightly upwards
at an angle of seven degrees “We have to main-
tain a safe distance between the blades and the
mast,” says Møller. “They are so flexible that they
bend inward considerably in stormy conditions.”
Robust Blades. Søren Kringelholt Nielsen
and his 800 employees at Siemens Rotor Blade
Manufacturing, which is located 230 kilome-
ters away in Aalborg, ensure that the huge
blades are flexible. All the blades for the Euro-
pean market are produced here. The floor of
the factory is covered with neat rows of the gi-
gantic rotor blades, each of which is bigger
than the wing of a jumbo jet. The surface of
the blades is so smooth that you can’t see or
feel a single seam, while the edges at the tips
are nearly as sharp as knives. Despite their
size, the aerodynamic blades can be bent by
several centimeters using nothing more than
your hand. “This apparent fragility is deceiving,” says
Nielsen, who heads Rotor Blade Manufactur-
ing in Aalborg. “The blades are extremely ro-
bust. Imagine placing a mid-sized car at the
end of a three-kilometer beam. The forces that
are being placed on the other end of the beam
are the same as those a rotor blade needs to
withstand during strong winds,” explains
Nielsen. The secret of the blades’ stability can be found
in the 250-meter-long production hall where they
are manufactured using “Integral Blade Tech-
nology,” a patented process (see Pictures of the
Future, Fall 2007, p. 60). What’s remarkable is
that the rotor blades are manufactured as a sin-
gle component without seams — a method that
only Siemens has mastered. At the start of the
process, workers roll out long alternate layers of
fiberglass mats and balsa wood in a form to make
seven percent. Perhaps the figures aren’t so
surprising when you consider that Denmark is
a windy country and enjoys only ten calm
days a year. On really windy days, the wind-
mills can produce half of the country’s elec-
tricity, and on a stormy night, this figure can
even rise to 100 percent. However, this bounty of green energy does
have its downside. Because such plants rely
on the wind, long-term energy production
plans are out of the question. As a result,
these white giants can play only a limited role
when it comes to meeting the fluctuating de-
mand for grid power. In contrast, other types
of power plants, such as gas and cogeneration
plants, can be run up or run down according
to demand. That’s why, the
state-run network operator, uses a sophisticat-
ed energy management system that is partial-
ly based on several weather forecasting sys-
tems to get the best out of variable wind
energy. In order to quickly respond to fluctuations,
excess wind-generated electricity is diverted
to Norway’s pumped storage power plants to
be used later during calm weather. Although
currently capable of coping with peak loads
and stabilizing the network, this arrangement
may not be equal to future demands — partic-
ularly as the Danish government plans to sub-
stantially expand its use of wind power in
coming years. And that’s just fine as far as
Møller is concerned. He has been building
wind farms for the last ten years and has de-
veloped a special bond with his turbines. “Al-
though the work is routine,” he says. “I experi-
ence something special every time I ascend a
windmill and look out over the North Sea.” Just in front of him, the huge 45-meter rotor
blades stretch into the sky, their tips roaring
through the air at 220 kilometers per hour and
producing enough energy to boil six liters of wa-
ter every second. Depending on the strength of
the wind, it’s possible to alter the white blades’
angle of attack so that they operate in the most
efficient manner. The 82 ton-nacelle can also turn on its own
axis in the wind — courtesy of a computer-con-
trolled system. A host of sensors, both inside and
outside the compartment, continuously meas-
ure the vibrations of the machine parts. Using
this data, experts from Siemens can remotely rec-
ognize when a problem is brewing, because each
unusual reading triggers an alarm. In this way
Energy Technologies
| Offshore Wind
World Record for Wind Power. Such su-
perlatives are nothing special by Denmark’s
standards because they are already multiple
world record holders. This small kingdom is
not only the largest producer of wind power
plants, but also generates 20 percent of its en-
ergy requirements with wind power. In com-
parison, Germany, has so far only managed
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
A wind turbine produces enough energy to boil six
liters of water in just one second.
How to Become a Windmill Builder
In August 2009, Siemens opened one of Europe’s
most up-to-date training centers for wind energy
in Bremen, Germany. Aptly named the Wind Pow-
er Training Center, it has a floor area of about
1,100 square meters, and is situated between the
European and Industrial harbors of the north Ger-
man Hanseatic city, where it serves primarily as a
training center for service technicians. Prospec-
tive assembly workers are not only offered theory
courses covering the construction and operation
of wind power plants, but are also given the op-
portunity to carry out practical maintenance
work on real objects.
A hall measuring about 600 square meters forms
the heart of the building, which houses a 2.3MW
wind turbine from Siemens, a simulator for the
control technology, ladder constructions, a scaf-
folding, and crane and tower models. “In this El-
dorado for technicians, our employees can
demonstrate their knowledge of the technical
processes in a wind turbine, as well as the rele-
vant safety aspects of wind turbine construction,
management, and servicing — all in a practical
setting,” says project manager Nils Gneiße.
“Thanks to this experience, they will be able to
perform maintenance work for customers faster
and more efficiently.” Wind power plant opera-
tors particularly benefit because the maintenance
requirements and costs fall, while the reliability
of the turbines increases.
According to Gneiße, the ten-meter turbines, which weigh some 80 tons, are more than just training
objects that provide hands-on experience. “With the help of these turbine nacelles, we want to in-
crease safety for our technicians,” he says. That’s why the training program offers emergency exercis-
es under real-life conditions — up to now a first for this type of training center. “Regardless of
whether an employee becomes stuck during maintenance work or simply gets cramps — at a height of
a hundred meters even minor incidents are considered emergencies that call for swift action,” says
Gneiße. Along with training facilities in Brande, Denmark, Newcastle, UK, and Houston, Texas, the
center in Bremen covers global training needs in terms of wind power. Every year some 1,000 techni-
cians, most of whom will come from Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region and the
Asia-Pacific region, are to be trained here, as are Siemens customers. Sebastian Webel
“Repairs on the open sea cost about ten times as
much as repairs on land.” breeze; others are waiting to be commissioned,
while a few more are mere foundations pro-
truding out of the sea. Horns Rev II is the name
of this wind farm, which is situated on a sand-
bank about 30 kilometers off the Danish coast.
The park is still under construction but when
completed in Fall 2009, it will be the largest off-
shore wind farm in the world. A total of 91 tur-
bines from Siemens will then be able to pump
around 210 MW of electrical power into the net-
work — enough to supply over 136,000 house-
holds with electricity.
he wind blows when and where it will, and
it rarely heeds our wishes. These days, that
can have a serious impact on our power supply,
to which wind energy is now making an in-
creasingly important contribution. In 2007,
wind power accounted for 6.4 percent or 39.7
terawatt-hours (TWh) of gross power con-
sumption in Germany, and this proportion, ac-
cording to a projection by the German Renew-
able Energy Federation (BEE), could rise to as
much as 25 percent (149 TWh) by the year 2020.
By then, Germany should have wind farms
with a total output of 55 gigawatts (GW), com-
pared to 22 GW at the end of 2007. Germany already accounts for approximate-
ly 20 percent of the world’s total wind power gen-
erating capacity. Until recently, it was the pace-
Oversupply can likewise pose problems. Ger-
many’s Renewable Energy Act stipulates that Ger-
man network operators must give preference to
power from renewable sources. But an abun-
dance of wind power means that conventional
power plants have to be ramped down. This ap-
plies particularly to gas- and coal-fired plants,
which are responsible for providing the inter-
mediate load — in other words, for buffering pe-
riodic fluctuations in demand. For the power
plants assigned to provide the base load — pri-
marily nuclear power and lignite-fired plants —
ramping up and down is relatively complicated
and costly.
On windy days, this can have bizarre conse-
quences. For example, it may be necessary to sell
surplus power at a giveaway price on the Euro-
pean Energy Exchange (EEX) in Leipzig. In fact,
the price of electricity may even fall below zero.
Such negative prices actually became a reality
on May 3, 2009, when a megawatt-hour (MWh)
was briefly traded at minus €152. In other
words, the operator of a conventional power
plant chose to pay someone to take the power
rather than to temporarily reduce output.
Storing Power with Water. By far the best
solution is to cache the surplus electricity and
then feed it back into the grid whenever the
wind drops or skies are cloudy. Here, a proven
method is to use pumped-storage power
plants. Whenever demand for electricity falls,
the surplus power is used to pump water up to
a reservoir. As soon as demand increases, the
water is allowed to flow back down to a lower
reservoir — generating electricity in the
process by means of water turbines. It’s a
beautifully simple and efficient idea. Indeed,
pumped-storage power plants have an effi-
ciency of around 80 percent, reflecting the
proportion of energy generated in relation to
the energy used in pumping the water to the
top reservoir. At present, no other type of stor-
will take another route when it encounters an
obstruction,” explains Dirk Ommeln from EnBW.
Batteries and Compressed Air. Other major
industrialized countries such as the U.S. and
China also make significant use of pumped-
storage power plants. In addition, major ef-
forts are being made to find alternative meth-
ods worldwide. The best-known of all
electricity storage devices is the rechargeable
battery, which can be found in every mobile
phone and digital camera. Although the
amounts of energy involved here are tiny by
comparison, this has not stopped some coun-
tries from using batteries as a cache facility for
the power network. “In Japan, for example,
this method is used practically throughout the
country,” says Dr. Manfred Waidhas from
Siemens Corporate Technology (CT). “Batteries
the size of a shipping container can store
about 5 MWh of electrical energy and are in-
stalled in the grid close to the consumer.”
They are used as an emergency power supply,
as a reserve at times of peak load, and as a
buffer to balance out fluctuations from renew-
able sources of energy. Sodium-sulfur batter-
ies, which have an efficiency of as much as 70
to 80 percent, are used for this purpose.
Similarly, in a method known as V2G (vehi-
cle to grid), electric vehicles could also serve as
local cache facilities for electricity in the future,
provided they are connected to the grid via a
power cable. Although their battery capaci-
ty is small in comparison with the amounts of
energy required in the grid, the sheer number
of such vehicles and the relatively high powers
involved — e.g. 40 kilowatts (kW) per vehicle —
could make up for this. “As few as 200,000 ve-
hicles connected to the grid would produce 8 GW.
And that’s enough balancing energy to im-
prove grid stability,” says Prof. Gernot Spiegel-
berg from Siemens CT.
age facility is capable of supplying power in
the GW range over a period of several hours.
In fact, more than 99 percent of the energy-
storage systems in use worldwide are pum -
ped-storage power plants.
Germany’s largest pumped-storage power
plant is in Goldisthal, about 350 km southwest
of Berlin. The facility has an output of 1,060
megawatts (MW) and could, in an extreme sit-
uation, supply the entire state of Thuringia
with power for eight hours. In all, 33 pumped-
storage facilities operate in Germany, providing
a combined output of 6,700 MW and a capaci-
ty of 40 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Each year, they
supply around 7,500 GWh of so-called balanc-
ing power, which covers heightened demand at
peak times — in the evenings, for example, when
people switch on electric appliances and lights.
The energy held in reserve by pumped-stor-
age power plants can be called up within a mat-
ter of minutes.
In Germany, however, simply increasing the
number of pumped-storage power plants isn’t
such a simple option. There is a lack of suitable
locations, and such projects often trigger
protests. As a result, Germany’s power plant op-
erators coordinate their activities with their
counterparts in neighboring countries. Energie
Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) in Karlsruhe, for ex-
ample, uses pumped-storage facilities not only
in Germany, but also in the Vorarlberg region of
Austria. Norway, too, which has a long history
of hydropower, is now looking to market its po-
tential for electricity storage. However, the cap-
ital expenditure for doing so would be sub-
stantial. Such a project would involve more than
just laying a long cable to Norway. The grid ca-
pacity at the point of entry in both countries
would also have to be increased in order to avoid
bottlenecks in transmission capability. “Such a
step would be necessary because electricity al-
ways looks for the path of least resistance and
setter, but has now been pushed into second
place in this particular world ranking by the U.S.
Although this is all excellent news as far as
the climate is concerned, it presents the power
companies with a problem. Wind power isn’t al-
ways generated exactly when consumers need
it. As a rule, wind generators produce more pow-
er at night, and that’s exactly when demand bot-
toms out. With conventional power plants, out-
put can be adjusted in line with consumption,
merely by burning more or less fuel. With fluc-
tuating sources of energy, however, this is only
possible to a limited degree. And that goes for
both wind and photovoltaic power, which, ac-
cording to the BEE, will together account for sev-
en percent of gross power consumption in Ger-
many by the year 2020.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
Energy Technologies | Energy Storage
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
The ideal solution is to cache the surplus elec-
tricity and feed it back into the grid as re-
quired. The power network itself is unable to as-
sume this function, since it is a finely balanced
system in which supply and demand have to be
carefully matched. If not, the frequency at
which alternating current is transmitted deviates
from the stipulated 50 hertz, falling in the case
of excess demand, or rising in the case of over-
supply. Both scenarios must be avoided, as there
would otherwise be a danger of damage to con-
nected devices such as motors, electrical appli-
ances, computers and generators. For this rea-
son, power plants are immediately taken offline
whenever an overload pushes the grid fre-
quency below 47.5 hertz.
Pumped-storage power plants are used to stockpile surplus power (here an 80 MW plant in
Wendefurth, Germany). Underground storage systems (below) could also be a solution.
Trapping the Wind
Power produced from renewable sources such as wind and sunlight is irregular. Experts are therefore looking at ways of storing surplus energy so that it can be converted back into electricity when required. One option is underground hydrogen storage, which is inexpensive, highly efficient, and can feed power into the grid quickly.
Source: KBB Underground Technologies GmbH
Comparative Energy Stored per Unit of Volume
Pumped-storage power plant
Compressed air energy storage
Lead-acid battery
NaS battery
Lithium-ion battery
Hydrogen storage
Height difference: 100 meters
pressure: 2 MPa (= 20 bars)
pressure: 20 MPa, efficiency 58%
0 100 200 300 400
Wolf from Siemens Energy Sector in Erlangen,
Germany, leakage is not a problem. “Typically,
each year, less than 0.01 percent is lost,” he
say. “This is because the rock-salt walls of such
caverns behave like a liquid, and any leaks seal
up automatically.” For this reason, says Wolf,
any of the caverns already used for the short-
term storage of natural gas would also be suit-
able for hydrogen.
Around 60 caverns are now under con-
struction in Germany. “If we were to use only 30
of these for hydrogen storage, we would be able
to cache around 4,200 GWh of electrical ener-
gy,” Wolf points out. Hydrogen has such a high
energy density that as much as 350 kilowatt-hours
(kWh) can be squeezed into every cubic meter
of available storage space. This significantly ex-
ceeds CAES (2.7 kWh/m
) and is only matched
by lithium-ion batteries.
Whenever the demand for electricity rises, hy-
drogen is removed and used to power a gas tur-
bine or a fuel cell. “At present, underground hy-
drogen storage is unmatched by any other en-
ergy-storage system,” says Wolf. “Each cavern is
capable of providing more than 500 MW for clear-
ly more than a week in base-load operation. That’s
the equivalent of 140 GWh. By way of compar-
ison, all the pumped-storage power plants in Ger-
many only have a combined capacity of 40 GWh.”
What’s more, underground hydrogen storage fa-
cilities can supply power quickly to the grid and are
as flexible as a combined-cycle power plant.
Hydrogen also compares well in terms of
costs. According to a study by the German
Association for Electrical, Electronic & Informa-
tion Technologies (VDE), the costs of long-
term storage — to compensate for unfavorable
“On the other hand, we need to remember
that such batteries will be relatively expensive
due to their compactness, safety specifications,
and low weight,” warns Dr. Christian Dötsch from
the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental,
Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) in
Oberhausen, Germany. “What’s more, their
service life — the number of times they can be
recharged — is still very limited. At present, the
extra recharging and discharging for the purposes
of load balancing would seriously reduce battery
Another concept is to warehouse potential ki-
netic energy underground by a technique known
as compressed air energy storage (CAES). This
involves pumping air, which has been pressur-
ized to as much as 100 bar, into underground cav-
ities such as exhausted salt domes with a volume
of between 100,000 and a million cubic meters.
“This compressed air can be used in a gas tur-
bine,” says Waidhas. “You still need a fossil fuel
such as natural gas, but energy is saved because
the compressed air for combustion is already
There are two CAES pilot projects worldwide:
the first went into operation in Huntorf, Germany,
in 1978; the second in McIntosh, Alabama, in
1991. The basic idea behind CAES is simple, but
there are drawbacks. “In both projects, the gas
turbines are custom made, and that kind of spe-
cial development costs money,” says Waidhas.
“CAES only gives you storage capacity of around
3 GWh.”
Hydrogen: Ideal Storage Medium? An in-
teresting alternative to the methods already
mentioned is hydrogen storage. Here, surplus
electricity is used to produce hydrogen by
means of electrolysis. The gas is then stored in
underground caverns at a pressure of between
100 and 350 bar, where, according to Erik
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2009
weather situations and seasonal fluctuations —
will be under €0.10 per kWh. In contrast, the cost
of CAES is estimated to be around €0.20 per kWh.
At the same time, underground hydrogen stor-
age facilities can help cover short-term peaks in
demand and therefore boost the existing capacity
provided by pumped-storage power plants.
Siemens has been conducting research into
this technology for the last four years, and most
of the components required, including the elec-
trolyzers and gas turbines, are now available —
as are safe caverns for hydrogen storage. Engi-
neers from Siemens are currently working on
higher performance electrolyzers and gas tur-
bines that are specially modified for use with hy-
drogen. “The first patent applications have al-
ready been filed, and a larger-scale pilot plant
could be up and running within three to five
years,” says Wolf.
Hydrogen has other advantages too. Apart
from storing energy for generating power or
heat, it can also be mixed with syngas (synthe-
sis gas) — from, for example, biomass plants —
to produce fuel in a biomass-to-liquid (BtL)
process. “Hydrogen gives us a whole range of op-
tions, and significant progress has been made
here in recent years,” says Stephan Werth-
schulte, an energy expert from management con-
sultants Accenture. By way of example, he points to an exciting
pilot project in Brandenburg, Germany. In April
of this year, Enertrag, a company specializing in
wind-power generators, laid the foundation
stone for a new test facility in Prenzlau. This will
be the world’s first hydrogen-wind-biogas hybrid
power plant capable of producing hydrogen from
surplus wind power. The hydrogen will be used
to power hydrogen vehicles or mixed with bio-
gas to produce electricity and heat in two block-
type cogeneration plants with a total output of
700 kW. Christian Buck
Energy Technologies | Energy Storage
In the future, electric vehicles could provide temporary storage of electricity, which could be fed back into the grid as required, thereby improving the network’s stability.
Highspeed for Mobility
and Economy
lobal demand for energy will continue to rise
sharply. The International Energy Agency (IEA) esti-
mates that global energy consumption will be around 36
percent higher by 2035 than it was in 2008. This develop-
ment is being driven by expanding economies in the
emerging markets in particular, as well as by world popu-
lation growth. Fossil resources are limited, however, and
using them to provide energy causes the biggest share of
The IEA believes this dilemma can be solved through
more efficient use of energy and greater utilization of
electrical power in applications where fossil fuels contin-
ue to dominate — assuming such electricity is produced
without emissions. “We believe electricity produced from
renewable sources will be the most important form of fi-
nal energy in the future,” says Prof. Ulrich Wagner, mem-
ber of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Cen-
ter (DLR). The range of future application possibilities for
clean electricity is enormous, from household appliances,
lighting, and machines to heat pumps, desalination facili-
ties, and electric vehicles. A study conducted by the Ger-
man Physical Society (DPG) in 2010 concluded that “elec-
tricity is easy to generate and transmit, and it can also be
used very conveniently and flexibly.” The IEA adds that for
“no other form of final energy” will there be such a sharp
increase in demand as for electricity. In fact, global elec-
| Facts and Forecasts
tricity consumption could likely rise by around 70 percent
by 2035, with most of the increase to be accounted for by
emerging markets such as China. Many homes and of-
fices around the world are still heated with gas or oil. If
electricity is to be produced in the future with low CO
emissions, though, it makes sense to implement the nec-
essary heating system upgrades in older buildings by in-
stalling electrical systems, according to the DPG. Because
of this — and also due to higher demand for electrical de-
vices in countries outside the OECD — annual electricity
consumption in buildings will rise by 1.5 percent between
now and 2035, despite energy conservation measures.
The share of global final-energy consumption accounted
for by electricity will then likely rise from 27 percent today
to 37 percent. The potential for using electricity in automobiles is
also tremendous: “Electric mobility can reduce petroleum
consumption and prevent emissions of climate-damaging
and other pollutants, provided no fossil sources are
used to generate the electricity,” according to the DPG.
The German government plans to put one million electric
vehicles on the road by 2020, and have five million in op-
eration by 2030 (including plug-in hybrids equipped with
both an electric motor and a combustion engine). Plans in
the U.S. and China are even more ambitious. Both of
these countries want to have one million electric cars in
operation by as early as 2015. A study conducted by the
investment bank HSBC in 2010 estimates that the market
volume for electric vehicles will total $473 billion by
around 2020. By that time, there will be 8.7 million pure
electric cars and 9.2 million plug-in-hybrids on the road. The key to launching the new age of electricity is to
ensure rapid de-carbonization of power generation. The
IEA anticipates that the share of the world’s electricity pro-
duced with coal, gas, and oil will fall from 68 percent to-
day to about 55 percent by 2035. During the same peri-
od, the proportion of power from renewable sources
including water, wind, and the sun will rise from 19 per-
cent to 32 percent. And these forecasts are reflected in
the outlook for the market: Siemens experts believe that
in 2020 more than half of total global investment in the
power plant market will be accounted for by renewable
energy facilities. HSBC expects the global market volume
for low-CO
energy production to increase from $422 bil-
lion in 2009 to $1.043 trillion in 2020. Alongside hydropower, the main sources of CO
electricity in the future will be energy from the wind —
and to a lesser extent solar energy. HSBC expects that in
2020 the wind-power industry will boast the lion’s share
of the renewable energy market with a stake of $285 bil-
lion. Solar power will follow with a $116 billion share of
the market. Anette Freise
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2011
2020: Nearly 18 million new
electric vehicles worldwide
Source: HSBC
Wind power to cover over half
the world renewables market
Source: HSBC
2020: More than $1 trillion for low-CO
energy production worldwide
Source: HSBC
Source: IEA
Pure electric vehicles
Plug-in hybrids
Biofuels 18
Heat from renewable sources
Nuclear power
Electricity from renewable sources
0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000
in thousands of units in billions of US$
in %
Declining share of fossil energy sources
in the global electricity production mix
Geothermal 0.3
Wind 1
Biomass and waste 1.3
Water 16
Nuclear 14
Gas 21
Oil 5.4
Coal 41
Sea 0 Sea 0
Coal 32
Geothermal 1
Wind 8
Solar PV 2
Biomass and waste 4
Water 16
Nuclear 14
Water (“small hydro”) 49
Biomass 71
Solar 116
Geothermal 23 Wind 285
Gas 21
Oil 1
in billions of US$
emi ssion-trading system are other me cha nis ms.”
This means that users of fossil fuels are subject
to three different disincentives in Sweden. The
Swedish carbon tax was introduced in 1991
and currently adds about 50 percent to the
cost of each kilowatt of energy produced with
fossil fuels. And when the EU-wide emission
trading system was introduced, the carbon al-
lowances allocated to electricity producers
covered only some 70 percent of their require-
ments; they had to buy the rest. Since 2003, in parallel with these restric-
tions, Sweden’s national electricity certificate
system has also been in force. Such certificates
are allocated for free to producers that use re-
newable energies (one certificate for each
MWh produced). All suppliers of electricity
must acquire such certificates in line with their
total sales of electricity. The quota is set by the
state and increases over time; for 2010 it is
17.9 percent. The certificates are freely traded;
their prices rise as demand increases.
In this way, the “invisible hand” of the mar-
ket is used to promote those types of green en-
ergy that can be produced most economically.
But not all emission-free technologies are part
of the national certificate system. Nuclear
power and existing large hydroelectric plants
are excluded, for example. Haglund sees this
state regulation in Sweden as a model to be
emulated. “The state stepped in and removed
an assumed market dysfunction, the relative
underpricing of fossil fuels. The results speak
for themselves. Without this system, Igelsta
would most likely have been designed to burn
gas rather than wood waste,” he explains With their biomass-enthusiasm, the Swedes
are both pioneers and traditionalists. During
excavation for the Igelsta power plant’s foun-
dations, workers found a Stone Age fireplace.
To keep themselves warm, the people are burn-
ing wood just as their ancestors did thousands of
years ago. But thanks to the technology, they are
doing it efficiently. Andreas Kleinschmidt
Shuman’s attempt, the Israeli company Luz de-
veloped new parabolic trough power plants.
Nine plants from this period are still generat-
ing energy today in California’s Mojave Desert.
But as the price of oil began to fall again, inter-
est in solar thermal systems also waned. Power
station projects were postponed or canceled,
and Luz went bankrupt. Now, almost 100 years after Shuman’s first
project, the day finally seems to have come for
solar thermal technology. Avi Brenmiller is one
of the authors of this success. He remembers
well the disappointments of the past decades:
“In the 1980s, I was working on special coat-
ings for the receiver tubes in which thermal oil
is heated with concentrated solar energy. Our
vision at the time was to master the whole chain
—in other words, everything from the capture
of solar energy and the steam cycle generation
here is nothing more powerful, the saying
goes, than an idea whose time has come.
Solar thermal technology — the generation of
energy from the heat of the sun — has tried to
get off the ground three times already. In
1912, the American Frank Shuman built a par-
abolic reflector system in Egypt that was ex-
pected to produce 55 kilowatts (kW) of power.
“Twenty thousand square miles of collectors in
the Sahara,” he wrote, “could permanently
supply the world with the 270 million horse-
power it needs.” But the world did not wait; it
needed more and more horsepower and in-
creasingly drew its power from oil and other
fossil fuels. Solar thermal energy seemed to
become a footnote in the history of power
generation. It was only the huge increase in
the price of oil in the 1970s that aroused new
interest in the technology. Sixty years after
Energy Technologies
| Power and Heat from Biomass
regions, the overall efficiency of this technolo-
gy is unbeatable (Pictures of the Future,Spring
2010, page 32). Like Igelsta, more and more of
these plants are using biomass as a fuel. Mats Strömberg, the project manager re-
sponsible for the development of the power
plant at power company Söderenergi, had al-
ready worked on a similar project in Gävle, north
of Stockholm. As in Södertälje, a Siemens SST-
800 steam turbine is in use there. Three quar-
ters of the fuel for Igelsta consists of biomass,
mainly residual products from forest clearing;
the other quarter consists of recovered waste
materials from offices, shops, and industry.
From this fuel mix, the plant produces 200
megawatts (MW) of heat and 85 MW of elec-
tricity. “Siemens made the best offer in Gävle
and Igelsta,” says Strömberg. “Performance is
the key aspect, because the power plant is de-
signed to operate for 40 years. Our efficiency
gains over that period will be enormous.” In 2003, a system of trading in green certifi-
cates was introduced in Sweden, promoting
the use of renewable energies and making fos-
sil fuels more expensive. “These certificates are
one of the regulatory measures applied to the
ener gy mix,” says Jan-Erik Haglund, environmen-
tal manager at Söderenergi. “A carbon tax and
the consistent application of the pan-European
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Fall 2010 Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
| Solar Thermal Power of electrical power. It was depressing to see
how this technology suddenly lost support.”
But Brenmiller was persistent. In the course
of a buyout, Luz became Solel, one of the lead-
ing suppliers of components for power genera-
tion systems using concentrated solar power
(CSP) - and Brenmiller became CEO. In the first
six months of 2009, Solel posted sales of al-
most $90 million. Then, in late 2009, Siemens
purchased the company. With its staff of more
than 500, Solel subsequently became Siemens
Concentrated Solar Power Ltd. Brenmiller’s
dream has come true. Now, thanks to the acquisition, the key
components, systems and solutions for solar
thermal power stations covering the entire
conversion chain can be supplied from a single
source. Siemens Renewable Energy Division
offers everything from parabolic mirrors to
Focus on the Sun
he King of Sweden expressed his pride
when the Igelsta biomass power plant en-
tered service in Södertälje, west of Stockholm
in March 2010. “The time has never been bet-
ter for an investment like this,” stated Carl XVI
Gustaf. “The plant we have built sets an exam-
ple for Sweden, for Europe and for the whole
world.” Compared with a conventional power
plant fired by fossil fuels, the new biomass fa-
cility saves as much carbon dioxide as is emit-
ted by 140,000 cars per year. To promote
green energies, the Swedish government de-
cided in favor of the “carrot and stick” approach
years ago. Economic incentives for renewable
energies and financial sanctions for conven-
tional technologies make the construction of
new coal-fired power plants unprofitable.
Swedish utilities reacted quickly by investing in
power plants that burn biomass or waste in-
stead of fossil fuels. Sweden’s targets are ambitious. By 2020,
fossil fuels are to be eliminated from electricity
generation. But nature is helping here. Hydro
power already covers nearly half of Sweden’s
electricity needs; nuclear power provides a sig-
nificant share; and two percent was generated
by wind turbines in 2009. More than eleven
percent is generated in combined heat and
power plants (CHP) and this proportion is ex-
pected to rise to 15 percent by 2015. Waste
heat is used in industrial processes or fed into
district heating systems. Particularly in cooler
Engineers have been striving to generate power from solar thermal
energy for a century. Now, the technology is finally about to come
of age. With the acquisition of Solel, Siemens has become a market
leader at the cutting edge of several key solar-thermal technolo-
gies: parabolic mirrors, receiver tubes and steam turbines. Solar thermal power plants with parabolic mirrors
that track the sun are an established technology for
the production of electricity. Below: Siemens’ Lebrija
1 pant near Seville.
What a Fireplace! In order to accelerate a planned phaseout of coal and gas, Sweden utilizes market-oriented incentive systems and innovati-
ve technologies. The country’s biggest biomass power plant was recently opened in Södertälje. A Siemens turbine is helping
to enhance its efficiency.
Waste wood is the most important fuel at Sweden’s
Södertälje power plant, where a steam turbine from
Siemens sharply cuts carbon dioxide output.
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
Siemens Corporate Technology. This will help
us to further enhance the technology. We ex-
pect to be able to achieve not only an efficien-
cy of more than 25 percent at peak load but
also an average overall yearly efficiency of
more than 16 percent.” Perfect Curves.Other components influence
the economic efficiency of solar thermal pow-
er plants as well. By using larger parabolic mir-
rors, for instance, fixed costs per square meter
can be driven down. Additional mirror-related
improvements will help to reduce the final cost
of energy based on initial investment, opera-
tions and maintenance, and the cost of capital.
“By combining our strengths and optimizing
the solar field and power block subsystems we
are using an additional lever to raise the effi-
ciency of CSP facilities,” says René Umlauft,
CEO of the Siemens Renewable Energy Divi-
sion. “It’s our target that the costs of producing
electricity in solar-thermal power plants should
not exceed the market price of electricity in the
mid term.”
The individual mirrors that make up para-
bolic troughs are manufactured near the town
of Nazareth in the north of Israel. Siemens
project manager Ehud Epstein puts on safety
goggles that protect his eyes from flying
shards and opens a second button on his shirt.
The closer he gets to the oven, the hotter it
gets. At approximately 1,500 degrees Celsius,
the special-purpose silicate in the oven melts
into glass. “At other times, glass for armored
vehicles is made here. We do a separate shift
for parabolic mirrors,” says Epstein. “In this
case, we use glass with a low iron content. This
ensures that they absorb only a minimal
amount of solar energy and therefore reflect
most of it.” The hot liquid glass flows out of the
oven over steel rollers in a river of molten light.
Sheets measuring 1.6 by 1.7 meters in diame-
ter are broken out, ground down at the edges
and then heated again. The glass sheets are
placed on stainless steel mats and then passed
through another oven that was specially built
for this purpose. Here, in the course of about
1.5 hours, they slowly take on the desired
“The most important objective for the com-
ing years is to further reduce the cost of elec-
tricity produced at CSP plants,” says Eli Lipman,
Vice President of Research and Development at
Siemens Concentrated Solar Power. “The real
breakthrough for solar thermal technology will
come as soon as it allows power generation at
competitive prices — in other words, when it
can do without subsidies.” The influence of the receiver tubes on the
overall efficiency of a solar thermal plant is
greater than that of any other individual com-
ponent. One priority is therefore to make this
link in the chain even more efficient. At the
end of 2009, Siemens Concentrated Solar
Power introduced what is currently the most
efficient receiver on the market. Its efficiency
derives from a combination of high solar ab-
sorption and reduced thermal loss. The latter is
dependent on the extent to which absorbed
solar energy is re-radiated. The improvement is
partly due to special thin film coatings, ex-
plains Lipman: “We can now capitalize on syn-
ergies in research and development with
steam turbines. “This vertical integration is es-
sential,” says Brenmiller. “The most important
driver for maximizing efficiency is the perfect
interaction of all components.”
A Vision Becomes Reality.A power plant to
consist mainly of Siemens components is now
being built in Lebrija, Andalusia. The plant il-
lustrates what a visionary project called De-
sertec might one day look like (see Pictures of
the Future, Fall 2009, p. 19). The vision of the
Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) is ambitious.
It calls for a network of solar thermal power
plants and wind farms in the Mediterranean
region, the Middle East, and in North Africa to
not only meet local demand, but to generate
15 percent of Europe’s electricity require-
ments. The industry consortium driving Dii,
which began its work in 2009, is currently de-
veloping economically viable strategies for the
construction of a network of plants. Construction work on the Lebrija 1 CSP
plant in southern Spain began in 2008. The
majority of its most important components are
shipped from Israel and arrive at Cádiz harbor.
The contents of the sea-freight containers des-
tined for Lebrija, however,are sensitive. Up to
7,000 mirrors arrive each week. Almost
170,000 are needed to fit out what will soon
be a 50-megawatt (MW) power plant. All in all,
the mirrors account for approximately six per-
cent of the plant’s total cost of almost €300
million. Receiver tubes - pipes that receive so-
lar radiation from the mirrors and transfer it to
a fluid - are another major expense. The components are assembled on-site in
Lebrija in a specially-built hall. “When we ar-
rived, we found a cotton plantation at the site,”
says Siemens Concentrated Solar Power Vice
President Moshe Shtamper, who is responsible
for the construction of the thermal solar facili-
ty at Lebrija 1. His project team first had to re-
move the cotton and then have drains laid in
the marshy delta of the Guadalquivir River.
Now there are concrete pillars extending down
as far as 40 meters into the ground, and the
6,048 parabolic troughs are mounted on top
of these. Each trough consists of 28 individual
mirrors that focus light onto the receivers. The
parts are now being put together in the assem-
bly hall by former plantation workers. Using
hydraulic hoisting cranes, they are combining
individual mirrors to create parabolic troughs,
which are then transported to the solar field by
a tractor and trailer. There, cranes hoist the
two-ton troughs into position.
The plant will go online in 2011 and, with
the help of a steam turbine from Siemens, is
expected to supply over 50,000 Spanish
households with electricity (see box). Energy Technologies
| Solar Thermal Power 80
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
| Solar Thermal Power Im Fokus: Die Receiverrohre
Das Grundprinzip der solarthermischen Stromerzeugung ist einfach: Die Energie der Sonne erhitzt –
direkt oder indirekt über ein Wärmeträgermedium – Wasser. Dieses verdampft, und der Dampf
treibt mit hohem Druck eine Turbine an (Pictures of the Future, Herbst 2009, S.23). Parabolspiegel
bündeln das Sonnenlicht dazu auf kleiner Fläche, um ausreichend hohe Temperaturen zu erzielen.
In der Brennlinie der halb offenen Spiegel ist ein Receiverrohr fixiert. Durch dieses zirkuliert eine
Flüssigkeit, das Wärmeträgermedium, derzeit meist synthetisches Spezialöl oder flüssiges Salz. Es
erhitzt sich auf knapp 400 Grad Celsius – Flüssigsalze erlauben sogar Temperaturen von bis zu 550
Grad und arbeiten daher effizienter – und gibt dann die Hitze an Wasser ab, das verdampft und die
Turbine und den Stromgenerator treibt.
Die Receiver haben erheblichen Einfluss auf den Gesamtwirkungsgrad der Anlage. Siemens forscht
daher intensiv an einer weiteren Verbesserung der Hightech-Rohre (Bilder oben). Oberstes Ziel ist es,
möglichst viel Sonnenstrahlen zu absorbieren, aber zugleich eine Abstrahlung der im Träger-
medium gespeicherten Wärme zu verhindern. Der Aufbau der Receiver ist komplex: „Entscheidend
ist die Beschichtung. Mehrere Schichten unterschiedlicher Materialien, unter anderem ein Keramik-
Metall-Gemisch, vermindern die Abstrahlungsverluste”, erklärt Eli Lipman, Leiter für Forschung und
Entwicklung bei Siemens Concentrated Solar Power. Das Wärmeträgermedium fließt durch ein Edel-
stahlrohr. Dieses wird von einem Glaskolben umschlossen, im Zwischenraum befindet sich ein Vaku-
um, das die Abstrahlung reduziert. Ein Receiverrohr ähnelt damit einem Treibhaus: Möglichst viel Sonnenlicht soll nach innen dringen,
die dort entstehende Wärme aber nicht nach außen. Je besser dies gelingt, desto effizienter und profitabler gerät das Solarfeld. Die große Hitze bringt aber auch Probleme mit sich: Mit der steigen-
den Temperatur dehnen sich die unterschiedlichen Materialien verschieden stark aus. Eine Art Faltbalg, der das Metallrohr mit dem äußeren Glasrohr verbindet, gleicht die dabei entstehenden
Spannungen flexibel aus.
Das neueste Modell von Siemens ist der derzeit effizienteste Receiver auf dem Markt. Für eine 50 MW-Anlage bedeutet sein Einsatz im Vergleich zu herkömmlichen Receivern einen zusätzlichen Ertrag von etwa 6.500 Megawattstunden pro Jahr, Strom für zusätzlich 1.500 Haushalte. Das ent-
spricht einer fünfprozentigen Steigerung der Effizienz der gesamten Anlage – allein durch Verbes-
serungen am Receiver.
With parabolic mirrors, getting just the right curve is essential to maximizing efficiency. Meticulous
quality control takes place in a plant in Israel, helping to ensure at least 25 years of operation.
Why Receiver Tubes Are Hot Stuff
The basic principle of solar-thermal power generation is simple. Energy from the sun heats water, ei-
ther directly or indirectly through a heat transfer medium. The water turns to steam, and the steam
drives a turbine at high pressure (see Pictures of the Future,Fall 2009, p. 23). Parabolic mirrors focus
the needed sunlight onto a small surface in order to achieve sufficiently high temperatures. A receiv-
er tube is fixed in the focal line of a row of concave mirrors. A liquid flows through these tubes as a
heat transfer medium — synthetic oil and molten salt are the most commonly used substances to-
day. The heat transfer medium is heated to approximately 400 degrees Celsius — molten salts allow
temperatures of up to 550 degrees and are therefore more efficient — and in a second step releases
the heat via a heat exchanger to water, which turns to steam and ultimately drives a turbine.
The receivers have a considerable influence on the overall efficiency of the plant. Siemens is there-
fore pursuing intensive research on further improvements to these high-tech tubes (photograph
above). The highest priority is absorbing as much solar radiation as possible while simultaneously
preventing emission of the heat stored in the transfer medium. The structure of the receivers is com-
plex. “The coating is crucial: multiple layers of various materials, including a ceramic-metal mixture,
reduce the re-radiation losses,” says Vice President of Research and Development at Siemens Con-
centrated Solar Power, Eli Lipman. The heat transfer medium flows through a stainless steel tube.
This is enclosed in a glass cylinder, and in the space in between there is a vacuum that further re-
duces re-radiation.
A receiver tube is therefore similar in principle to a greenhouse. The maximum amount of sunlight
must get inside, but the heat produced there should not get outside. The better this is accomplished,
the more efficient and profitable the solar installation becomes. But great heat also poses significant
challenges. As temperature increases, the various materials used for the receiver expand at different
rates. A sort of bellows connecting the metal tube with the outer glass pipe flexibly compensates for
the resulting stresses.
The latest Siemens receiver tubes are currently the most efficient ones on the market. In a 50 MW
plant, the use of this model instead of conventional receivers would mean yield an extra 6,500 MWh
per year, or enough power for an additional 1,500 households. That represents a five-percent in-
crease in the efficiency of the plant as a whole — just from improvements to the receiver.
Israel: Perfect Place for PV
Israel is an ideal location for harvesting the sun’s energy — not only in the form of solar thermal
power plants, but also with photovoltaic systems that promise big yields. Siemens has taken a 40-
percent stake in Arava Power, Israel’s leading developer of photovoltaic systems. Siemens is also the
general contractor on a project to build the first PV power plants in the desert — including one at
Kibbutz Ketrua in the south of Israel. Here, in this desert region between the Red Sea and the Dead
Sea, the conditions for solar power couldn’t be better. In 2011, the Kibbutz Ketrua could be feeding
energy from a five-megawatt photovoltaic facility into the grid. Apart from solar panels themselves,
which are being supplied by Suntech, almost all the components of this first plant will come from
Siemens. Mike Green, Chief Electrical Engineer at Arava Power, is proud to be a pioneer for green en-
ergy in Israel. “My big hope is that this will mark the beginning of a lucrative future for renewable
energy in Israel,” he says.
Siemens’ Lebrija 1 plant in southern Spain is designed to generate electricity for at least 25 years. In Brief
Our power grids are facing new challenges.
They will not only have to integrate large quanti-
ties of fluctuating wind and solar power, but also
incorporate an increasing number of small, de-
centralized power producers. Today’s infra-
structure is not up to this task. The solution is to
develop an intelligent grid that keeps electricity
production and distribution in balance.(p.60)
The world’s largest turbine, with an output of
375 megawatt (MW), has entered trial service in
December 2007. In combination with a downst-
ream steam turbine, it will help ensure that a
new combined cycle power plant achieves a re-
cord-breaking efficiency of more than 60 per-
cent when it goes into operation in 2011. (p.64) Small, distributed power plants, fluctuating
energy sources such as wind and sunlight, and
the deregulation of electric power markets have
one thing in common. They increase the need
for reliable and economical operation of electric
power grids. The virtual power plant is an intelli-
gent solution from Siemens. It networks multi-
ple small power stations to form a large, smart
power grid. (p.66)
Power produced from renewable sources such
as wind and sunlight is irregular. Experts are the-
refore looking at ways of storing surplus energy
so that it can be converted back into electricity
when required. One option is underground hy-
drogen storage, which is inexpensive, highly efficient, and can feed power into the grid
quickly. (p.74)
Engineers have been striving to generate
power from solar thermal energy for a century.
Now, the technology is finally about to come of
age. With the acquisition of Solel, Siemens has
become a market leader at the cutting edge of
several key solar-thermal technologies: parabolic
mirrors, receiver tubes and steam turbines. (p.79)
Gas turbine Irsching: Gerda Gottschick, CC Energy
Virtual Power Plants: Dr. Thomas Werner, Energy
Power Plant Modernization: Dr. Andreas Feldmüller, Energy
Dr. Norbert Henklel, Energy
Offshore Wind: Henrik Stiesdal, Energy
Energy Storage: Erik Wolf, Energy
Biomass Igelsta: Lynne Anderson, Energy
Webpage Power Plant Irsching:
European Energy Exchange:
Webpage Söderenergi:
Siemens Solar Power:
Siemens Wind Power:
curved shape needed for perfectly focusing so-
lar radiation. “During this stage, it’s important
that there be no stresses left in the material
that could later lead to fractures. After all, we
guarantee a service life of 25 years.” A single parabolic trough consists of 28 in-
dividual mirrors. Since the trough must be able
to reflect sunlight in such a way as to perfectly
focus it on a nearby receiver tube, each mirror
must have a curvature of a fraction of a degree
in order to minimize scattering losses. What’s
more, the mirrors themselves must absorb as
little solar radiation as possible. As is the case
with receiver tubes, coatings play a key role in
terms of maximizing desirable characteristics
and minimizing undesirable ones. Thus, Ep-
stein’s team ensures that a silver solution, as
well as a coating of copper and several layers
of corrosion-inhibiting paint are sprayed on the
back of each mirror Epstein walks past a long
line of finished mirrors. Depending on how
they are standing, he seems to become either
widened to comical proportions or extended
vertically into a skinny giant with thin limbs.
“This is my hall of carnival mirrors,” he jokes.
“After a long day, you just have to stand in
front of the right one, and suddenly you’ve
gotten rid of all those extra pounds for a few
seconds. That puts you in better spirits.” Competitive Production.While some solar
thermal power plants have entered service in
Spain and the U.S. state of Arizona, plans are
only now being made for the first facilities in
Israel. “The irradiance data for Israel are per-
fect. The whole Negev Desert is an ideal area
for CSP plants,” says Brenmiller. “And if the
plants were also equipped with gas turbines,
you could generate power competitively right
now in Israel, even without any subsidies.” The
downstream steam turbine in such gas-solar
hybrid power plants can be powered by solar
heat, and by the waste heat produced by the
gas turbine. This means that the power plant
can also generate electricity during the hours
of darkness. At least for a transitional period,
solar energy and fossil fuels will coexist to
maximize each other’s strengths. However, the
energy mix as a whole will increasingly shift
toward renewable energies, Brenmiller be-
lieves. If for no other reason, this development
will definitely take place simply because of
dwindling oil reserves. In retrospect, then, it al-
most seems an irony of history that solar ther-
mal technology should have made one of its
grand entrances right at the start of the oil
age, approximately 100 years ago. After all, it
is now making another, just as that particular
age appears to be nearing its twilight. Andreas Kleinschmidt
Reprinted (with updates) from Pictures of the Future | Spring 2010
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