Access to sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy is the foundation for socio-economic development and prosperity. This is vital as we strive to empower the approximately 775 million people lacking access to basic electricity. Although global energy demand is expected to surge by approximately 25 per cent by 2030, we need to ensure that our energy systems are clean, accessible, and dependable, in other words resilient. This requires partnership, not just between governments, but across all areas of society, including public and private sectors, says Dietmar Siersdorfer, Middle East Managing Director, Siemens Energy.
A strong legacy
“Siemens Energy is a relatively new company, having been spun out of Siemens in 2020, but is dedicated to supporting our customers around the world to achieve their decarbonisation potential and energy transition goals. Headquartered in Berlin, we have a suite of technologies and solutions that cover the entire energy value chain. An estimated one-sixth of the electricity generated worldwide is based on technologies from Siemens Energy. Our 93,000 people, operating in over 90 countries, are dedicated to supporting our partners and customers to energise and decarbonise societies,” says Siersdorfer.
A focus on technology
In 2022, global emissions reached a record high of 36.8 billion tons of CO2. The electricity sector emits around 13 billion tons of CO2 each year with coal dominating the electricity mix at around 60 per cent worldwide. The good news is that almost 30 per cent of global electricity today comes from renewable sources. And looking ahead, renewables, led by solar and wind, are forecast to dominate global capacity additions, accounting for 75-80 per cent of all new capacity out to 2050.
Although this will have a positive impact on carbon emissions, these intermittent energy sources also increase the burden on grids for reliability, stability, and affordability. “We need to invest heavily to modernise grid infrastructure and ensure a resilient energy system, capable of handling the demands of the low carbon energy future we’re working towards,” he says.
“Developing and preparing grids will be crucial in the decarbonisation journey as we electrify processes in other sectors. The energy, industrial, transport, and construction sectors still have a significant role to play in furthering CO2 reductions. As well as paving the way for the decarbonisation of industry, grid investment will also facilitate the development of new sectors, like the hydrogen economy,” explains Siersdorfer.
Advancing through partnership
“As we look ahead to 2050, 45 per cent of all emissions savings will come from technologies that have yet to reach the market. This requires visionary partnerships. The Middle East has immense potential, not only as a clean energy supplier, but as a cradle of green technology development, innovation, and as an incubator of pioneering new collaborations. Together, we need to equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge to further progress in the energy transition,” says Siersdorfer.
Even with innovative breakthroughs, most emissions savings will come from readily available and existing technologies.
“We can implement these technologies and reap these savings today. Together with our customers and partners, we are improving decarbonisation through constant, steady progress. In the journey to net zero, we can’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. The path is not always direct, but with small steps and giant leaps, we will get there together,” Siersdorfer says.