For the foreseeable future, said Dr. Suess, primary energy demand will continue to be met largely by conventional resources such as oil, gas and coal, with nuclear and hydro energy also playing a role. Global power demand continues to grow at a pace of 2.8% annually and will reach 37,100 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2030 from 22,100 TWh last year.
“The question is what can we do to ensure that future power needs will be met without increasing the pressure on natural resources further? One answer to this question is not enough – we have to address the differing needs and challenges of many countries,” Dr Suess said.
“As such efficiency has never been so important. Boosting efficiency in existing infrastructure including power plants, industrial plants and even buildings can go a long way towards reducing the impact of energy use on the environment and the preservation of natural resources.”
Siemens technologies and solutions are helping the company’s customers cutting their CO2 emissions for example. In fiscal 2011, customers using Siemens technologies lowered their CO2 output by a staggering 317 million metric tons; equivalent to the entire annual CO2 emissions of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Delhi, Istanbul, Berlin, London and New York City, or one per cent of the world‘s total energy-related annual CO2 emissions. That‘s the equivalent of 95 million family cars driven 20,000 kilometers per year.
Siemens is also pioneering the implementation of energy efficient technologies in numerous areas. As an example, the company has developed a combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) using the latest generation of Siemens gas turbines that’s at least a third more efficient than an average CCPP, setting a new world efficiency record.
“Improving the efficiency of gas turbines is crucial,” said Dr. Suess. “Because natural gas is relatively clean burning its role in power generation will increase, particularly in highly efficient combined-cycle power plants which convert fuel into electrical energy and heat at the same time, potentially reaching efficiencies of more than 90 percent.”
“The application of energy-efficient technology like this will be essential in tackling the dual challenge of rising energy demand and increased environmental protection, and Siemens is in a unique position to help develop a sustainable model conducive to future economic growth,” he added.