The European Green Deal is the European Commission's key project for the transition to a climate-neutral and environmentally friendly economy.
'The associated challenges for the economy and society are significant. The key is clearly in the development of our cities and the use of state-of-the-art technologies. In order to cover the constantly rising energy needs, we therefore have to utilize all possible technologies that reduce carbon dioxide,' stressed CEO of Siemens Austria Wolfgang Hesoun, who expressed his gratitude that Siemens and the City of Vienna (Wien Energie, Wiener Netze, Wien 3420, and the Vienna Business Agency) kicked off a research program that is the only one of its kind in Europe, aimed at ushering in the energy future in urban areas, back in 2013.
The basic objective of ASCR is to develop market-oriented, scalable, and economical solutions for the energy future in urban areas and to make the energy system more efficient and more climate-friendly. In the course of the energy research project, complex but crucial energy policy questions from essential areas of the energy system are answered - on an interdisciplinary basis using real data and operational experience from field tests. The research questions are also adapted to current challenges on an ongoing basis.
'In order to develop a climate-neutral, sustainable economy and society, it will take new approaches and - as is now becoming evident - closer and closer cooperation between urban planners, energy providers, grid operators, the housing industry, property developers, and industry. We have found this here in parts of Seestadt Aspern - thanks in no small part to the support of the residents,' added Hesoun. Due to the current relevance of the challenges, this project now has a profile that extends far beyond the borders of Austria. This is also evident based on the interest of the many international delegations that visit the showroom each year and make use of the experts' know-how.
Focus of the second phase: applying the solution concepts in running system operations
While the first phase of the research project (2013-2018) centered around establishing the necessary research infrastructure as the foundation for the collection of real-time data and the practical testing of solution concepts, the focus of the ongoing second phase (2019-2023) is on applying the solution concepts in the running system operations of the given market participant. In this context, the reduction of the system complexity for the users and the automation of operating processes on the basis of the data collected and operational experience gained play an important role. The aim is to create workable solutions for residents, grid and building operators, and energy suppliers. The basis for this is formed by the seamless communication of buildings with their occupants, the smart grid, and the energy markets via aggregators, energy service providers, and trading platforms as well as the intelligent charging of electric and hybrid vehicles and the analysis of new approaches for providing thermal energy for decentralized heating and cooling.
'For Siemens, the participation in the research company is tied directly to concrete, usable output,' explained Hesoun. This will benefit not only the city of Vienna and its residents but also other communities, urban areas, and interested stakeholders far beyond Austria. 'The innovations that were pilot tested under the research company are already being used, for example in Austria in current construction projects being completed by Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft. In addition, the knowledge gained is already being applied in newly developed and enhanced Siemens products and solutions,' Hesoun was pleased to report.
'Although we have already achieved considerable carbon dioxide reductions thanks to optimally matched generation, storage, and consumer components, we have not yet exhausted the possibilities in terms of our analyses and the identification of innovative solution ideas,' said Hesoun. Under the right conditions (e.g. availability of solar/ground water), urban districts can already be operated in a thermally self-sufficient manner and with a high share of self-generated energy. The more renewable energy is fed into the grid or the more new electrical consumers - such as electric vehicles - are used, the more likely it is that the grid will be overloaded. 'In order to prevent this, it's important to make buildings and grids smarter. The role that state-of-the-art monitoring and analysis tools, intelligent sensor technology, and digital management systems play here is still widely underestimated,' pointed out Hesoun in conclusion.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare. From more resource-efficient factories, resilient supply chains, and smarter buildings and grids, to cleaner and more comfortable transportation as well as advanced healthcare, the company creates technology with purpose adding real value for customers. By combining the real and the digital worlds, Siemens empowers its customers to transform their industries and markets, helping them to transform the everyday for billions of people. Siemens also owns a majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, a globally leading medical technology provider shaping the future of healthcare. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power. In fiscal 2021, which ended on September 30, 2021, the Siemens Group generated revenue of EUR62.3 billion and net income of EUR6.7 billion. As of September 30, 2021, the company had around 303,000 employees worldwide.
Christian S. Wilson
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