Siemens to Europe: You're about to waste 45 billion euros!


By: SGN Staff


By Jesse Berst


On the one hand, Europe has been very progressive about renewable energy, pushing it hard from the top and giving it many expensive subsidies. On the other hand, it has also been foolish, I would argue. Some of its feed-in tariffs were too high, distorting the market. What's more, it often underestimated the stress renewables place on the grid, precipitating crisis situations. And now we learn from Siemens that they didn't even bother to pick the best sites. Let's hope the powers that be will take Siemens advice. And that they will spend some of the money they save on much needed extensions and upgrades to the grid.


Working in conjunction with the Technical University of Munich, industrial and electric power giant Siemens has determined that Europe is incorrectly siting its renewable power projects -- and wasting an estimated 45 billion euros in the process. Siemens claims the projects should be shifted to locations with higher yields, calling the choice of site "crucial to the efficiency and economy."

The core concept is to move large renewable projects to better sites, then use high-voltage transmission to deliver the power where it is needed. As you will read in the press release below, Siemens proposes four ways to make improvements:

  1. Local optimization -- finding the best sites and exploiting them to the fullest
  2. System optimization -- replacing old power plants and old industrial equipment with new, energy-efficient versions
  3. Fuel switching -- moving from coal to natural gas
  4. Electric heating -- switching to electric heat from oil and natural gas

Siemens will present its study -- and its proposed solutions -- this fall at the World Energy Congress in South Korea.

Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.


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