Innovations for New Markets | Saving Energy in the U.S.
Bright Future for Wind Power
W ind power generation is a relatively new
technology. It was only 30 years ago, in
1979, that the first wind turbine — with an
ness year 2008 alone, the company was
awarded contracts for the installation of 1,500
MW of output. Orders here include 130 units,
output of 22 kilowatts — entered service in each with an output of 2.3 MW, to be delivered
Denmark. Today, these zero-emission genera- to two wind parks in Washington State, and
tion units can produce well over 100 times that 141 units of the same size that will be set up at
output, in addition to also achieving a maxi- Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Oregon. The com-
mum efficiency of 45 percent. So no one bined total output of these units is enough to
should be surprised that the wind turbine busi- provide 180,000 American households with
ness is booming, especially with the looming environmentally-friendly electricity.
threat of climate change and the general de- In September 2007, Siemens put into oper-
pletion of resources that the world is experi- ation its first U.S. rotor blade factory in Fort
encing. Energy from the wind is also rapidly be- Madison, Iowa, in order to more effectively
In the U.S., Siemens manufactures rotor blades and has installed turbines with a total output of over 2,700 MW.
coming more popular in the U.S. — not least meet the country’s growing demand for wind
because the country’s new administration has power. Since then, the facility has been pro-
set itself the goal of increasing the share of re- ducing around 600 rotor blades per year for the
newable energy sources in the U.S. electricity U.S. market. Each of these blades is 45 meters
mix to 25 percent by 2025. By comparison, the long and weighs 12 tons. The plant has already
share of electricity from such sources was only reached the limits of its manufacturing capac-
2.5 percent in 2007, according to the U.S. En- ity, which it is now planned to double.
ergy Information Administration. Nevertheless, Siemens also recently commissioned the
the conditions required for this tremendous construction of a new research and develop-
shift are in place. The U.S. is already the world’s ment center in Boulder, Colorado. Work at the
largest wind energy market — and Siemens is center will be focused on improving the aero-
one of that market’s leading suppliers. dynamics, static properties, and reliability of
Siemens has installed wind power facilities Siemens’ wind turbines, thereby further con-
with a combined output of more than 2,700 solidating the company’s leadership in the U.S.
megawatts (MW) in the U.S. to date; in busi- wind energy sector. sw
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 103
Innovations for New Markets | Saving Energy in the U.S.
Green Buildings Save Big Bucks Clean Water for
B uildings are real energy hogs. They account
for roughly 40 percent of all energy con-
$5 million on energy costs and were honored
together with Siemens in 2006, receiving the
sumption worldwide, and their electricity and
heat consumption are responsible for about 21
percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy, an
honor presented by the State of Ohio.
And in Las Vegas, Nevada, Siemens is cur-
W ater treatment plants need to filter out a
variety of substances from dirty water,
including germs, agriculture-related toxins, and
But modern technology can change that rently equipping a gigantic construction proj- heavy metals such as lead. One of the most ef-
gloomy picture, reducing building energy con- ect with environmentally-friendly technology. fective water treatment procedures involves
sumption by around 30 percent — without sac- Here, the MGM Mirage hotel chain is building the use of membrane filters that are being de-
rificing comfort. Siemens is among the world’s its CityCenter facility, a complex with about veloped by Siemens in the United States. The
leading companies specializing in this field. To 5,500 rooms, a theater, conference center, filters’ fine hairline fibers hold back viruses,
date, Siemens has used its energy-efficient, en- shopping mall, and even its own power plant. bacteria, and tiny particles when polluted wa-
vironmentally-friendly solutions to optimize When this “city within a city” opens, a multi- St. Elizabeth’s saves over one million dollars per year. ter is pressed through them at high pressure.
more than 6,500 buildings worldwide, realiz- tude of Siemens lighting systems, combined What’s more, this process does not require the
ing total energy savings of more than €2 billion heat and power facilities, water treatment sys- Siemens is playing a key role in an equally use of chemical additives.
and annual CO2 emission reductions of 1.2 mil- tems, automation systems and motors — for exciting project in Houston, Texas, where the
lion tons. example compressors for the air conditioning city government intends to modernize its pub-
The majority of these buildings are in the systems — will ensure a comfortable stay for lic buildings. The planning for this multi-phase
U.S. At one location — St. Elizabeth Health guests. Siemens solutions for the project will project calls for Siemens to initially analyze the
Center in Youngstown, Ohio — efficient venti- also satisfy the demanding efficiency require- optimization potential of the 271 structures in
lation and lighting systems have been provid- ments of the U.S. Green Building Council, an question and then determine which solutions
ing an atmosphere conducive to well-being organization dedicated to sustainability. Using can be used to upgrade them. The project also
since 2002. And the hospital also covers most efficient solutions like these pays off. For ex- could deliver enormous savings. Experts are ex-
of its energy needs by means of a special ample, most of the motors provided by pecting not only environmental benefits, but
waste-incineration plant. In the first four years Siemens are so efficient that they will be amor- also annual cost reductions totaling several
alone, the hospital’s operators saved more than tized within one to two years. million dollars. sw Membrane filters: very clean water, no chemicals.
Siemens, the number one company in
North America for water and wastewater treat-
Melding Public Transport and Traffic Guidance ment facilities, has installed more than 1,650
membrane systems to date in the U.S. alone.
One of the systems can be found in Waxa-
hachie, Texas. Faced with a rapidly growing
population, in the spring of 2009 the city put
into operation a new water treatment plant
containing four filter units from Siemens. The
facility processes 77.6 million liters of water
daily, and plans call for its capacity to be in-
creased to more than 300 million liters per day
over the next few decades.
Another city that is preparing for projected
population growth with Siemens technology is
Scottsdale, Arizona. There, Siemens has ex-
panded the water treatment facility and
One of every three trams and light-rail systems in North America is built by Siemens. The systems help to reduce traffic jams and carbon dioxide emissions. equipped it with membrane technology. The
plant now purifies 190 million liters of water a
T ransportation accounts for approximately
14 percent of the world’s total annual
greenhouse gas emissions — and a consider-
Over the past few years, the company has
repeatedly demonstrated the benefits offered
by efficient, local public-transport networks —
ducing road traffic. The Mobility Division’s
long-term goal in the U.S. is therefore to pool
and effectively utilize all traffic-related infor-
day, compared to its previous daily capacity of
76.5 million liters.
Because of their modular design, Siemens
able amount of vehicle emissions is caused by and today, one out of every three trams and mation. The first step here has already been water filters can be used on a very small scale
traffic congestion. Traffic jams in the U.S. light-rail systems in North America is built by taken, with one of every six cities in the U.S. al- as well. One example is offered by the portable
alone, for example, generate approximately 25 Siemens. Cities including Los Angeles, San ready using a traffic guidance system from water treatment solution known as SkyHy-
million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions Diego, Houston, and Denver use light-rail sys- Siemens. In the future, transport by car and drant, which can purify 10,000 liters of drink-
each year. tems from Siemens, which helps to get cars off train will be more effectively aligned with one ing water per day. The system is used mainly in
Advanced transportation solutions can pro- the streets while also reducing the burden on another through the use of additional solu- areas where people have no access to clean
vide relief — and Siemens’ Mobility Division is the environment. tions, such as public transportation informa- drinking water — in parts of Kenya, for exam-
one of the market leaders for such solutions in Such systems, however, represent only one tion systems, all of which will help to further ple, as well as in regions of China and
the United States. of several options available for significantly re- reduce CO2 emissions. sw Bangladesh that have been devastated by natu-
ral disasters. sw
104 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009