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Siemens has analysed the electrical power producing systems across Europe and identified considerable potential for optimisation, especially in connection with plans to expand power generation from renewable energy sources. The crux lies in the choice of location: If installations were built at the sites in Europe that offer the highest power yields, some € 45 billion of investment in renewables could be saved by 2030.
This figure already includes the associated extension of the power grid. As a comparison: around € 10 billion were invested in new solar and wind power generating installations in Germany in 2012. In Europe, just the new photovoltaic capacity alone to be built by 2030 amounts to about 138GW. If these facilities were erected at the sunniest sites, we could save 39GW of solar equipment, for the same power yield. The choice of site is crucial to the efficiency and economy of wind power. In an ongoing study, Siemens is working in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich to examine energy systems worldwide with the aim of ascertaining their utilisation rate of resources, reliability of supply, sustainability and cost-efficiency. Siemens has spotlighted four main levers for optimising energy systems worldwide that can be more or less effective depending on the regional characteristics of the power grids and the power plant fleet:
  1. Local optimization of renewable power installations
  2. Enhancing the efficiency of the power system as a whole
  3. Improvements in the power plant mix
  4. More use of electric power for energy needs
In its study, Siemens is examining regional situations with allowance for predicted future developments, and identifying the implications for neighbouring energy markets. One of the aims is to determine what approaches are most suitable from national and global economic perspectives for creating reliable and sustainable energy systems with high efficiency but still at affordable power prices.
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