By Ed Attwood
Senior company official says green city has potential to be ultimate energy provider.
Masdar City has the potential to set up the ‘perfect’ smart grid, according to a senior executive from German industrial and engineering giant Siemens.
Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of Siemens Energy Sector and a member of the managing board of Siemens AG, told Arabian Business that it is much easier to implement a smart grid while installing completely new infrastructure.
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City is a carbon-neutral initiative being built entirely from scratch just outside the UAE capital.
“Projects like Masdar City offer a good opportunity to make use of all existing technologies to start up the ‘perfect’ smart grid, with all electricity consumers being equipped with intelligent controllers for flexible energy usage,” said Dehen.
The smart grid aims to increase power generation efficiency by using intelligent regulation technology.
Dehen defined the smart grid as an auto-balancing, self-monitoring power grid that accepts any source of fuel – like coal, sun or wind – and transforms it into heat, light, and warm water, for example, for the end-user with minimal human intervention.
Smart grids are in their infancy in the Middle East, the general lack of an existing, ageing infrastructure, means that the technology has huge potential in the region.
In the US, a recent study said that smart grid technology would save 200 of the countries largest utilities around $48 billion, and allow for peak demand to be reduced by more than 20 percent. The US economic stimulus package has allocated $4 billion for smart grids.
“The key driver for smart grid technology in Europe will be the challenge to integrate more renewable energy sources,” added Dehen. “The integration of fluctuating large-scale and thousands of decentralized renewable energy sources will be difficult without intelligent and highly flexible grids.”