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Masdar & Siemens host smart grid expert panel

Experts discuss future for smart grid innovation and delivery

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(L-R) Alan Frost, director, Masdar City, Richard Hausmann, CEO Smart Grid Applications, Siemens.
(L-R) Alan Frost, director, Masdar City, Richard Hausmann, CEO Smart Grid Applications, Siemens.

Energy leaders from around the world met in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to discuss the current outlook and the future applications of smart grid systems. Hosted by Masdar and Siemens, panelists examined the role of renewable energy integration, the evolution of demand and supply-side innovations and contemplated the future of smarter energy delivery.

The panel, which was gathered at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) consisted of Richard Hausmann, CEO Smart Grid Applications, Siemens AG; Alan Frost, director, Masdar City; Ken Westrick, founder, 3TIER; and Mustafa Aziz of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. The panel was chaired by Bryan Walsh of TIME Magazine.

Frost said: “Everyday, cities are becoming more advanced and are playing a larger role in helping utilities better understand patterns in energy usage. Using advanced monitoring technologies, Masdar City is able to collect real-time intelligence about energy usage and deliver robust data that one day might help utilities scale power production to meet demand. In the future, cities will play a principal role is driving adoption of new devices, beyond smart meters, and help accelerate smart grid technologies.”

In October 2010, Masdar and Siemens signed an agreement establishing a long-term strategic partnership on energy efficient power solutions, including Smart Grids and Smart Buildings. As part of this partnership, Siemens will establish an anchor presence in Masdar City, and collaborate on research and development of future energy technologies with Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Masdar City is an emerging clean-technology cluster located in one of the world’s most sustainable urban development’s powered by renewable energy.

“Smart grids are the key to a sustainable power supply especially in large urban areas and the most promising answer to the Middle East’s and the world’s increasing energy demand,” said Siemens' Hausmann.

The German electronics and engineering powerhouse anticipates massive investments worldwide in sustainable urban infrastructure and an annual growth rate of 7% in the market of smart grid technology, which is significantly above the growth rate of the conventional energy infrastructure market.“We see the accumulated market potential for Smart Grids at EUR 100 billion (US$135 billion) until 2014,” Hausmann stated.

While future technologies are taking shape, panelists reassured the audience that Smart Grids are already existent. “Smart grid technology is already helping to bring this information to the utilities so they can plan their investments in their electricity and water networks and forecast demand with a better insight on how to control the electricity and water usage,” said Hausmann.

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