Siemens study shows Europe can save billions in renewables pursuit

Siemens is working on this ongoing study with the Technical University of Munich to analyze global energy systems to ascertain utilization rate of resources, reliability of supply, sustainability and cost efficiency. Inefficiencies in these segments have been costing billions in investment. Siemens AG’s Torsten Wolf tells pv magazine the reason the company embarked on this study, "We wanted to make aware of the European aspect of power generation- thinking and planning Europe-wide would be much more economical than fulfilling isolated national plans".

The development and expansion of renewable energy installations in the "wrong locations" is costing €45 billion in unnecessary investment, states the study. Additionally there are potential savings on a magnitude of 4-5 times the annual investment in German solar and wind power plant development possible. This means that if installations were developed on sites with the highest power yields in Europe, a possible €45 billion of investment can be saved by 2030.

"In Europe, just the new PV capacity alone to be built by 2030 amounts to about 138 GW. If these facilities were erected at the sunniest sites, we could save 39 GW of solar equipment for the same power yield. The choice of site is crucial to the efficiency and economy of wind power, as well," stated Michael Süß, member of the Corporate Executive Committee of Siemens AG and CEO of Siemens’ Energy Sector.

Utilize optimization in Europe

Three requirements are seen as needed for a sustainable European power market as highlighted by Süß:

  • Support of technologies based on maturity and marketability: Differentiated procedures based on maturity level and a competitive environment to support technologies.
  • Best-solution model: Location-optimized use of renewable energies and the optimization of the energy mix through a coal-to-gas shift.
  • Clear and reliable targets for carbon dioxide reduction: Definition of long-term and binding carbon dioxide targets for the EU, measures to prevent price fluctuations and fleet benchmarking.