In an exclusive interview with Engerati, newly appointed CEO of Siemens Energy Management Division, Dr Jan Mrosik, explains why he has chosen the following motto for the European Utility Week: “Ahead of the challenge, ahead of the change.”
He says, “There is no doubt that massive change is taking place in the utility industry. There are various drivers like distributed energy sources or the integration of renewables, as well as market and regulatory impacts which change the way our customers do business. Customer talks have shown us that they recognized the benefits for a switch to an intelligent power distribution infrastructure. But while this is understood, they also see obstacles and uncertainties in terms of economic value and technology direction.”
The transition to a smart energy era
Mrosik lists three ways in which to deal with these challenges:
- Wait and act only as far as power supply is jeopardized,
Act and follow on proven concepts, and
Drive and actively shape the intelligent power distribution infrastructure and stay ahead of the challenge
“With the industry’s most comprehensive and proven end-to-end portfolio, Siemens is the competent partner on the pathway of transition to a smart energy era. Siemens identifies together with the customer his most important fields of action to sustainability, efficiency and stability. Together we have a look at the customer’s specific situation and define an individual roadmap.”
Mrosik points out that at the European Utility Week, the new Siemens Energy Management Division will address these action fields with their customers in order to bring them “ahead of the challenge, ahead of the change”.
“This will be done by winning the sustainability challenge, winning the efficiency challenge and winning the stability challenge. The customer is no longer being driven - he is an active designer of his future business.”
Creating innovative solutions for new energy challenges
The new Siemens Energy Management Division is one of the leading global suppliers of products, systems, solutions, and services for the economical, reliable, and intelligent transmission and distribution of electrical power, says Mrosik.
“With our quality products and integrated solutions and services, we set the standards for energy management. Together with our local partners and global customers we continuously shape efficient and reliable power infrastructures in a sustainable, economic and socially responsible way.”
“As the trusted partner for the development and extension of an efficient and reliable power infrastructure, we offer utilities and the industry the portfolio they need. This includes facilities and systems for the low-voltage and distribution power grid level, smart grid and energy automation solutions, power supply for industrial plants, and high-voltage transmission systems.”
The Division will have nearly 53,000 employees represented in more than 90 countries and more than 100 production sites worldwide.
The Division develops innovative solutions which have the potential to cope with the new challenges the energy systems from around the world are facing. This includes a growing range of challenges such as the efficient and reliable transmission of bulk volumes of green power over long distances, enabling dedicated power exchange between power grids as well as connecting microgrids with the main grids.
“A further challenge is to maximize the intelligence we have to put into our distribution power grid. Siemens offers an open and flexible architecture of solutions and services with the industry’s most comprehensive energy management portfolio: The Siemens Smart Grid Suite. The suite enables a multitude of customized solutions for smarter infrastructure grids and introduces unforeseen opportunities to further stabilize systems, develop new business models and optimize energy trade.”
The solution concept Totally Integrated Power (TIP) for electrification and especially power transmission and distribution completes the Smart Grid Suite. TIP is based on Siemens’ comprehensive range of products, systems, and solutions for the safe and reliable delivery of low, medium and high voltage power, rounded out by their support throughout the entire lifecycle – from planning with their own software tools to installation, operation, and services.
Utilities are forced to evaluate their business models
The utility industry remains a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. While it will continue to serve a critical function for the world at large, it is undergoing a transformation which is likely to dramatically alter the business practices and models of the past, says Mrosik.
He adds that the current market dynamics and new technologies force utilities to evaluate new business models and organizational alignment alternatives to position themselves for long-term success.
Value chains and revenue streams of the future will be increasingly based on interconnection and mediation. New energy technologies such as distributed generation, energy management and storage solutions drive the creation of new products and services.
Further, with the convergence of technology and data, utilities are able to finely gauge performance and value. This, in turn, enables continuous improvement in the customer experience, as well as reductions in the cost of service and leaner business processes.
“We have been discussing this for quite some time, but the industry still seems to be in a waiting position to embrace the many opportunities associated with this change. There are many small success stories where interconnection, data driven decisions or a broad realignment of the utility value chain have helped individual players to end downturn, increase revenues or attract new, engaged customers. However, what still needs to be written is the one big success story of an industry which has changed to master one of the biggest transitions in industrial history.”
In conclusion, Mrosik says, “We are the trusted partner for the development and extension of an efficient and reliable power infrastructure and are able to offer utilities and the industry the portfolio they need. I challenge all of us to use this year’s event to focus on what it takes to turn individual successes into a trend strong enough to really change the utility industry for the better, for your customers and companies as well as for our societies.”