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Technology engineered with purpose enables prosperity so that South Africans can live better, more rewarding lives.
Ingenuity for life
For a young, rapidly developing country like South Africa, the future holds tremendous promise while the challenge of fulfilling that vast potential is daunting. Innovation offers solutions, and at Siemens, we believe these challenges are an opportunity for progress. We understand that when technology has a purpose, it can carry society forward – that’s Ingenuity for life.
This is a critical time for South Africa, as the country seeks answers to some fundamental challenges. Those answers will determine the path and pace of development for generations to come.
Siemens solutions are helping South Africa in a number of ways: To open up new clean energy sources. Using natural gas for electricity generation can provide a more reliable energy supply and stimulate South Africa’s re-industrialization drive. To unlock the potential in solar energy: produce and distribute it at scale, thereby supplementing South Africa's other generation sources. To reduce reliance on coal, using wind power to bring clean energy to South Africa’s cities and to the rural areas currently without access to electricity. And finally to protect and manage the well-being of the “ocean economy” on South Africa’s waterways and coastline.
For more than 150 years, Siemens has been committed to supporting new, innovative industries in South Africa. With around 30% of South Africans currently aged 15 or younger, our technology solutions can be a source of skilled jobs and long-term sustainable prospects for a growing labour force.
Our relentless drive for progress is Ingenuity for life.
With clear skies and lots of glorious sunshine, South Africa has an ideal climate to make solar power an integral part of its energy mix. And with government policy focusing on renewable energy, solar power technology has achieved a level of industrial maturity that enables it to play a vital role in South Africa.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) the combined forms of solar power have the potential to be the world’s leading source of electricity as early as 2040. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, with their thermal storage capabilities, offer grid operators a reliable and flexible power source that’s capable of matching the shifting daily demand for electricity.
CSP plants require steam turbines that are precisely configured for their complex cycle conditions. As the market leader in industrial steam turbines, Siemens has extensive operating experience and expertise in building steam turbines optimised for the needs of CSP plants. Our comprehensive product portfolio covers the full range – from 1.5 MW up to more than 250 MW – and in many locations around the world, Siemens is already harvesting sunlight to produce electricity that powers municipalities, businesses and national grids.
The optimistic economic growth scenario predicts that South Africa will need significantly more energy in the future. This is only feasible with a well-rounded mix of renewable and conventional sources.
The OECD countries may have lead the way early on, but the dramatic fall in installation costs makes wind power a viable option for many countries – including South Africa. Siemens is helping to make this possible with innovative design, improved materials, and optimised performance.
South Africa needs clean, affordable energy quickly. The SAWEA estimates that wind energy is already about 40% cheaper than some of the forecast prices for new-build coal plants – and the costs of producing power with wind are expected to fall further. What’s more, wind projects in South Africa take, on average, less than two years to reach commercial operation.
Siemens already contributes more than 600 megawatts of wind energy to South Africa’s power grid. We have over 30 years of experience and R&D in onshore wind power technology, with about 13,000 turbines – designed for all wind conditions – currently producing clean, renewable energy around the world.
Gas to power
Fossil fuels will continue to play a decisive role in our energy supply – the important thing is getting the energy mix right. Gas is the ideal twin to intermittent renewable power, such as wind, and could be a source of skilled, sustainable jobs for years to come.
Gas is popular as a source of electricity. The technology is low-risk (in both financial and technical terms) with significantly lower carbon emissions than other fossil fuels. It is also dependable and flexible – able to react quickly to fluctuations in daily demand.
Importantly, gas-fired plants can be built in about two years – far quicker than coal, to say nothing of nuclear power. But given that South Africa needs the whole infrastructure to import, transport and burn the fuel, gas could give the country an entirely new industry with skilled jobs and economic growth.
With world-class efficiency and reliability, the Siemens gas-to-power portfolio – including the heavy-duty SGT5 4000H and SGT5 8000F turbines – fulfils all requirements in terms of economic, operational, and environmental compatibility. The products offer low lifecycle costs and an excellent return on investment.
It may not be an island, but South Africa has almost 3,000 kilometres of coastline. Whether it’s in maritime protection, prevention of illegal fishing, or search and rescue, the navy has a vital role in the region, and South Africa’s shipbuilding industry has a substantial share in economic growth.
For South Africa, and for Africa as a whole, seaborne trade is crucial for continued economic development and regional integration. Our ocean vessels need to meet the highest standards in every respect. As the technologies and processes of new vessels grow in complexity, however, so too do the market and economic challenges faced by owners and operators.
Siemens’ expertise lies in enabling fleet management with the highest level of efficiency and minimal downtime. We ensure safe, reliable and efficient operability for naval and commercial ships through integrated solutions for naval automation, propulsion, power generation and power distribution for vessels of any size.
Our SINAVY naval electro-technical solutions use scalable, upgradable and future-proof technology to maximise performance and availability.
Read more about efficient automation for vessels of the future.