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Cumulative effort to transform grids a hot topic

SABINE DALL"OMO A panel – The Factors Determining Success in Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Future – will be sponsored by Siemens, and be led by Dall’Omo on May 22

SWITCHING IT UP The new range of gas-insulated switchgear offered by Siemens portfolio is equipped with its proven vacuum technology

10th May 2024

By: Halima Frost

Senior Writer

     

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Of the 103 countries that in 2020 pledged to reduce global carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane emissions by at least 30%, 54 are African, says global technology giant Siemens South Africa sub-Saharan Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo.

These countries have agreed to implement Nationally Determined Contributions and national adaptation plans underscoring their commitment to combating climate change.

Dall’Omo stresses these measures can be complemented by a cumulative effort to transform grids from one of the largest industrial sources of carbon emissions to becoming net zero and autonomous.

This concept will be highlighted during a panel discussion at this year’s Enlit Africa 2024, which is being held from May 21 to 23.

The panel – The Factors Determining Success in Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Future – will be sponsored by Siemens and be led by Dall’Omo on May 22.

“The implementation of climate change mitigation strategies holds importance for African countries because the African continent, besides South Asia, will be the most negatively impacted on, climatically.”

She adds that panel attendees will gain a deep understanding of the multifaceted factors that will contribute to the success of the energy transition.

Further, by delving into topics such as technological innovation, policy frameworks, financial mechanisms, stakeholder engagement and societal acceptance, the panel aims to provide attendees with actionable insights and strategic approaches to navigate the complexities of this transition.

“I want them to leave the discussion equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to drive meaningful change within their organisations and communities.”

She hopes the conversation “inspires collaboration, sparks innovation and fosters a collective commitment to accelerating the transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy future”.

Challenging Change

Expanding and modernising grid infrastructure can take decades to implement and is often viewed as being capital intensive and dependent on resource availability, including in-demand minerals such as copper.

“Further challenges include having to navigate complex issues around regulatory landscapes,” Dall’Omo adds.

However, digital technologies present an opportunity to rapidly improvise and innovate.

She says this could be software that presents the ability that rethink grid management by addressing planning, operation, maintenance and optimisation processes in an integrated way, thereby resulting in exponential increases in hosting capacity, lower investments, increased sustainability, optimised grid use and faster results.

To support this, Siemens offers grid simulation studies that can help utilities understand capacity in terms of supply and demand in the foreseen grid.

“This helps utilities set priorities and further assists with the planning and implementation – not in decades, but in mere months,” Dall’Omo enthuses.

Full Solution

Sustainability and grid stability are not contradictory elements, and Siemens is making them a reality for grid operators through digitalisation.

The combination of Siemens’ hardware portfolio with software products and advanced digital solutions affords operators the opportunity to shape and accelerate the transformation of utilities’ grids into autonomous, resilient and sustainable power networks.

The company’s advanced distribution management system Spectrum Power moves beyond traditional grid operation, helping to actively manage, orchestrate and optimise distribution systems.

Dall’Omo also notes that Siemens’ SICAM 8 power automation platform is a universal, hard- and software-based, all-in-one solution that provides one automation platform for all applications in power supply.

The hardware, based on operating system Linux, comprises modules and devices in the SICAM A8000 series, and the SICAM 8 software solution offers clients the possibility of scaling software applications in-house.

The power automation platform is complemented by the company’s substation protection technology.

“The SIPROTEC protection devices feature reliable and selective protection and automation, as well as a comprehensive data basis for the monitoring of modern grids to ensure high availability and safety on all voltage levels,” says Dall’Omo.

Moreover, Siemens’ switchgear in the blue gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) portfolio is equipped with its proven vacuum technology and offers all the advantages of a GIS.

“Our NXPLUS C 24, a new gas-insulated circuit-breaker with clean air, is a single-busbar switchgear for the primary distribution level of up to 24 kV, 25 kA, 2 500 A busbar current and 2 000 A feeder current,” she says.

The NXPLUS C 24 can be used in substations and numerous power supply applications.

Siemens also offers a suite of Internet of Things and cybersecurity applications that help clients, such as transmission system operators, distribution system operators and industries, with infrastructure such as energy distribution, automation systems and networks, she says.

Siemens leads the charge towards a carbon-neutral future and invites all stakeholders to join the company at the event, says Dall’Omo.

“Together, we can build a more resilient, equitable and sustainable energy ecosystem that benefits current and future generations,” she concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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