UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Energy & Mining
CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE
Dietmar Siersdorfer joined Siemens in 1987 in Mannheim, Germany as an electrical engineer and has held various managerial positions in the industry and energy sectors. In 2004, he was appointed executive senior vice president for fossil power generation for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. Two years later, he became president and CEO of the global fossil energy solutions business within the Siemens Power Generation division. He is an active board member of a number of Siemens subsidiaries, including Siemens Electrical and Electronic Services, K.S.C.C, Kuwait; Siemens LLC Oman; and Siemens WLL Qatar and Siemens Egypt. In addition to his current role, he also heads the gas and power business hub in the Middle East.
What is Siemen’s position in the UAE’s industrial landscape, and how does the organization leverage on its global resources to create specific offerings for the region?
The UAE and the Middle East are important markets for Siemens, and our operations in this region are well established. The UAE has experienced rapid transformation across many sectors of the economy, to which Siemens’ operations are very much aligned. Siemens is a leader in digitalization, with vast experience bringing new technologies to markets and applying them across a range of sectors. Our MindSphere platform, for example, is a cloud-based, open IoT operating system that allows users from a number of sectors to improve their operations through access to data and advanced analytics. We have three MindSphere Application Centers in the UAE and are working with a diverse spectrum of clients from the oil and gas, logistics, and industrial sectors. Representatives from Siemens work directly with specific industries, which helps create an element of co-creation. We aim to develop these solutions together with the industries that we serve. This is another part of our transformation journey in which we are part of the UAE’s transition from hydrocarbons to a knowledge-based economy.
Which of Siemens’ business lines in the region exhibits the greatest potential?
The region is still heavily dominated by energy, although we are seeing a shift from hydrocarbons to renewables. Siemens has been engaged with tenders for renewables plants across the UAE. The sustainability agenda is something that Siemens actively complements, and this is further supported by the technologies that we can implement. Naturally, we have a wide range of offerings within our traditional hydrocarbon business unit; however, we are also expanding our offerings within the area of renewables. For example, our H-class and HL-class turbines have up to 64% efficiency, which allows resources to be utilized in a more intelligent way. Across other sectors of the economy, there is also a desire to be more sustainable. Moreover, across many buildings in the UAE, we see the desire to drive efficiencies. This is an area where Siemens technologies can be applied, in particular its smart infrastructure solutions. Energy efficiency and building control are two important growth markets. In the larger picture, we are building a blueprint for the smart city for Expo 2020. This is the first cloud-operated city that has ever been built. I am also optimistic that many more technologies will emerge after the Expo concludes.
Abu Dhabi has signaled a clear intention to boost renewable technologies. What might the renewable energy mix will look like over the next decade as this takes shape?
Around 50% will remain fossil, but there will be a growth in alternative energy and renewables such as solar. For this shift to happen, the entire grid system needs to be ready. More importantly, power plants need to operate in an efficient manner. The more we use solar, the more fluctuations in power generation there will be. Therefore, grid management is extremely important. Management can be rather complex, which is why Siemens has devised smart solutions that allow for better integration and management. Storage will also play an increasingly integral role. Interestingly, one mechanism to store energy is hydrogen, and this is something we are piloting at Dubai Expo. We generate surplus energy from solar and generate hydrogen, as it can then be used in different applications. Synthetic fuels are another area where this region can play a pivotal role. There are obvious advantages when we look at electric cars, though they have many problems related to storage and batteries. Synthetic fuels provide an alternative. There is a huge benefit for today’s economy if one continues with hydrogen, which gives us another way to handle it in the future. That is a renewable technology that is simultaneously a storage technology.