The second focus describes how new technologies will make it possible to master increasingly complex systems. The challenges involved range from ways to control the power grid of the future to the development of planning systems for our continually expanding cities, and technologies that make complex systems easier to operate. Pictures of the Future also presents some innovative ideas on how energy efficiency can be improved.
These methods include improved thermal management, the commercial exploitation of carbon dioxide, and buildings that generate their own energy. Interviews with Dani Rodrik, a Harvard professor for international political economy, and Stephan Kohler, Managing Director of the German Energy Agency (dena), round out the magazine. Pictures of the Future can be ordered online for free and is also available as an iPad app.
The Earth's population is growing, as is the demand for resources. For Siemens that puts improvements in efficiency and consumption that conserves resources center stage. After all, almost every product, service, and process can be made more efficient. Pictures of the Future shows how Siemens' researchers are developing increasingly efficient systems for wind farms. For example, in New Zealand, an onshore wind farm is producing green electricity that costs the same as the power produced by coal-fired power plants. Siemens' researchers are also focusing on the waste heat generated by industrial processes. Until now this heat has gone mostly unused.
To remedy the situation, the scientists are, for instance, developing a process that harvests the heat energy from factory exhaust gases. The magazine also features a new electrolysis system that is able to store excess energy produced by wind farms. Also from the Siemens laboratories comes a new, particularly efficient process that could make it possible for algae to bind the CO2 in power plant emissions. Ernest J. Moniz, a professor at MIT and an advisor to the US president, explains how the U.S. can improve its long-term energy efficiency.
New technologies are entering many areas of our life and making our everyday tasks easier. However, the world is becoming more and more complex. It's also becoming harder to understand how systems influence one another and how they can be controlled most effectively. Pictures of the Future reports on how the small German town of Wildpoldsried is using smart-grid technologies to exploit the excess green energy it produces - and is thus already experiencing the world of tomorrow. Stephan Kohler, head of the German Energy Agency, provides insights into the transition to alternative energy. In an interview he describes how it is possible to make such a complex project manageable. The magazine also looks at a new software platform that makes it possible to simulate and design whole city districts. The system indicates not only how a planned building construction project might affect traffic flow, the power grid, and waste management requirements, but also the likely increased level of air pollution. Siemens researchers have also developed technologies that can be used to discover the smallest leaks in the maze of pipes that make up the water distribution systems of big cities. In addition, the magazine presents several strategies that make it possible to bring local citizens on board during large-scale infrastructure projects.
The New Global Economy
Production and innovation are increasingly taking place in developing countries and emerging markets. The global structures of value creation are also shifting quickly and dramatically. Pictures of the Future provides an overview of Brazil and Columbia, whose economies are booming as they make the transition from producers of raw materials to manufacturers of high-tech products. Siemens' experts also report on how the company plans its global production network - for example, how it decides where individual product components should be made. The magazine also takes a look at global logistics chains and their susceptibility to crises. In this context, it reviews Siemens' crisis management after the tsunami in Japan in 2011. Readers are also given an idea of what the working environment of tomorrow will be like. The world of work will be much more flexible than at present, and it will be much easier to balance the requirements of family, career and leisure time.
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