Building a Brighter Future through a Powerful Ecosystem
November 3, 2018
When was the last time you flipped a light switch? You may not even recall.
For centuries, electricity has been a great creator of economic growth, human development and societal innovation in human history. Through the history of electricity, nations have been on a rapid march towards making significant progress on access to healthcare, education and entrepreneurship. For the first time ever, the number of people without access to electricity fell below 1 billion in 2017, according to International Energy Agency.
Achieving access to reliable and affordable electricity is essential for creating a better future. It takes energy technologies and innovative partnerships to provide access to electricity in all corners of the world. The key to success in the future energy system is a holistic approach that leverages the full potential of electrification throughout the entire energy value chain.
I was invited to the ‘Egypt Megaproject’ in Beni Suef by Siemens to get first-hand look at the largest combined cycle power in the world. Siemens have partnered with Elsewedy Electric, Orascom Construction and local authorities to power energy-driven transformation in Egypt. The country needs a reliable and affordable energy system to stabilize both the energy supply and to drive Egypt’s sustainable economic growth. The partnership aims to improve lives and create new local opportunities by using energy technologies to provide more efficient and sustainable energy access.
Scaling Up Innovation through Electricity Access
Never in history has the pace of urbanization been so rapid. Access to electricity has an enabling innovation effect by creating social and economic opportunities for the country. The high-tech industry plays a key role for new opportunities for efficiency, technological and business innovation at the scale required for achieving the SDGs. Governments today are partnering with technology providers as a catalyst to achieve socio-economic and digital transformation. The ‘Egypt Megaproject’ aims to allow start-ups, corporate companies, scientists and local authorities to work alongside one another and hopefully create a better future for the country. A mix of energy sources, technologies and new business models opens doors for improving lives. The wealth of opportunities offered by energy investments and strategic collaborations is bringing expertise to scale up innovation in the most transformative and positive way possible.
This is a major achievement for our country and our people. I am proud that the Siemens team was selected to contribute to this success. The plants will supply enough electricity for 45 million people and enable Egypt to achieve USD1.3 billion in fuel savings on an annual basis. With these projects, we provide an essential contribution to stabilize both the energy supply and the economy in our country, which has an outstanding importance for the whole Middle East region and Africa.
Emad Ghaly, CEO of Siemens Egypt
People, not technologies, are unlocking new opportunities
Technologies have redefined how people live. Energy technologies are transforming industry structures and national economies. The ‘Egypt Megaproject’ will impact the country and industries across multiple fronts. The result of the project is a profound change in the economics, environment and valuation of traditional industries. At the same time, energy technologies demand more technology savvy citizens and employees. The combination of a powerful energy system and transfer of know-how through a training program can have an extraordinary outcome if it is done in a strategic and low practical way. The role of high-tech companies in the 21st Century has changed. Companies have to support countries and individuals in seizing opportunities in today’s complex technology ecosystem. In other words, in the end it is the know-how and skills of the citizens that create the results in a complex energy infrastructure. To move beyond small-scale improvements and achieve a national shift towards an innovation-driven economy, there is a need to establish an efficiency standard for educational and technical facilities. Education is the foundation for a successful transformation of the country. By empowering people with technical know-how, they can realize their capability for rethinking the future of their lives. For large-scale projects, like the ‘Egypt Megaproject’, with expected impacts across industries and communities, a holistic collaboration model, adds value by engaging policy-makers, investors, competitors, citizens and other relevant stakeholders.
Through public-private partnerships such as Zein Al Abdeen Technical School, we can invest in what works and scale up dual education system in the country. The SDGs is helping companies to pay more attention to more long-term thinking and action plans to harness the power of their investments. Siemens have partnered with the German Government and the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education to expand new opportunities for Egyptians students.
How corporate companies and nations imagine tomorrow’s world is central; their mindset, financial partnerships, innovation and educational initiatives. These are exciting times for large-scale transformation. The power of a collaborative ecosystem and technological advancements creates radically new opportunities for how we rethink the future of our world.