Alejandro Preinfalk
Vice President of Energy Management, Building Technologies and Mobility
Siemens Mexico and Central America
View from the Top

Strengthening Mexico's Role in the Smart City Movement

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:21

Q: What role do Mexico and Latin America play in the development of Smart Cities and how is Siemens helping?

A: Smart Cities use technology to improve sustainability and energy-consumption goals. Latin America is playing a major role in international agreements such as COP21 and COP22 and Mexico, in particular, is committed to setting and achieving goals related to carbon emissions and energy generation. For instance, 35 percent of the country’s energy-generation needs are to come from clean energy sources by 2024. The government is facing this goal head on through clear steps and actions.

Siemens is collaborating with the government to help it reach its goals. We strive to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 60 percent through our technology and to make Mexico carbon neutral by 2030. We have clear goals that we strive to meet with our own operations and clients to minimize carbon footprints. In Mexico, we reduced CO2 emissions by 4 million tons in 2016 through the use of our sustainable technology.

Q: What are the costs involved in creating a Smart City?

A: In most cases where we ran a budgetary simulation, we found that it takes up to two years to see a return on investment with this kind of technology. That being said, this can vary greatly from case to case. The renegotiation of NAFTA is one of the elements impacting our business the most because the possibility of a weakened trade deal with the US is making our customers more cautious. Fortunately, as the year goes on, the market is improving in terms of certainty. The exchange rate between the peso and the dollar is improving and becoming more stable and by the end of 2017 we expect an overall more stable context in Mexico.

Q: What allows Siemens’ solutions to deliver more added value than its competitors?

A: We have a strong footprint in Mexico that allows us to providequickaccesstoservicesandmanufacturing.Wehave been in the country for over 123 years, which is a guarantee to our customers that we will not disappear tomorrow. None of our competitors in the market can match the performance or standards we offer. Our major segments are utilities, thanks to all the new projects that are emerging in clean energy, with solar and wind power. The industrial market is a major cornerstone of our business as a wide variety of industries can take advantage of our smart technologies efficiently, including the construction market. According to our calculations up to 40 percent of electricity in Mexico is used by buildings, which leaves a large carbon footprint. This is a major opportunity for Siemens to make the country’s energy consumption more efficient. Our intelligent lighting could reduce energy consumption by 80 percent.

Q: In what ways is the private sector taking advantage of Siemens City Performance Tool in Mexico?

A: We received a lot of positive feedback from the first report we developed with the government of Mexico City, where we analyzed how to improve the city’s environmental conditions. We found three major solutions: renewable- energy sources, building automation and e-mobility. Clean energy has a strong capacity to improve conditions as does building automation because both can greatly reduce energy consumption in structures. E-mobility also provides cities with smart traffic solutions through automated subways and electric cars. Our customers have shown a strong interest in incorporating these tools.