Higher production normally requires more energy. Germany, however, defies convention. It has increased its gross domestic product every year since the 1980s while using less power.
"We must be efficient because our resources are limited," says Rada Rodriguez, CEO and zone president of Schneider Electric in Germany. "If we don't get used to the idea of doing more with less, we'll not be sustainable."
From intelligent homes and buildings to smart micro-grids that self-regulate electric distribution across municipalities, Schneider Electric offers complete cutting-edge technology solutions for efficient energy use. With local expertise in 122 countries backed by global processes, the company provides a full array of services ranging from consulting to execution across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, including renewable power plants and data centres.
"Innovation is extremely important as we go more into the software world where updates are becoming more frequent," Rodriguez says. Schneider Electric spends approximately 5 per cent of turnover on research and development yearly.
Its state-of-the-art StruxureWare software platform, for example, allows energy managers to monitor and control a full range of parameters as, for instance, lighting and air conditioning in a building or carbon emission levels in industry. Highly compatible with third-party systems, StruxureWare can connect with any pre-existing platforms that customers may have.
As Germany enters a new chapter in its energy development, countries, especially those in Asia, eagerly await to learn new lessons. Germany faces the challenge of introducing and managing renewable energy sources as it closes down all its nuclear power plants by 2022.
"Our company is at the core of a very important milestone for humanity," Rodriguez says. "We see a lot of growth potential as there is a huge technological aspect in managing such an amount of new energy."