We have a once-in-a-generation opportunityThe country has reached a key moment to invest boldly in a future that is more sustainable and equitable—one that creates jobs and opens doors to good-paying careers running America’s vital industries and critical infrastructure. This is our chance to work together to solve big problems and spark new innovation.
Building forward: Five key steps to transforming our infrastructure
Transformation is reaching indoor environments as new building technologies are being deployed to safely reopen schools and essential spaces.
As we make buildings heathier and safer, now is the time to scale the work to also make them more sustainable. Buildings produce 40 percent of all emissions globally. But by deploying data technologies and clean power systems—connecting smarter buildings to a smarter grid—we can both decarbonize our built environment and even make it less expensive to operate and maintain.
American manufacturing hasn’t always been associated with the work to modernize the nation’s infrastructure. Yet the pandemic and its associated product shortages have changed that by revealing the need for “glocalization.” Strong local supply chains providing multiple sources of critical supplies, combined with the capability to rapidly produce the things we need at scale, is critical for America as we prepare to face the next crisis. Let’s ask ourselves: Can we bring digital transformation to all U.S. manufacturers—from the largest companies to the Department of Defense’s Organic Industrial Base (OIB) to the local suppliers and factories?
Rail ridership has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But in the 21st century, rail has reemerged as a growing transportation choice and cornerstone for economic development. More frequent regional rail and bus services stand out as a way to close opportunity gaps and reconnect neighborhoods that have been adversely impacted by highway construction or that lack access to quality transportation.
By prioritizing investment and technology across our nation’s rail systems—from high-speed to more reliable, frequent intercity services and rail transit – we can directly support economic recovery and greater equity in communities nationwide, from the municipalities that need new and better mobility options to the manufacturing plants located in every state that are ready to produce the supplies.
Over the next decade, consumers, governments and commercial operators alike will increasingly pursue the electrification of vehicles and fleets as a business decision, greening a sector that’s the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Electric mobility, however, can only grow as fast as the charging infrastructure enables it to. Investing in this infrastructure and power grid modernization today will accelerate the market trends and energy transition that promise to drastically improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.
The power grid not only has to be made newer but made smarter. And we can do this right now.
Decentralized power systems like microgrids are supporting resilience, clean power, and environmental justice. Microgrid projects and energy-efficiency solutions helped Siemens’ U.S. customers decrease carbon emissions by 132 million metric tons in 2019. Native American reservations, military bases, elementary schools, university campuses and city neighborhoods alike are using Siemens microgrids to increase renewable power generation as well as to “island” and retain power even when utilities experience outages.