Cities can inspire each other with stories of progress and positive results. Our insights are aligned to the three Expo 2020 Dubai themes of Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity. Discover ways a city can improve air quality, speed up transport and improve the comfort and safety for society.


  • Mobility

  • Opportunity




Keeping the lights on

Using microgrids to stabilize energy supply.

Johannesburg is experiencing phenomenal population growth. Many new arrivals move to informal settlements where they burn fuels for cooking and heating which reduce air quality, or use unreliable diesel generators.

Informal and backyard dwellings in Gauteng province, 2001 and 2016 and % change.

Source: Gauteng City-Region Observatory

The microgrid system has reduced energy demand from the national grid by a whopping 40%

Now Johannesburg is demonstrating readiness to use microgrids – autonomous power solutions – to supply stable, uninterrupted energy from renewable sources. When Siemens committed to becoming the first global industrial company to commit to turning carbon neutral by 2030, it invested in a microgrid at its Southern African headquarters in Midrand, Johannesburg. The unique system combines 1-MW of solar panels mounted on campus buildings and a backup diesel generator with a 140 KWh energy storage system, all integrated via a Microgrid Controller. At one location the microgrid system has so far reduced energy demand from the national grid by 40%.

Johannesburg in numbers

Reduction in national energy demand at one location using a microgrid

Source: Siemens

Increase in informal dwellings from 2001-2016 in Gauteng City

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