ABB chairman shares vision of China’s urban future

Beijing, March 26, 2013 - The chairman of ABB, Hubertus von Grünberg, has told a meeting of Chinese officials and business people how power solutions can contribute to sustainable cities, in the world’s most rapidly urbanizing country.

Addressing the China Development Forum in Beijing on March 23, the ABB chairman said one of China’s biggest challenges in the coming years would be to meet its energy needs while at the same time cutting carbon emissions.

Von Grünberg explained that “smart cities” were the key to ensuring that China’s economic growth brought improvements in quality of life in an environmentally sustainable way. He said rapid modernization and the construction of new cities meant that China had an opportunity to develop its urban centers in a top-down manner to realize a broader city vision.

“As China continues to modernize, electricity will become an increasingly important type of energy,” von Grünberg told the delegates present. “Smart cities monitor, optimize and control key urban systems, such as buildings, energy, water, waste and transport through the intelligent deployment and use of next-generation power supply control systems.”

Smart-city solutions
To illustrate how smart cities function, the ABB chairman drew on the company’s experience in developing smart-grid solutions, such as the Stockholm Royal Seaport, a new sustainable city quarter of the Swedish capital, and the construction of a nationwide network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles that ABB recently installed in Estonia.

Von Grünberg also referred to ABB’s intelligent building system in Terminal 3 at Beijing’s international airport, which has cut energy consumption for lighting by 20 percent. He concluded by saying that ABB would be honored to assist the Chinese government in finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of urbanization.

The China Development Forum is an annual gathering, held in Beijing, that allows global business leaders and academics to interact with China's top decision makers and economic planners. It was founded in 2000 by the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

ABB is a world leader in smart-city technologies and is ranked as one of the Top 10 smart-grid vendors by GTM Research. It is a member of the Smart Cities Council and is represented on the European Technology Platform for Electricity Networks of the Future, also known as the Smart Grids ETP.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with nearly 19,000 employees, 36 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 90 cities.

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