Innovation to power the energy transition in Australia

SF6 recycling plant (hitachi energy)
SF6 recycling plant (Image: Hitachi Energy)


Hitachi Energy has pioneered many of the world’s technological breakthroughs as part of its commitment to advancing the world’s energy system to be more sustainable, flexible and secure. The company has been consistently investing in eco-efficient solutions to enable its customers and partners to accelerate the energy transition.

Hitachi Energy is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. An energy future where everyone has access to reliable, clean energy. There’s a long way to go on this journey: the IEA reports there are still over 770 million people, mainly in Africa and Asia, without access to electricity (Access to electricity—SDG7: Data and Projections—Analysis—IEA).

Through its Sustainability 2030 strategic plan and targets, the company reinforces its commitment to accelerating actions driving business in a sustainable way. Based around four pillars—Planet, People, Peace, and Partnerships—the plan draws from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with specific focus on: 3 (Good health and well-being), 4 (Quality education), 5 (Gender equality), 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 12 (Responsible consumption and production), 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions); and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). In line with these SDGs, each pillar has corresponding targets that drive the business to contribute social, environmental, and economic value.

In alignment with SDG 12, Hitachi Energy drives innovation in product development. The company sits at the forefront of eco-efficient technology with recent innovations in high-voltage portfolio and transformers that are both intelligent and eco-efficient. Its EconiQTM portfolio of products, services and solutions are proven to deliver exceptional environmental performance.  

EconiQTM Transformers

Transformers are critical for enabling an efficient and safe flow of electricity by adapting voltage levels. From generation to final consumption, electricity passes through an average of four to five transformers; in this process, transformers are estimated to consume almost five percent of the electricity generated worldwide as heat losses. Hitachi Energy’s EconiQ range of transformers contribute environmental value in the areas of:

  • Decarbonisation—An EconiQ transformer is expected to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by 23 per cent* over the product life cycle.
  • Safeguarding the surrounding ecosystems—Hitachi Energy’s experience with biodegradable insulating fluids is unrivalled with over 200 transformers installed in 21 countries, including Australia.
  • Enhanced safety for people—applying measures such as the use of biodegradable insulating fluids, TXpandTM rupture resistant transformers, dry bushings, noise reduction.
  • Customer co-creation—working with our customers to find the best balance between raw materials and efficiency. Hitachi Energy has local transformer design capability based right here in Sydney.

“Solving the urgency of the global energy transition requires both collaboration and innovation,” said Bruno Melles, Head of the Transformers business at Hitachi Energy. He continued, “I am excited about co-creating sustainability solutions together with our customers – and our EconiQ transformers are directly helping to accelerate the journey towards a sustainable energy future for all.”

The transformers are manufactured using fossil-free electricity in Hitachi Energy’s factories. The business has set targets in its Sustainability 2030 plan to become carbon-neutral in its own operations. Earlier this year, it hit its first-step target of achieving 100 percent fossil-free electricity in its own operations and with that, reduced its CO2 equivalent emissions by over 50 per cent compared to 2019.

EconiQTM high-voltage portfolio

For decades, sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6) has been used extensively in the electrical industry due to its excellent electrical insulation and current interruption properties. However, it is a greenhouse gas with high global warming potential.

Hitachi Energy has invested more than two decades of R&D in eco-efficient technologies and pioneered the world’s first high-voltage SF6-free gas-insulated switchgear.

Last year, it announced the acceleration of its development of eco-efficient solutions, outlining its extensive EconiQ roadmap of switchgear and breakers in various voltage levels, which demonstrates the scalability of the technology. It includes live tank breakers, dead tank breakers, hybrid switchgear and gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). A key milestone is the EconiQ GIS at 420-kilovolt (kV) that is expected for release at the end of 2022, which will be the world’s first commercial alternative that includes circuit-breaker for power transmission networks.

“We have a responsibility to help our customers to accelerate the energy transition,” said Markus Heimbach, managing director of high voltage products business in Hitachi Energy.

“Our high-voltage EconiQ technology eliminates SF6 with scalable solutions for the lowest carbon footprint—enabling our customers and the industry as a whole to reduce carbon footprint and rapidly transition to eco-efficient solutions.”

Building on over 200 years of combined experience, Hitachi Energy continues to innovate and co-create solutions for a sustainable energy future for all. Its EconiQ portfolio of products, services and solutions is a clear indication of the company’s commitment to a sustainable energy future and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About Hitachi Energy

Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. It serves customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, the company pioneers technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. Hitachi Energy is advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure while balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, it employs around 38,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of approximately $10 billion USD.

*Based on Life Cycle Analysis performed by comparison between a 40MVA, 115kV mineral oil transformer with standard losses and a 40MVA, 115kV EconiQ transformer assuming an EU-28 energy mix.


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