A year into a global pandemic, energy providers around the world have shown their resilience and know-how on how to securely and safely keep electricity flowing. The challenges of greatly shifting user needs have been just as difficult to anticipate as knowing how to keep control room and substation employees healthy and safe.

Michel Augonnet

President of CIGRE

What this pandemic has shown us is the necessity for rapid, digital control all along the supply chain. Remote digital substation management is no longer an option but a basic requirement. As end users are more often working remotely, energy usage centers have shifted creating new usage patterns, and these patterns will continue to shift. The need for robust, rapid control has never been more obvious.

The focus to make each network function more autonomously, yet with extended connectability has become every energy manager’s first priority.

All of the articles and papers presented in this edition of ELECTRA reflect this priority.

The economic impact of holding off on infrastructure improvements over the past decades – in software and hardware systems and equipment – was felt around the world during this pandemic. Now is the time to bring old networks up to par, to incorporate new energy sources, such as Hydrogen and Storage, into the mix with Wind and Solar where it is appropriate. Renewable energy supplies will provide a larger and larger percentage of our energy mix over the coming decade and the only way to efficiently achieve this is with the proper materials. The integration of new generation DC switching and transmission systems into existing grids will improve the stability of all networks while allowing a higher influx of renewables. This edition is truly about making networks stronger and more resilient.

Interestingly, this edition’s centennial article focuses on CIGRE’s Technical Council: The men and women who guide the direction of our Study Committees and Working Groups, who coordinate which new technologies need to be examined in closer detail, and how these technologies will affect our future grids. After the year that we have all spent, this is an interesting reflection as well on CIGRE’s purpose: We are a global organization created to drive global technology to the benefit of all.

I wish you a good read and I remind you all the Paris Session is still scheduled for this August and you may now register if you haven’t already done so.

Best regards

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