Michel Augonnet

President of CIGRE

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to ELECTRA! This issue will bring you up to date on many subjects and challenges facing the energy industry as well as give you a preview of the CIGRE 2021 Session in just a few weeks.

In terms of articles, please take special note of René Kerkmeester’s piece on Blockchain Technology. Based on the initiative of the European TSOs that have created a crowd-balancing platform, Equidy, there is now a means to access flexible stored energy reserves such as EV batteries and heat pump supplies on an as-needed basis. This will be instrumental for access to renewable storage as the global energy sector consolidates renewable energies and decarbonizes.

An insightful piece by Adam Middleton explains how Hydrogen is produced and what needs to be achieved to make its production greener; as well as the benefit to overall decarbonization.

There is an overview of the BRICS ENERGY 2020 report (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) detailing the strengths, technology potential by country, and the development of these networks that is important to all energy directors. The BRICS countries make up 40% of the world’s population and account for 37% of global energy consumption. These countries account for 42% of renewable energy use and 43% of CO2 emissions. Energy activities in these countries will have applications and implications for all energy users and producers.

The most important article for CIGRE members is the Centennial Session update. After the postponement of the 2020 Paris session and its transformation into an e-session, everyone was very pleased with the delegate results and participation. We were ready to move forward with a hybrid 2021 Centennial Session in Paris with live, in-person conferences and reports, as well as the possibility to participate from a distance. As the global pandemic situation progressed through the past year, we were all confident that this would be an excellent way to celebrate the CIGRE 100th anniversary.

The difficult decision was made this April to hold off on an in-person Paris Session because the Covid-19 situation was not clear. As the Delta and other variants have continued to remain in the news, it is very clear that the Central Committee’s decision was the correct one. We are not fully focused on our new model for 2021: a Virtual Centennial Session or VCS. Key delegates and Study Committee members will be present in Paris, and all delegates will be able to log in and participate as though they were sitting in one of the auditoriums at Paris’ Palais de Congrès.

From August 18- 27, 2021, CIGRE will be live and broadcasting four hours a day in a time slot that will be viewable in daylight hours all over the world. You will miss no content as all Study groups will be included, NGN, Women in Energy groups; the only exception is that there will be no Poster Sessions as they were a special highlight of the 2020 Session.

After the official opening ceremony on Aug 20, we have two important keynote speakers, and then the much anticipated 2021 Centennial Award announcements.

Please read Virtual Centennial Session article for all the details and, even more importantly, for how to register as a delegate, and please encourage your CIGRE colleagues to do the same. There are only two weeks left to register which is necessary so that you may participate in the interactive group sessions. Covid has isolated many of us but our work and innovation needs to continue through shared sessions such as these with our peers.

Lastly, before signing off, I sadly wish to bring to your attention that Willis "Pete" White Jr., 94, who was the first American President of CIGRE (1984 - 1990), passed away on July 4. He spent his entire professional career at AEP, from his start as an assistant engineer in 1948 to his retirement as chairman in 1992. We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Adele, and family.

I look forward to seeing you all on CIGRE TV during our Virtual Centennial Session. Please register quickly!

Best regards,


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