President of CIGRÉ
This year we celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of CIGRE, the International Council on Large Electric Systems, created during a meeting of 231 electrical engineers from 12 countries which took place in Paris November 1921. This is indeed an appropriate occasion to confirm that we remain faithful to the work of the pioneers of 1921 and continue to cherish the values that CIGRE has upheld for almost a Century. Aiming to develop and exchange technical information on electric power systems, CIGRE has always felt closely associated with the values of cooperation, impartiality, and service. These values underline the meaning of our logo, a flash of lighting over the globe, symbolizing the domestication of electricity for the benefit of mankind. In this perspective, the efforts in which I was involved together with my fellow CIGRE officers since I was elected Technical Committee Chairman in 1996 had the objective of further enhancing the role and international visibility of CIGRE through actions aimed towards the adaptation, modernization, and strengthening of our organization. As President of CIGRE since 2008, I am delighted to see today how such actions have borne fruit, leading to a very significant increase in our membership and a particularly remarkable growth in Asia and Latin America. While continuing to look towards the future we must however also take into account the memory of our past, highlighting the value of our heritage and promoting a culture elaborated by several generation of Cigreans. It is therefore appropriate for CIGRE to reflect on a journey of nine decades and provide testimony to the solid establishment of the CIGRE spirit. Such is the objective, at once simple and ambitious, of this book, which, beyond outlining the fascinating history of our organization and our community, constitutes a confirmation of the important role CIGRE has played and intends to continue to play. Electrification has been elected as one of the greatest engineering innovations of 20th Century by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and must continue to be one of the main vectors of progress in the 21st Century. Today a quarter of mankind still lacks access to electricity and many have only limited use of it: the nocturnal map of the Earth chosen as a cover for the book highlights this profound disparity. Through its wide-ranging technical activities, the increasing success of its Sessions, the work of its Study Committees and the relevance of its publications, CIGRE continues to demonstrate its invaluable contribution to the development of electric power systems and hence to the betterment of life on our planet. Looking forward, the worldwide growth of the electricity sector through the development of more intelligent and more powerful networks will constitute a major strategic axis for CIGRE activities in the years to come. I thank the historian Christope Bouneau for bringing back to life ninety years of history so diversified and comply as that of CIGRE, highlighting both its technical and organizational dimensions as well as the place of CIGRE in the international history of electric power systems. I also thank the International Committee that guided the preparation of this book with coordination of Aldo Bolza and the cooperation of former Presidents of CIGRE Jerzy Lepecki and David Croft, of Virginia Sulzberger, of Orifessir Yasuji Sekine and Vjacheslav Ishkin, regrettably departed. Christophe Bouneau and the international COmmittee also benefited from the contribution of Secretary Generals Jean Kowal and Francois Meslier, of Liliane Ney, and of a working group of the French National COmmittet led by Philippe Adam. In conclusion, my wish is that this reflection on our common heritage and rich experience of ninety years of history may become a springboard for the further development of CIGRE in the years to come.