CIGRÉ - International Council on Large Electric Systems

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Type Professional Organization
Founded 1921
Key people Klaus Froehlich, President; Philippe Adam, Secretary General; Mark Waldron, Technical Committee Chair
Area served Worldwide
Focus(es) All aspects of electric power generation, transmission and distribution
Method(s) Conferences, Tutorials, Publications
Members 1,137 Collective and 6,360 Individual

The International Council on Large Electric Systems (in French: Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques, abbreviated CIGRÉ) is a global organization in the field of high voltage electricity. It was founded in Paris, France in 1921.[1] The scope of its activities include the technical and economical aspects of the electrical grid, as well as the environmental and regulatory aspects.

More specifically, the objectives of CIGRÉ are to:

  • facilitate technical exchanges among those involved in the production, transmission and distribution of electrical energy;
  • communicate the state of the art and the technical knowledge in these fields;
  • inform the decision makers and regulators in the field of high voltage electricity by means of publication in its magazine Electra or through the organization of biennial conferences, named Sessions, that take place in even years in Paris, France.

Through the years, CIGRÉ has become a privileged meeting place for participants in the field of electrical energy: researchers, solution providers, utilities, regulators, consultants and standards institutions, and generally all engineers involved with electrical power.

Internal Organisation[edit]

The activities of CIGRÉ are divided into 16 Study Committees (SC) :

In addition, CIGRÉ has (as of 2012) 57 National Committees (NC) which support the Study Committees in identifying experts to participate in working groups. Beginning with United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy in 1923, National Committees have developed progressively around the world so that now, CIGRÉ has a genuine global footprint.[2]


CIGRÉ organises several types of conference, of which the biennial Sessions, which take place in Paris in even-numbered years, are the most important and broad-ranging. The first CIGRÉ session took place on 21–28 November 1921 at 7 Rue de Madrid, Paris[1] and was attended by 231 high voltage engineers and technicians.

The 44th CIGRÉ session was held at the Palais des congrès de Paris on 26–21 August 2012.

In addition to the biennial sessions, CIGRÉ organises several other types of conference in locations other than Paris, including:

  • Symposia, in odd-numbered years. These usually involve a sub-set of the Study Committees and concentrate on one common theme.
  • Regional Conferences covering a variety of subjects but for one specific country or region
  • Colloquia, which usually involve only one or two Study Committees.

The 45th CIGRÉ session will be held at the Palais des congrès de Paris on 24–29 August 2014.


The Study Committees of CIGRÉ appoint Working Groups of internationally recognised experts to investigate and publish the state of the art in their chosen field. The output of Working Groups is in the form of Technical Brochures. Technical Brochures are frequently used to inform and act as precursor documents for the activities of national and international Standards organizations, notably the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

CIGRÉ publishes a bimonthly magazine called Electra which contains executive summaries of recently published Technical Brochures, as well as selected scientific papers and invited papers.

Details on purchasing CIGRÉ documents can be found at e-CIGRE. Most documents are freely downloadable by CIGRÉ members.


CIGRÉ membership is open to all individuals, companies and organisations involved with any aspect of high voltage engineering. Joining CIGRÉ, you will become part of a global network of experts and build lasting partnerships with electrical industry organisations connected to the association. When organisations and companies become a member they become known as a collective member.


  1. ^ a b The History of CIGRÉ – A key player in the development of electric power systems since 1921. Paris: CIGRÉ. ISBN 978 2 85873 166 4. 
  2. ^ The History of CIGRÉ - Creation and Development of National Committees since the 1920s. Paris: CIGRÉ. 2013. p. 4. ISBN 978 2 85873 221 0. 

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