International Council on Large Electric Systems

Coordinates: 48°52′23″N 2°18′18″E / 48.8731°N 2.3049°E / 48.8731; 2.3049
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Founded1921 (1921)
TypeProfessional organisation
Focuselectric power generation, transmission and distribution
Headquarters21 Rue d'Artois
Coordinates48°52′23″N 2°18′18″E / 48.8731°N 2.3049°E / 48.8731; 2.3049
Area served
Methodconferences, tutorials, publications
1,300 collective and 8,800 individual
Key people
[needs update]Michel Augonnet, President; Philippe Adam, Secretary General; Marcio Szechtman, Technical Council Chair
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE) is a global nonprofit organisation 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 CIGRE 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 organisation of biennial conferences, named Sessions, that take place in even years in Paris, France.

CIGRE membership is open to individuals, companies and organisations involved with any aspect of high voltage engineering. Member organisations and companies are known as collective members.


The activities of CIGRE are divided into sixteen Study Committees (SCs):

  • A1 - Rotating Electrical Machines
  • A2 - Transformers
  • A3 - High Voltage Equipment
  • B1 - Insulated Cables
  • B2 - Overhead Lines
  • B3 - Substations
  • B4 - HVDC and Power Electronics
  • B5 - Protection and Automation
  • C1 - System Development and Economics
  • C2 - System Operation and Control
  • C3 - System Environmental Performance
  • C4 - System Technical Performance
  • C5 - Electricity Markets and Regulation
  • C6 - Distribution Systems and Dispersed Generation
  • D1 - Materials and Emerging Test Techniques
  • D2 - Information Systems and Telecommunication

In addition, as of 2020, there are 61 National Committees of CIGRE (NCs), which support the Study Committees in identifying experts to participate in working groups. Beginning with the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy in 1923, National Committees have developed progressively around the world to give CIGRE a global footprint.[2] In 2014, the Turkish National Committee was established.


CIGRE 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 CIGRE 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. Since then, sessions have been held every two years, except during World War II and in 2020 when there was an outbreak of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide.

The 48th CIGRE session was held in August 2020 for the first time via the internet due to restrictions on travel placed by many countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was, therefore, called an e-Session. Whereas the 47th session held at the Palais des Congrès de in Paris attracted 8500 people in total, the e-Session attracted about 1500 live attendances on each day and many offline registrations. The CIGRE Session and its Technical Exhibition bring together more than 8500 senior executives, engineers and experts from the worldwide Power Industry.

In parallel of the Session, a Technical Exhibition is held in the same location on levels 1, 2 and 3. The exhibition offers the opportunity to all visitors, including CIGRE delegates, to discover new services, tools, equipment and materials as well as the most advanced technologies in the field of power systems.

In addition to the biennial sessions, CIGRE organises several other types of conferences 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 Study Committees of CIGRE appoint Working Groups of 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 organisations, notably the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


CIGRE creates technical resources that are made available to non-members either freely or for a fee, and to members freely. These include the bimonthly flagship digital magazine Electra, conference proceedings, GREEN BOOKS, Technical Brochures (TBs) and webinars. TBs are a summary of the work of a Working Group.

Electra contains executive summaries of recently published Technical Brochures, as well as selected scientific papers and invited papers.

GREEN BOOKS are a repository of knowledge in a specific subject area and are useful as reference material.

The Technical Committee of CIGRE recently updated the CIGRE White Paper “Network of the Future” issued in 2011 and published in Electra (N°256). This summary paper provides CIGRE’s views on the know-how needed to manage the transition towards future energy supply systems].

List of National Committees[edit]

The principle of National Committees came about in 1931 when they were made official. The following table shows a list of National Committees of CIGRE, year they first joined, and their membership numbers (as of 2019):

List of National Committees of CIGRE (under construction)
National Committee Year First Joined Equivalent Members
Algeria 1947 45
Andin 1985 --
Arab States of the Gulf 1985 200
Argentina 1959 195
Australia 1953 607
Austria 1932 221
Belgium 1929 167
Bosnia Herzegovina 1951 48
Brazil 1971 909
Bulgaria 1957 --
Canada 1938 405
Chile 1950 176
China 1980 1069
Colombia 2017 105
Croatia 1992 103
Cyprus -- 24
Czechia and Slovakia 1924 87
Denmark 1931 115
Egypt 1974 81
Estonia 2005 34
Finland -- 141
France 1921 547
Georgia 2018 44
Germany 1933 787
Greece -- 232
Gulf CC 1974 173
Hungary 1963 52
Iceland -- 80
India 1969 826
Indonesia -- 200
Iran 1947 60
Ireland 1955 153
Israel -- 44
Italy 1923 323
Japan 1931 886
Jordan -- 76
Kosovo 2019 41
Macedonia 1994 51
Malaysia 1995 120
Mexico 1966 59
Montenegro 2008 40
Morocco 1954 0
New Zealand 2006 121
Netherlands 1921 238
Norway 1931 255
Paraguay -- 81
Peru 2018 61
Philippines 2018 45
Poland 1948 148
Portugal 1947 110
Romania 1926 190
Russia 1921 777
Serbia -- 73
Slovenia 1952 100
South Africa 1948 158
South Korea 1979 450
Spain 1931 357
Sweden 1931 316
Switzerland 1921 406
Thailand 1974 190
Turkey 2014 111
Ukraine 2004 200
United Kingdom 1923 559
United States of America 1921 918


  1. ^ a b The History of CIGRE – A key player in the development of electric power systems since 1921. Paris: CIGRE. 2011. ISBN 978-2-85873-166-4. OCLC 774382460.
  2. ^ The History of CIGRE - Creation and Development of National Committees since the 1920s. Paris: CIGRE. 2013. p. 4. ISBN 978-2-85873-221-0. OCLC 904531937.

External links[edit]