A Climate Ready Power System: Reliable, Resilient and Affordable Decarbonization

By Dr Arshad Mansoor, CEO, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

The electric power system is the tip of the spear for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across economic sectors. Clean power is fueling the decarbonization of transportation, buildings and industry as power companies move rapidly toward reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As electricity delivers more of the energy that society requires, the importance of a clean, resilient, and reliable power system—one that’s climate ready—becomes more important than ever.

The electric power grid evolved through large, central power plants interconnected via grids of transmission lines and distribution networks that feed power to customers. Transforming the grid into a climate ready power system with a low-carbon resource mix and the resilience to withstand frequent and severe weather events will require the same animating force that spurred Thomas Edison in creating the light bulb; the same force that led to an interconnected power grid—what I call “the relentless pursuit of creative thinking.”

As we continue to move toward a net-zero society, it is vital to emphasize the importance of reliability and affordability. Low-carbon electricity generation is essential but not sufficient. Modern society and economies operate on a reliable and affordable supply of electricity. Failing to maintain reliability and affordability could affect customer acceptance and impact efforts to meet net-zero goals.  

This paper examines key imperatives for the electricity sector to achieve this climate ready power system. These imperatives fall into three categories:

  • Clean and reliable power systems that reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions to mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • Resilient power systems that operate reliably and provide affordable power in the face of severe weather events exacerbated by a changed and changing climate
  • A just and equitable approach to decarbonization and electrification

Clean and Reliable Power Systems

Low-carbon sources of electricity are essential not only to address climate change by reducing GHG emissions from the power sector but also to enable other sectors to reach net-zero goals. Clean power is fueling the decarbonization of transportation, buildings, and industry—either directly by replacing fossil-fueled equipment with electric alternatives, or indirectly by creating hydrogen and other energy carriers that serve as inputs to industrial processes.

The Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI), jointly led by EPRI and GTI Energy, is working with more than 50 sponsoring organizations to identify and accelerate low-carbon technologies and energy carriers to enable affordable pathways to economy-wide decarbonization. LCRI is looking across the value chain to focus on large-scale deployment to 2030 and beyond, recognizing that technologies available today are not enough to get us to net-zero.

Clean power is not as simple as just increasing the amount of wind and solar generation. These variable resources must be integrated into the power system to reliably supply electricity around the clock in response to customer demand. This integration includes balancing the variable output of wind and solar resources with energy storage technologies and the flexible operation of the existing thermal generation fleet.

The successful integration of distributed energy resources (DER)—such as rooftop PV (photovoltaic), customer energy storage, or small generators sited close to customer loads—similarly depends on the existing electric power grid. To realize fully the value of distributed resources and to serve all consumers at established standards of quality and reliability, there is a need to integrate DER in the planning and operation of the electricity grid and to expand its scope to include DER operation—what EPRI calls the Integrated Grid.

A clean energy system also means transitioning from an energy system that relies primarily on fuel to one that depends more on critical minerals, such as those used in solar panels and batteries. We are moving from being fuel intensive, to material intensive. An important consideration moving forward will be material and manufacturing supply chains and how they may need to expand significantly and overcome transportation challenges to support rapid growth in clean energy technologies.

Resilient Power Systems

The climate is changing. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the world has experienced adverse impacts from climate change and will continue to face multiple climate hazards in the coming decades. The first half of 2022 brought extreme and unprecedented heat waves, drought, wildfires, rainstorms, and flooding across the globe, illustrating the trend of increasingly frequent and severe billion-dollar weather disasters.  According to the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as of mid-July 2022 there have been nine weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect the United States. The 1980–2021 annual average is 7.7 events, and the annual average for the most recent five years (2017–2021) is 17.8 events. Other countries have experienced similar increases in severe weather events.

Our existing energy infrastructure (as well as other infrastructure such as water and transportation) was not designed nor built to withstand such events. Climate and weather extremes present a potentially significant and escalating risk because of their broad and compounding effects on power generation, transmission systems, distribution networks, and customer usage.

Efforts to bolster grid resilience against current and future climate change should be supported by the best scientific information and technical expertise available. Energy companies, regulators, policymakers, and other industry stakeholders require science-based insights about the future power system and the environment in which it will operate to identify optimal adaptation and resilience investments. Increasing grid resiliency will also require collaboration among all stakeholders. 

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Such collaborative efforts are under way around the world, opening opportunities to share information and leverage experience and expertise to address the challenges held in common. One such effort is EPRI’s Climate READi (REsilience and ADaptation initiative). EPRI recently launched Climate READi to convene global thought leaders and industry stakeholders to develop a common framework to address climate challenge. The Climate READi framework produced from this effort will embody one of the most comprehensive, integrated approaches to physical climate risk assessment. Climate READi will enable global energy companies, climate scientists, regulators, and other stakeholders to proactively analyze and apply climate data, allowing for the planning, design, and operation of resilient energy systems of the future. EPRI’s unique combination of deep energy system modeling and climate risk assessment capabilities, plus 50-year collaboration with members, universities, national labs, and other energy stakeholders, provide the foundation to convene and develop the Climate READi framework.

As part of Climate READi, EPRI and NOAA recently entered into a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) focused on developing a scientifically based approach to physical climate risk assessment in the energy sector. Under the MOU, the organizations agreed to share publicly available knowledge, data, industry specific research, and ideas related to physical climate risk assessment, while leveraging respective resources, expertise, and facilities, among other provisions.

A Just and Equitable Energy Transition

The transition to a clean energy society will also need to be equitable. A just transition is one that accounts for benefits and protection associated with the shift to a low-carbon economy, which can include considerations across power generation (such as the retirement of fossil power plants), power delivery (for example, transmission siting and microgrid development), and end-use (such as energy efficiency programming development).

The transition to cleaner energy offers opportunities to engage with and meet the needs of disadvantaged and disproportionality impacted communities by delivering environmental benefits, economic opportunities, and innovation. Equitably distributing decarbonization costs and benefits requires deliberate planning and program implementation. Disadvantaged communities may be advanced, impacted, or left behind by decarbonization and electrification initiatives, energy efficiency programming, digital transformation, grid modernization, and power generation transitions. New technologies, policies, business models, processes, and programs must be designed, developed, and deployed with the needs of disadvantaged communities in mind to reduce carbon and equitably distribute costs, opportunities, impacts, and benefits.

Collaboration is Key

The energy industry is moving rapidly toward reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Many organizations worldwide are making the same commitment. Collaborative R&D is critically important to transition to a clean energy future and to meeting decarbonization goals while addressing reliability, affordability, and social equity.

Collaboration that brings together a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives will be key to defining the research agenda, identifying actionable goals, and building the tools and technologies that enable a better-informed and inclusive path forward.

CIGRE announces return to in-person event for the 2022 Paris Session!

The Paris Session will return to its traditional in-person format in 2022. Highlights include an array of events, networking opportunities, a vast technical programme, and a full trade exhibition. See the programme summary at session.cigre.org
We are committed to an in-person event
Latest research tells us our CIGRE community wants an in-person event. With the pandemic situation rapidly improving in France we are confident we can meet this preference and proceed in our late summer as scheduled. Find out more here
World leading technical programme headlines the 2022 Paris Session
With a massive 950 Technical papers spanning the end to end power system, 16 Tutorials and much more, this is a must attend event for all serious power system professionals. Find out more here
Register now
Registrations are now open! Session 2022 will also be the first to offer some components in digital format if you are unable to attend in person. The general rule is for participants to register with their National Committees. See below the list of NCs handling registrations :  

  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Norway
  • Brazil
  • Romania
  • India
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • Ukraine
  • Korea
  • USA

If there is no National Committee in your country or should your National Committee not be handling registrations, you may register directly on-line with CIGRE Central Office in Paris on the Session website. Please note that participants (members and non-members) may benefit from preferential rates if registration and payment are received as follows:   – Early bird rates = Before 15 May 2022 – Regular rates = From 16 May 2022 to 31 July 2022 – Late rates = From 01 August 2022 to 20 August 2022 – Last minute rates = From 28 August 2022 to 02 September 2022   Be informed that member rate applies only if two consecutive years of membership fees are duly settled (2020 and 2021 or 2021 and 2022). There will be no on-line registrations and no payment from 21 to 27 August. Find out more here

For questions regarding registrations, please contact registrations@cigre.org For Membership matters, please contact your National Committee or marie-france.gauvin@cigre.org For Session Technical information, please contact sylvie.bourneuf@cigre.org
Join us in beautiful Paris this August 28 to September 2 for our first Session of our second century and be a part of the leading global event for power system expertise.

D2 Africa Task Force Article

D2 Africa Task Force Article

In 2017, Cigre signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with World Bank with one of the key objectives being the dissemination of CIGRE’s state-of-the-art power system know-how in Africa. In response to this initiative, the study committee D2 formed a task force with the following objectives which are aligned with the MOU:

  1. Systematic effort to improve dissemination of information and resources for Africa in cooperation between CIGRE and the World Bank (WB).
  2. Focusing on assisting African countries to develop internal expertise by providing access to unbiased, up to-date technical experience in several innovative ways.
  3. Conduct a survey to assess the readiness of African utilities ICT Infrastructure to implement microgrids and rural electrification.
  4. Understand each African country’s legislation, regulatory requirements and Code of Practice (CoD) and standards adhered to by Electric Power Industries (EPIS).
  5. Include universities and centres of excellence as target partners for know-how transfer.

As part of realising the above objectives, the D2 Task Force launched its first tutorial in November 2018 which was held at the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) Council Chambers. This was followed by a tutorial in Rwanda 3rd Africa Smart Grid Conference, Kigali in 2018, 9TH CIGRE Southern Africa Regional Conference & B4 International Colloquium in October 2019, and then the tutorial at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) South Africa on 31 October 2019.

D2 Africa Task Force targets African Electric power  Industries (EPIs) and universities. Our plan identifies universities as part of the institutions which can enable the task force’s objectives. Their participation will help in aligning the research studies with the real issues we face as Electric Power industry.

Another key objective of the UKZN session was to introduce new Cigre members and those who are not members to Cigre. eThekwini Municipality has a number of Engineers who are new to Cigre and as a result the Southern Africa Cigre National Committee Chairman Prince Moyo found it fitting that this tutorial be held in UKZN.

The attendance for the tutorial surpassed our expectations, at the venue we had about 120 attendees and also we had attendees connected to the Webinar. The support of the locals namely Eskom, eThekwini Electricity, UKZN staff, post graduate students,  the National Cigre Chairperson of Southern Africa Prince Moyo and the President of Cigre Dr Rob Stephen were the highlights of the day. The attendance and content presented was world class.

The topics for the tutorial were selected in accordance to the current state of ICT in utilities around the world and Africa. These topics looked at technology trends and how these technologies can benefit Africa Electric Power Industries. Africa utilities are required to be customer centric while working with constrained budgets resulting in current infrastructure still dominated by legacy systems. The technologies presented looked at providing cost effective solutions while also improving customer satisfaction. Other presentations focused on grid resiliency and mitigating cyber threats. Some African Utilities were impacted by Cyber-attacks recently, it is therefore important to consider cyber-security from project inception. Finally, some presentations focused on teaching utilities about Artificial intelligence (AI) and evolution of transport technologies and also provided realistic timelines in relation to migrating from legacy to new transport technologies. With most African Utilities still using legacy ICT systems, this session was extremely valuable to Africa.

As the Africa D2 Task force, we would like to thank the speakers Clint Struth, Gérard Philippe Mbouyap, Giovanna Dondossola, Kgomotso Setlhapelo, Marcelo Araújo and Nduduzo Biyela. We would like to thank eThekwini Municipality, Eskom, the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) for assisting in marketing the event. We thank the organisers, everyone that assisted and the attendees. This tutorial marks the second event where through leveraging communication technologies, the task force managed to put the world under one roof. Despite having international speakers from Canada, Italia and Brasilia, all the presentations went smooth and were well received by the audiences at the venue and also connected on the Webinar.  As one of the outputs in our key objectives, we will be issuing a survey to help us even understand better the current state of EPI ICT across Africa. Utilities are encouraged to participate; this will help us serve Africa even better.

Tutorial presentations, recorded webinar and other information shared during the event are downloadable on the links below:

Membership forms


Tutorial Presentations and D2 published documents


Recorded Webinar


or (whichever link downloads faster for you)


Cigre E2E video

Pictures for the event


Article by Zwelandile Mbebe, South African representative for CIGRE D2 (Information Systems and Telecommunications) Study Committee.

Dr Rob Stephen of Eskom elected President of CIGRE

Eskom’s Dr Rob Stephen has been elected president of the eminent international organization CIGRE at its biennial congress this week in Paris. CIGRE is the Council on Large Electric Systems, a non-profit organisation founded in 1921 to advance collaboration amongst owners and operators of electric systems around the world. It has individual membership of 15000 people from 98 countries and is headquarted in Paris, France. It holds a biennial session in Paris which is attended by 3500 engineers from around the world.

Dr Rob Stephen of Eskom, the new President of CIGRE

Rob is the first African President of CIGRE and his candidacy has been supported on the back of promises to expand electrification in growing regions and to focus on distribution issues. He joined CIGRE in 1988 in a committee responsible for the study of thermal ratings for overhead lines. His worked earned him a Technical Committee award in 1996. He has been a special reporter at CIGRE several times. He has led many working groups, served on the advisory board and authored two chapters in the CIGRE Green Book on overhead line design. Since 2010 Rob has been a member of the Administration Council and has also served on the Steering Committee since then.
At Eskom, he is a Master Specialist, the highest technical position in the company advising on Transmission and Distribution issues.
Rob has presented many tutorials on the design of overhead lines and this year presented to 400 engineers in Paris on this important topic.
Rob holds BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. He has a GCC, is a registered professional engineer with ECSA and a Fellow of the SAIEE. We wish Rob a successful tenure at CIGRE. Well done Rob! Felicitations!

Prince Moyo PrEng
Honorary Secretary: CIGRE SA National Committee


No matter what language you say it in, expertise is crucial.

The first port of call for power network know-how is CIGRE. The global technical forum for large electric systems, CIGRE counts more than 12000 equivalent members in over 90 countries. This membership is composed of researchers, academics, engineers, technicians, suppliers, and other decision makers, and is supported by 2500 experts actively collaborating in a structured work programme.

In Australia, CIGRE professionals are focused on sharing and developing the right skills for today, but with an eye to the challenges of tomorrow. Read less

This community of experts is building value by leveraging the CIGRE global network to empower their organisations with the know-how needed to meet Australia’s challenging market and geographic environment.

Whether it’s managing ageing assets, exploring ways to reduce network costs or planning for the network of the future, CIGRE is empowering teams with the latest, most relevant know-how and innovations.  CIGRE supports this know-how with access to a worldwide pool of experts and peers.

A CIGRE membership means access to the world-leading forum for large electric systems and the ability to tap into global know-how that empowers your team with the expertise they need.

After all, in today’s connected world, global know-how is the language of excellence.

Cigre SA Hosts Workshop on Low Cost Substation and Transmission Solutions

Workshop on Low Cost Substation and Transmission Solutions

A Workshop on Low Cost Substation and Transmission Solutions was held during the week of March 13 to 17, 2017 at the Eskom Research and Innovation Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was part of the efforts of CIGRE’s Working Group B3.43 “Contemporary Substation Design for Developing Countries”, which started its endeavor on 5 November 2015 in Baden, Switzerland to provide technical guidance to support developing countries in securing access to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply that is vital to end extreme poverty and promote economic prosperity.


As background for reporting on this event, according to the National Academy of Engineering, a survey of the Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century revealed that the number one accomplishment that changed the world is “Electrification”, the basic electrical service we all take for granted. Yet according to the World Bank, around one in seven, or 1.1 billion people in the world (roughly the population of India), mostly concentrated in Africa and Asia, live without access to electricity. To support the efforts to electrify these regions where significant challenges exist regarding development of infrastructure, CIGRE commissioned Working Group B3.43. They were given the objective to identify opportunities to lower the cost and risk, while improving the efficacy, of new greenfield substation assets for deployment in developing and under-developed countries, as well as remote locations in these countries. Once identified, the group will provide guidance to ease the design of cost-effective practical substations utilizing currently available equipment. This will be done with consideration to the construction, operation and maintenance of these substations with respect to currently available technologies, practices and the limited resources locally available in these developing areas. Sustainability of the facilities and electrical service for these regions will be a key consideration.

To accomplish its objectives, the Working Group’s main deliverables will be a Technical Brochure and a Tutorial. Both are targeted for release in 2018 and both will provide guidance for designing cost-effective and fit-for-purpose substations in the targeted regions. In addition, WG B3.43 will present technical papers at CIGRE colloquia, symposia and sessions. A Technical Poster was presented at the 2016 Paris Session.

To accomplish its deliverables, one of the Working Group’s main tasks is to seek engagement from organizations with the expertise in deploying electric infrastructure in underserved regions. One method employed was to conduct a survey of practices around the world to identify and assess currently available technologies and challenges relevant to designing low cost substations in remote areas. Emphasis is on high voltage equipment with consideration for the balance of plant impact (auxiliary systems, communications and others) necessary to support a sustainable low cost operation. Another method, unforeseen and innovative, soon developed. Due to the limited input received from the survey, the group determined that it may be better to go to the subject matter experts rather than seek them out via a questionnaire. This is where the alternative approach, that of conducting a workshop, was conceived. It is also worth mentioning that other innovative methods were successfully used by the group. One is the use of Confluence, CIGRE’s Knowledge Management System (KMS) for the creation, storage, and communication of WG material – in other words – easier collaboration. The other is the use of Skype (soon to be WebEx) for monthly WG meetings – in other words – to repeat again, easier collaboration.

The Workshop

The main purpose of the workshop was to create a venue where WG B3.43 could interact face-to-face with utilities tasked with expanding electrification into underserved areas. Sub-Saharan African utilities were selected since they were identified by CIGRE as one of the targeted regions; the others being South America and Asia. The WG and African utilities have a common objective – Electrification – so this mutual need would help us both accomplish our goals. The WG received a better understanding of the needs, risks, practices and opportunities of the African utilities to aid in finalizing a Technical Brochure by 2018. The African utilities received three tutorials (one related to substations, one to transmission lines and one to distribution lines), which accomplishes part of the WG’s objective to provide technical guidance to support electrification in developing countries. The WG received an opportunity to visit three Eskom substations to observe design practices deployed along with seeing overhead lines while travelling the area. Both the WG and African utilities delegates had sufficient time to network together to personally share knowledge and experience regarding the subject and to establish contacts within the industry. And both will take new learnings and concepts back home to colleagues to provide support for their endeavors from this valuable exchange of ideas and information. Finally, the awareness and promotion of CIGRE and The World Bank were also woven into the workshop.

The Presentations

The Workshop started with a cheerful welcome from WG B3.43 Convener Perry Tonking followed by an introduction of the CIGRE organization and Working Group B3.34 to the audience. Many of the participants are new to the workings of CIGRE as the leading global organization for all aspects of electric power systems and its mission to be the world’s foremost collaborative technical reference organization for these systems. This established a good, basic understanding of CIGRE. This was followed by an overview of the Survey Questionnaire by WG Member Robert Slebodnik, and an overview of the proposed Technical Brochure by WG Convener Perry Tonking. The main presentations followed. A summary of each is provided below.

The World Bank: Kwawu Gaba, Lead Energy Specialist and Global Lead – Power Systems Solution Group for the Energy and Extraction Industries Global Practices spoke about the organization’s activities in general such as their visions and goals, their portfolio of projects, global emerging trends, and key areas for focus. He also spoke of their collaborations with industry organizations such as CIGRE and The World Bank clients in adopting cost effective T&D solutions.
CIGRE: Terry Krieg, Chairman of Study Committee B3 “Substations” gave a presentation on global challenges, key drivers, and industry trends in electrification. He then spoke on how GIGRE and Study Committee B3 are facilitating and promoting the progress of engineering to meet these challenges through working groups, technical brochures, tutorials, the Green Books, and symposiums. He concluded with information on how workshop participants can join and get involved.

Eskom’s General Manager, Power Delivery Engineering, Prince Moyo, made a presentation about Eskom’s organization, infrastructure and electrification history. Their remarkable first in the world electrification program started in 1994 to electrify 1.75 million houses by the year 2000 was exceeded by a year, and by end of 1999 more than 42% of rural households were electrified. In 1996 Eskom received the electricity industry’s highest award, the Edison Award for its contribution to electrification. By 2016, 5.6 million connections out of a target of 6 million were achieved. He described Eskom’s design standardization and practices, which contributed to their successful electrification program. This serves as an excellent example to workshop participants to emulate.

Tutorial on Substation Design Optimization

Tutorial on Substation Design Optimization

CIGRE Tutorials In keeping with the theme of the WG B3.43 desired design outcomes, which are low-cost, value-engineered, design-optimized substations, tutorials was selected to meet these criteria.

“Substation Design Optimization” – Colm Twomey, Manager, Substation Design with ESB International presented a tutorial on various configurations developed for substation bus bars to optimize performance in meeting the various required functionalities. It is based on CIGRE Technical Brochure 585 (June 2014) “Circuit Configuration Optimization”. A case study was presented as an example of how to provide a more efficient solution than the classical arrangements.

“Overhead Lines General Concepts” – Riaz Vajeth, Sharon Mushabe, Lebo Maphumulo, Arthur Burger, Dr. Rob Stephen, and Bertie Jacobs, all from Eskom’s Lines Engineering Services, presented a group tutorial on based on CIGRE Technical Brochure on “Overhead Lines” (December 2015) focused on the unique aspect of power lines in that they are dependent on terrain and ambient conditions to a far greater extent than other devices such as transformers. This yields benefits for a utility in that the lines can be specifically designed for their location on the grid to a far greater extent than other devices. The parameters were described that affect the electrical aspects of the line such as conductor and tower configuration as well as methods to utilize them to achieve the best design optimization.

“The Shield Wire Scheme (SWS) on Transmission Lines for Rural Electrification” – Franklin Gbedey, Power Engineer and Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank, presented a tutorial based on The World Bank (ESMAP) Manual titled “Grid-Based Rural Electrification with Shield Wire Scheme in Low-Income Countries – Manual for Planning, Engineering, Design, Specification, Construction and Operation”. The isolated Shield Wire Scheme supplies power over an insulated energized shield wire using an earth return. SWS is practical as a low-cost power supply from the grid to residential and industrial customers such as villages, farms, factories and pumping stations located along or at a reasonable distance from transmission lines. It is a solution for rural electrification when separate conventional long medium voltage lines are not justifiable.

African Utilities Delegates from the 15 attending utilities listed below made 15 minute presentations on their organizations, infrastructure, current projects and how they are meeting the challenges of electrification. Each one provided valuable information for WG B3.43 to use.

• CEB Electricity of Benin-Togo
• TCN Transmission Company of Nigeria
• ZESCO Zambian National Electric Utility
• TRANSCO Cote d’Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinee
• EDM-SA Energy of Mali
• SNEL/RDC National Electricity Company of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
• NIGELEC Niger Electric
• KPLC Kenya Power & Lighting Company
• SONABEL National Electricity Company of Burkina Faso
• ESCOM Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi
• CI-ENERGIES Cote d’Ivoire Energy
• EDG Electricity of Guinee
• RWG Rwanda Energy Group
• TANESCO Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd.
• WAPP West Africa Power Pool

Each day’s sessions began with the course of action from Theunus Marais, Chief Engineer (Substations) in Group Technology Division of Eskom and member of WG B3.43 who planned and coordinated its efforts with Eskom. And each day’s sessions ended with a recap by WG B3.43 Secretary Jose Visquert, Principal Engineer Power & Energy at AECOM.

Eskom Substation Tours Eskom conducted a tour of local substations for the members of WG B3.43. The purpose was to observe standard designs and practices as well as the environmental conditions and challenges faced in implementing electrification projects. The group traveled to visit an older substation (Corobrick), a newer station (Barcelona), and future one (Impophoma) still under construction. All were of the 88kV primary and 11kV secondary voltage levels utilizing AIS construction. Everyone provided valuable input for the working group’s future discussion and consideration.

Impophoma Substation

Corobrick Substation

Barcelona Substation

The Real Workshop
And now for the real summary of the workshop. Quite often the language of such workshops is spoken in terms of volts, amps, watts and vars. This is to enable discussions that revolve around such topics as substation bus voltage, transformer MVA, conductors and insulators, cables, IED’s and the like. The discussions result is a Technical Brochure on better bus configurations, more efficient transformers, comparisons of GIS and AIS, and the like. But this workshop was very different. Here the language transcended into that of basic light, heat, water, food and energy. These enabled discussions critical to improving the well-being of the poor who need light to study for better education; heat to cook for healthier nutrition; pumps and purifiers for easier access to safe drinking water; motors for machines for efficient production of goods and services; and medical equipment to provide basic health care. These discussions ought to result in a Technical Brochure for guidance in electrification to support developing countries in securing access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. This is vital to promote rural welfare on a scale equal to urban areas to end extreme poverty and promote economic prosperity of people by increasing productivity and sustainable livelihoods.

Word of Appreciation
A successful workshop of this magnitude does not happen easily. Recognition and gratitude must go to The World Bank for funding the participation of the African utilities, transportation, and translators for the English and French participants; and to Eskom for hosting the workshop and providing training facilities, lunch, tea/coffee breaks, security, substation tour guides and presenting tutorials; and to the CIGRE officers who attended to provide support for this cause and to promote its organization; and to the CIGRE Working Group B3.43 members that planned and conducted the workshop, presented tutorials, recorded minutes, and all the many activities that made this workshop possible; and finally to the African utility delegates who actively participated in and contributed to the transactions. For these organizations and people, and anyone we may have missed, we are grateful for all who made this meeting of the minds and valuable exchange of ideas possible … and very successful!

Compiled by Robert Slebodnik

An introduction to the Cigré Southern Africa Next Generation Network

Cigré stands for Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques (International Council On Large Electric Systems). It was founded in Paris in 1921 as a worldwide non-profit association. It covers issues related to planning and operation of power systems, as well as design, construction, maintenance and disposal of HV equipment and plants. Other issues related to the protection of power systems, telecontrol, telecommunication equipment and information systems are also part of CIGRE’s area of concern.

One of Cigré’s current drives is to increase the participation of women and young professionals under the age of 35 (students in particular) in the organization’s activities and to create new National Committees in Africa. In order to achieve this directive, the Cigré-SA Executive Committee initiated the Cigré-SA Next Generation Network (NGN). This group primarily targets students (from final year in engineering studies to postgraduate studies) and young professional engineers within the power industry. Its mission is to engage its members actively with Cigré’s activities and develop their knowledge, skills and networks within the industry.

Why join NGN?
• Members will have the ability to view recent Cigré publications.
• Members will be able to attend NGN sponsored events such as site visits, manufacturing plant visits, webinars and tutorials.
• NGN membership will facilitate access to Cigré Working Groups both nationally and internationally.
• Members will be given the opportunity to network and develop personally through mentorship.

NGN members are encouraged to submit abstracts/papers to Cigré Southern Africa Conference organizing committee. More information on this can be obtained on www.cigresa-events.co.za . The best paper(s) will stand a chance be sponsored to present at the next Cigré Session in Paris, 2018.Active students will be eligible for free membership while membership fees for young professionals under the age of 35 will be at a discounted rate.

To join Cigré-SA NGN, please contact

Khayakazi Dioka – diokak@eskom.co.za
Sharon Mushabe – arigyes@eskom.co.zaa
Tebogo Mokwana – mokwantj@eskom.co.za