“Smart Grids will be the enablers for the integration of renewable energy sources”

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№ 5 (8), сентябрь-октябрь, 2011

— Mr. Merlin, what is your opin-

ion about applicability of topics an-
nounced for discussion at the World 
Electrotechnical Congress?

— The topics selected for this con-

gress cover a wide range of technical 
domains in which the electric power 
industry is facing very important chal-
lenges today.

Energy ef

 ciency and energy saving 

(of session 1) are considered today as 
an important source of sustainable de-
velopment as they reduce the amount 
of energy required to provide the same 
products and services, and in many 
countries efforts in this direction have 
given very positive results.

Modern intelligent power engineer-

ing systems (of session 2) are the key 
elements of the smart grids, and a 
lot of developments, innovations and 
demonstrations are on the way in most 

The energy supply of cities and me-

tropolises (of session 3) also requires 
new developments and innovations in 
underground technologies and is strong 
driver for the emergence of supergrids. 
Long transmission links, overhead lines 
or cable systems, for the transmission 
of large amounts of power are being im-
plemented in most parts of the world. 

The topic of electro mechanics (ses-

sion 7) can be of interest if it shows in-
novations which improve the ef


of the power generation and transmis-
sion processes.

EMF and society (the topic of session 

5) is also a subject of great concern in 
many countries, where the lack of infor-
mation of the public on the real impact 

“Smart Grids will be the 

enablers for the integration 

of renewable energy sources” 

In 2011 the venue of the World Electrotechnical Congress— WELC-2011 is Russia. On 
the eve of this major event Mr. André Merlin, the President of CIGRE, a Congress par-
ticipant, has kindly agreed to answer some questions that are of considerable interest for 
electrical power society.


№ 5 (8), сентябрь-октябрь, 2011













Mr. André Merlin, the President of CIGRE

Mr. André Merlin, the President of CIGRE

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№ 5 (8), сентябрь-октябрь, 2011

of electro magnetic 

 elds, makes it more 


 cult for grids developers to imple-

ment new transmission projects.

Power electronics and converter 

equipment (session 6) are also key el-
ements for the implementation of both 
smart grids and super grids. HVDC tech-
nology is a very promising solution to 
connect renewable energy sources far 
away from the consumption areas and 
to increase the interconnection of power 
systems. Electric mobility (session 4) is 
seen today in many countries as a very 
important enabler for the reduction of 


 emissions due to transportation, 

and its storage component has also the 
potential of contributing to the balanc-
ing of power systems. Demonstration 
projects are being implemented today in 
different parts of the world.

As a conclusion, I can say that the 

applicability of the selected topics for 
the conference makes no doubt.

— What are strong and weak points 

of this affair from the viewpoint of in-
ternational science achievements, 
timeliness of issues considered, par-
ticipants involved?

— As I just mentioned before,the is-

sues considered during the congress 
are timely, and they are in line with what 
CIGRE recently de

 ned in its road map 

to deal with the network of the future.

It is a good point that all the top-

ics are relevant with today’s concerns 
in the electric power industry, and the 
speakers are high level international 
experts in their domains.

— What is your view of the Russian 

National CIGRE Committee future-
proof development as part of interna-
tional CIGRE?

— The Russian National Commit-

tee of CIGRE has a strong technology 
background and a large membership 
base. However I believe that it should 
be more present and active in the work-
ing groups of CIGRE.

— What role, in your opinion, does 

the Russian National CIGRE Commit-
tee perform in the international CIGRE 
activities? Is there any progress in 
this respect?

— Our statistics show that today 

the Russian National Committee has 
only 26 experts participating in work-
ing groups and that there is no Russian 
working group convener. 

For years, Russia has been the 

leader in technology and I encourage 
the National Committee to attract more 
Russian experts to CIGRE activities to 

share the important knowledge result-
ing from this strong position.

I also encourage them to develop 

more international meetings, as the 
one on protection and automation 
which is held every two years.

— What topics announced at WELC 

might be of interest to the world com-

— As I said in the beginning most of 

the topics considered in the congress 
are of interest to the world community. 

Therefore I invite the Russian ex-

perts to come and participate to CIGRE 
working groups activities where they 
will be able to share their knowledge 
and experience with others, and in re-
turn bene

 t from the other members’ 

point of views. 

— Today the term Smart Grid is a 

big deal. Our readers want to know 
what Smart Grid trends, from your 
point of view, are important for the 
Russian power industry development.

— There is not a de

 nition of Smart 

Grids which makes a consensus at 
the world level. However to make grids 
smart consists in integrating the energy 
systems and the participation of the us-
ers of the grids, in a more ef

 cient way. 

The grids  have to be deeply recon


ured to integrate the dispersed genera-
tion of renewable energy sources on a 
large scale, and to favor an offer adapt-
ed to the demand, by providing the 


user with tools and services allowing 
him to know its own consumption, and 
therefore to act on it.

The development of Smart Grids will 

add value to the power system. They 
will allow optimizing the use of the net-
works thanks to a precise knowledge 
of the loads. By the installation of ad-
vanced meters which will allow detect-
ing and easily solving breakdowns, they 
will improve the quality of supply and 
the service of the distributionof power.

In a context of sustainable devel-

opment, they will facilitate the integra-
tion of renewable energy sources, the 
intermittent pro

 le of which is an issue. 

Finally, they will provide a better control 
of the supply-demand balance.

Distribution networks will become 

more active, resulting in bidirectional 

 ows within distribution level and to 

the upstream network, and massive 
need for exchange of information will 
be expressed.

HVDC and power electronics tech-

nologies will reach all voltage levels, 
and large scale energy storage solu-

tions will be required to better control 
the real time demand-generation bal-
ance in power systems.

— What is the actual state of 

SMART GRID technologies and what 
are the problems the leading world 
R&D companies solve today?

— The technologies which enable 

the development of smart grids cover 
a wide range of domains, from power 
electronics, energy storage, intelligent 
metering, to communication networks 
protocols and standards.

New concepts are also necessary to 

implement these technologies, to allow 
grid planners, protection experts and 
system operators making the best use 
of them.

As a consequence, new actors from 

the telecommunication industry and 
from the software services are interest-
ed in smart grids which offer them new 

 elds for innovations and development.

— What topic would you recom-

mend as number one for the next 
WorldElectro technical Congress?

— It is dif

 cult to pick one singletopic 

as the big one, because the power sys-
tem of the future will result in the com-
bination of many different components 
which all need further development or 
adaptations to face new challenges. 

Super Grids, Smart Grids will be the 

enablers for the integration of renew-
able energy sources and energy ef


ciency, but operating and maintaining 
the existing power systems in the most 

 cient way will remain a strong driver 

of the electric power industry.

— Finally, please, tell us your opin-

ion about importance of such events 
like WELC-2011 for Electro technical 
science evolution?

— Energy and especially electricity, 

is more and more important for our 
world. It is the main engine of the devel-
opment and welfare of mankind. This is 
the reason why it is important to coop-
erate worldwide between experts and 
exchanges by means of conferences 
like this one.

As the President of CIGRE, I can only 

repeat my creed in cooperation and 
exchange: sharing experience and dis-
seminating technical knowledge and 
technological innovations, addressing 
future generation of scientists and en-
gineers, is the core of our Association 
created 90 years ago.

Speaking Katya GUSEVA


№ 5 (8), сентябрь-октябрь, 2011

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In 2011 the venue of the World Electrotechnical Congress— WELC-2011 is Russia. On the eve of this major event Mr. André Merlin, the President of CIGRE, a Congress participant, has kindly agreed to answer some questions that are of considerable interest for electrical power society.


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