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Overview of CIGRE and its Activities

CIGRE is the internationally recognised forum for the development and sharing of electrical power engineering knowledge and experience. The 2002 reorganisation of the CIGRE Study Committees, with additional coverage at the distribution level plus the inclusion of market systems, renewable energy and distributed generation, indicates that CIGRE has become relevant to engineers involved at all voltage levels of power networks.

Study Committees and Activities

CIGRE is made up of 16 Study Committees (SCs) with representation from approx 57 National Committees worldwide. There are usually 24 Regular Members, each nominated by their National Committee, on each SC with additional Observer Members based on the level of interest in the other countries not already represented. 

In even numbered years (2006, 2008…), all SCs meet over one week at the Paris Session at the end of August. This involves some 2300 CIGRE delegates from over 80 countries and includes a large exhibition of the latest equipment and technology. In odd numbered years (2007, 2009…) SCs meet in other countries where a Regional Symposium on relevant topics is often organised at the same time. These Symposia or Conferences are sometimes organised in conjunction with the UK based IET and the US based IEEE.

The primary role of the SC and its elected members is to establish and develop the activities of the SC and related Working Groups. This includes deciding on the composition and scope of Advisory Groups (AG) within the SC, Working Groups (WG), Task Forces (TF), Session Preferential Subjects (PS) and SC Tutorials.

Each Advisory Group’s role is to propose new WGs and TFs in their assigned area of interest as well as propose new Preferential Subjects and Tutorials for subsequent SC meetings at Sessions and Symposia. AGs generally meet once a year when the SC has its main annual meeting either in Paris or in the pre-arranged host country.

Working Groups and Activities

Working Groups investigate various assigned topics with the aim of producing a report or technical brochure. These are often based on initial surveys with results published after typically 2-3 years involving 1-2 meetings per year of 1-2 day’s duration at various locations convenient to the particular WG. Ongoing work and correspondence is done via email and teleconferences. Task Forces have more specific areas of investigation with outputs expected in typically 12-18 months.

  Link to SCs and WGs

WG and TF Members may be Regular Members who attend the scheduled meetings or Corresponding Members who provide input by email and web access with occasional attendance. Participation in WGs and TFs is not restricted to SC Members but is open to any CIGRE Member and coordinated by their respective National Committee and the nominated WG or TF Convenor.

Technical Sessions

CIGRE meetings usually include open Technical Sessions focusing on selected Preferential Subjects. The SC appoints a Special Reporter to review all selected papers and pose 10-20 relevant questions which are made available prior to the Session along with the papers. Attendees at the Session or meeting are invited to present their contributions in response to the questions, preferably by prepared presentations of 2-5 minutes, depending on the number of contributions received. If time permits, spontaneous contributions and comments or questions from the floor are also welcomed.


Some SCs have developed formal Tutorials that provide practical examples and demonstrations of particular areas of interest to the SC. Tutorials are usually presented at Regional events in conjunction with the National Commitee who develops the event programme. Tutorials are a good way to provide the latest technology to practicing power engineers and young engineers still at university.

EPEE Forum

Since 1998, CIGRE has been proactive in developing links with universities and other academic institutions through its Electric Power Engineering Education (EPEE) Forum. Open EPEE Panels have been held at subsequent Paris Sessions where contributions from a number of countries have assisted in promoting electrical power engineering in the national institutions.


CIGRE produces a wide range of official publications, brochures and guidelines many of which can be downloaded free of charge to CIGRE members from the  website. A valid CIGRE Member Number is required for access. The References for the various publications can be found in the two CIGRE Catalogues  where the yellow highlight is the Reference number to use in the e-CIGRE Search box  REFERENCE window. Please check on the main CIGRE website   under the Publicatons tab for the latest issues of these Catalogues.

Electra is the bi-monthly journal for members and includes summaries of the Study Committee activities and technical reports. Invited papers also cover important developments in the industry from time to time.

A number of useful CIGRE documents are listed below for downloading as pdf or doc files. Other documents can be freely downloaded from the CIGRE International website.