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GE Set to Energize the Smart Grid Debate at Paris Energy Summit

published: 2010-08-23 15:10

Technology available today can be employed to create reliable, sustainable and more efficient energy networks. That will be the message that John McDonald, director, technical strategy & policy development, digital energy for GE Energy Services will deliver to delegates at a GE (NYSE: GE) workshop during this year’s CIGRE event in Paris.

The energy industry is facing some significant challenges over the next 10 years in order to deliver upon the European Union's ambitious commitments to fight climate change and promote renewable energy up to 2020 and beyond.

Back in December 2008, the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement on the package that will help transform Europe into a low-carbon economy and increase its energy security. By 2020, Europe must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, produce 20% of its energy from renewable sources and increase energy efficiency by 20%, according to the proposals—or "20/20/20".

“GE is already deploying solutions that are enabling more efficient ways to make, move and use energy while reducing carbon footprints on six continents. GE’s smart grid solutions are changing the ways utilities, governments, businesses and consumers interact with energy,” confirmed McDonald.

Technology innovators, academia and business leaders from the Energy Industry will meet to discuss these challenges at an invite-only event hosted by GE at the Concorde Lafayette Hotel on the 24th of August. The workshop coincides with the CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) event in Paris from the 23rd to 27th of August 2010 at the Palais des Congrès. CIGRE is a permanent international, non-government, not-for-profit association founded in France in 1921.

The event brings together members from over 80 countries to discuss and develop technical knowledge in the field of electrical generation and transmission of high voltage networks. “GE is committed to helping shrink carbon production while increasing the energy capacity and reliability,” McDonald said. “ Many of the solutions we are demonstrating at this event have already been deployed and are making a difference today, helping the industry meet targets for increased renewable energy generation and grid efficiency.”

McDonald is CIGRE’s U.S. National Committee vice president for technical activities and has 36 years of experience in the electric utility transmission and distribution industry. He received his B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. (power engineering) degrees from Purdue University and received Purdue University’s 2009 Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering (OECE) Award.

As a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC), NEMA’s Smart Grid Council and as the chair of the NIST SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) Governing Board, McDonald is expected to deliver the latest insights into the challenges and potential solutions for sustainable energy success from across the globe.

Attendees will learn how smart grid upgrades enable a host of benefits, including increased energy productivity, uncompromised energy security, increased use of renewables such as wind and solar, increased energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions and the ability to manage and meet growing demand.

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