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GE Set to Energize the Smart Grid Debate at CIGRE


23 Aug 2010



GE’s John McDonald to show how “Real.Smart.Solutions.” available today can help meet European Energy Targets

Paris, August 23rd, 2010 – 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 for GE Energy’s Digital Energy business will deliver to delegates at a GE workshop during this years 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 August. The workshop coincides with the CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) event in Paris on 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 will bring 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 US National Committee Vice President for Technical Activities and has 36 years of experience in the electric utility transmission and distribution industry. John 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 US Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC), NEMA’s Smart Grid Council and 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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About GE
GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that's built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. 

GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With 60,000 global employees and 2008 revenues of $38.6 billion, GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site at
GE is imagination at work.

For more information, contact:

Frank Farnel
GE Energy
+33 6 18 42 20 67

Nicole Jung
Hopscotch Europe In One
+44 (0)208 1333140