The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) are to join forces to develop International Standards for ultra high voltage applications to ensure the safe and efficient use of this technology. The work will include reliability and maintenance issues. They will also define the tests for measuring electromagnetic radiation from power lines. ‘Ultra high voltage’ generally means AC voltages of 1000 kV+, or DC voltages of 800kV+. Countries active in this technology include Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the USA.

IEC and CIGRE agreed on the joint work at the recent international conference on UHV held in Beijing, China (July 2007) which was attended by the world’s leading experts in the technology. One of today’s challenges is to supply the growing demand for large amounts of electrical energy efficiently and with a minimal impact on the environment.