Keeping The Lights On: Electric Tradition or Innovation? London, UK, March 14-15, 2001


Keeping The Lights On: Electric Tradition or Innovation?

London, UK, March 14-15, 2001

Liberalization and technical innovation are overturning guiding premises that shaped traditional electricity systems for a century. Traditional and innovative technologies, finances and institutions are not readily compatible. Yet they now have to co-exist, under conditions far from ideal for either. Will tradition hold back innovation? Will innovation undermine tradition? As risks and responsibilities change, who will be keeping the lights on, for whom, and how?

As yet these far-reaching issues are only dimly visible, beyond the immediate turmoil of power cuts and price spikes, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory upheavals, international rivalry and political furore. Nevertheless the intensifying clash between tradition and innovation will determine the future role and nature of electricity in human society.

The Royal Institute of International Affairs is proud to be organizing this ground-breaking conference. The agenda is being developed by Walt Patterson, senior research fellow in the Energy and Environmental Programme, at Chatham House, and author of "Transforming Electricity: The Coming Generation of Change" (1999). Topics for discussion will include: 

Michel Chamia, immediate past President of CIGRE, Roger Gale, Chief Executive Officer, PHB Hagler Bailly and Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Director, Tata Energy Research Institute have already confirmed that they will be giving keynote addresses. They will be joined by an international gathering of senior people from government, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations, to consider the global ramifications of this issue, its significance for economic, social and environmental policy, and its wide-ranging political implications.


Ms Catherine O'Keeffe
The Royal Institute of International Affairs
Acting Head, Conference Unit
Chatham House
10 St James's Square
London SW1Y 4LE, UK