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World Economic Forum recognizes Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens as Top Global Innovations in Critical Infrastructure from 2010-2020

World Economic Forum report recognizes key critical infrastructure innovations from Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens

May 27, 2020

Today’s report from the World Economic Forum’s International Energy Community in China has highlighted Smart Wires SmartValveTM as one of the energy sector’s influential innovations during the last decade. Winners were chosen based on several criteria including their benefit to society and contribution to accelerating the energy transition.

“Smart Wires is honored that our solutions were included on a very short and prestigious list of technologies recognized as critical enablers of the energy transition,” said Gregg Rotenberg, Smart Wires CEO.

Suleman Alli, director of strategy at UK Power Networks, said: “As the first network operator in the UK to trial the Smart Wires’ power flow control technology, we are delighted to see it recognized by this World Economic Forum report. Trialling smart solutions like load balancing highlights our commitment to unlocking new capacity for renewable energy safely, cost effectively and quickly.”

Smart Wires was recognized for its ability to maximize the grid’s transfer capacity which is necessary to enable rapid, low-cost and large-scale connections of new renewables.

Rotenberg reflected, “It is remarkable how much spare capacity exists on today’s grids. We regularly find projects where we can release several gigawatts of capacity in under a year without disturbing communities or the environment.”

“SmartValve is our solution to maximize the grid’s transfer capacity. This technology is causing leading utilities across Europe, Australia and the Americas to change the way they think about future investments in critical infrastructure,” Rotenberg said.

Further Information

Submissions were evaluated by a panel of experts from the US, Europe, China and Africa. Selected submissions were grouped into six categories: Critical Infrastructure; Emission Reductions; Energy Efficiency; Systemic Efficiency; Renewables Integration; and Access to Electricity.

Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens were highlighted in the Critical Infrastructure category. 

“Smart Wires is honored that our solutions were included on a very short and prestigious list of technologies recognized as critical enablers of the energy transition”

Gregg Rotenberg

Chief Executive Officer

“Transmission and distribution grids are the backbone of the entire electricity network. Radical changes [from the supply and demand perspective] require our critical electricity infrastructure to be more flexible and agile than ever before, without compromising on power security, reliability, efficiency or affordability. Innovative grid technologies are playing a key role in addressing energy transition-related opportunities and challenges,” the report says.

ABB was recognized for advances in High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology, supporting the integration of large-scale renewables, off-shore wind farms and cross-border interconnections.

Siemens was recognized for its Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) technology, representing a technological breakthrough when connecting large offshore wind parks to the grid.

These innovations have proven themselves over the past decade and will continue to be pivotal to enable a successful, low-cost and low-impact energy transition.

About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (

About UK Power Networks: UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England. Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.  UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).

The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks

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EUREF Community-Newsletter Nr. 08 | 2020

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Introducing: Smart Wires – Reimagine the Grid

April 23, 2020

Germany, as a trendsetter in the energy transition, is central to Smart Wires’ global strategy. Earlier this month, Dr. Susanne Nies joined the company as General Manager for Germany. She previously worked in Paris and Brussels as a senior fellow of the IFRI energy program, and as department head at the associations EURELECTRIC and ENTSO-E. At ENTSO-E, she headed strategy, research and communication until March.

“Right from the start, only one location was considered for setting up Smart Wires’ Berlin office: the EUREF campus,” says Susanne Nies. “Many important players have already settled here, such as GE Energy, Fraunhofer, KIC InnoEnergy, or Stromnetz Berlin. We are in good company in this real laboratory for the energy transition. We look forward to the exchange and will actively contribute to its success,” she says.

Michael Walsh, Managing Director of Smart Wires Europe, emphasizes: “Smart Wires’ motto is ‘Reimagine the Grid’. We are a global company based in Silicon Valley. Our unique technology was developed a few decades ago – designed by Georgia Tech graduates and evolving ever since. Smart Wires, which makes a significant contribution to the energy transition, provides solutions that optimize power grids significantly. Without efficient grids, no energy transition is possible. The use of power electronics enables a significant cost reduction and grid optimization, with the same high level of security of supply The European headquarters of Smart Wires is Dublin and projects in Ireland, the UK and some other European countries have already been successfully launched. Germany is now our focus. We are delighted to have such an energy industry expert as Susanne Nies join us to further our business activities in Germany and Europe.”

Smart Wires is currently completing a study with RWTH Aachen University, which shows the savings potential of ‘Smart Valve Solutions’ technology. The promising results will be presented publicly in summer 2020.


Dr. Susanne Nies
General Manager, Germany

EUREF-Campus 22, Design Offices

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