Ronnie Belmans, former chairman of the Belgian distribution system operator Elia and professor in the electrical engineering department at the University of Leuven, has been appointed as the first executive director of the Global Smart Grid Federation.

In this role Belmans will provide strategic direction to the Federation as it works to transform the world's electricity systems through the deployment of smart grids.

“As the executive director of GSGF, I will try to bring all stakeholders together to develop smart grids in a way that will benefit consumers as much as possible,” said Belmans. “I believe we must listen to the user; understand his requirements on the service level, his environmental concerns, and new types of business requirements, translating them into products and businesses that can lead to economic growth. We can learn from a global approach by exchanging knowledge acquired from real world deployments, leading to a faster and more efficient implementation. My task will be to listen, bring the ideas together and bring forward ways to cooperate within the organization and with organizations worldwide that have similar goals."

Belmans has also served as chairman of the steering committee of the Smart Grids European Technology Platform.

The GSGF currently comprises twelve national and regional smart grid organizations as members representing smart grid interests in more than 27 countries.