Coronavirus is continuing to spread around the world with at least 170 countries already affected. Our response to the pandemic is changing demand and consumption patterns for electricity as industrial activity slows and an increasing number of office staff are encouraged to telework.
It is electricity that is allowing us to work from home. The internet, email, videoconferencing and all the other tools we take for granted would not be possible without it.
Electricity plays an indispensable role in our daily lives, from lighting rooms and making refrigerators and stoves work to providing the power for us to shop online or send text messages. As the emergency takes grip, electricity is needed to keep ventilators and other medical devices in the hospitals running. IEC Standards ensure they function as expected and safely.
Electricity underpins modern communications. It ensures, for example, that public service radio and television can continue to deliver the latest news and information about the pandemic to concerned citizens.
Keeping the electric grid running through the emergency is a top priority everywhere. IEC helps keep the power on.
IEC work provides the technical foundation for everything that uses electricity or contains electronics, including energy generation, transmission and its use in billions of devices and systems.
International standards enable the efficient and smart use of electrical energy. IEC Technical Committees publish documents that ensure electrical energy is produced, transported and consumed safely and, increasingly, in an energy efficient and sustainable way.
IEC technical committees have also been developing international standards for the safety and performance of electrical equipment used in medical practice for more than 50 years. A number of TCs carry out work covering both medical electrical equipment and medical electrical systems.
IEC conformity assessment ensures that standards are properly implemented. Peer testing and certification confirms that systems and devices meet expectations in terms of compliance with identified IEC standards.
Of course, electricity should not be taken for granted. IEC is acutely aware that hundreds of millions of people in developing countries do not have access to the benefits of modern life. It is one of our most pressing challenges.
Our doctors and scientists will help us to pull through the coronavirus pandemic. But we will still face the challenge of mitigating the effects of climate change and building a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.