WEC History: The early years
Shortly after World War I, Scotsman Daniel Dunlop (left), a visionary working in the British electricity industry, decided to bring together leading energy experts for a World Power Conference to discuss current and emerging energy issues. In 1923, he began working with countries around the globe to establish national committees that would stimulate attendance and prepare for technical participation at such a conference.
The First World Power Conference was held the next year, 1924, in London and attracted 1,700 delegates from 40 countries. The meeting was so successful that those attending decided to establish a permanent organisation to continue the dialogue begun at the conference.
On July 11, 1924, the World Power Conference was formally established. National Member Committees formed the core of the organisation, an International Executive Council (IEC) was established to act as the governing body, and a set of Objects was adopted to guide the organisation's work. Daniel Dunlop was appointed Chairman. In 1928, Charles Gray (left) became Secretary of the IEC. He was to hold that position for nearly 40 years, until 1965, when Eric Ruttley took over the post. The title and role of the position evolved over the years into what is today the position of WEC Secretary General.
The Objects were modified in 1958 and again in 1968, at the Conference in Moscow, when the organisation's name was changed to the World Energy Conference. The new title provided a more accurate description of the organisation's focus on the entire spectrum of energy. Shortly thereafter, the annual meeting of the World Energy Conference (WEC) became known as the 'Congress' to differentiate the annual event from the parent organisation.