Benefits and Challenges of Smart Energy Grids

Benefits and Challenges of Smart Energy Grids

Naveen Joshi 17/01/2022
Benefits and Challenges of Smart Energy Grids

A smart energy grid is an electrical grid which includes a variety of operations and energy measures.

Most smart grids have self-healing capabilities and enable electricity customers to become active participants.

Smart grids that aim to benefit the whole society may encounter several security challenges.

Hence, it is essential that experts reconsider smart grid security while developing these grids.

Technology is rapidly growing, offering breathtaking innovation to numerous industries. On similar lines of innovation, experts developed the concept of smart energy grids with the aim to provide on-demand power supply to industries and homes alikes. The objective was to encourage efficient power consumption, optimized expenditure on energy bills, and ensuring a greener environment.

Now, that’s a huge figure, right? But we’re discussing something even more serious than money here – we’re discussing smart grid security.

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Benefits of Smart Energy Grids

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Why the name ‘smart’ energy grid instead of energy grid? The smart grids incorporate the IoT technology to benefit organizations, homes, and the environment. Let’s dive in to know the benefits that smart energy grids offer:

  • Smart energy grids overhaul the traditional way of electric supply and upgrade its infrastructure, thereby involving a lower number of connected devices.
  • The demand for power supply is only increasing. It is difficult for traditional equipments to meet these growing requirements. However, smart grids address this issue and fulfill the demand for additional power supply almost instantly.
  • Any breakdown in a smart grid will not need the assistance of any worker. Instead, the smart grids automatically analyze issues and troubleshoot problems in real-time.

Challenges of Smart Energy Grids

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Despite the benefits, smart energy grids face serious security issues, which have forced consumers and experts to question the system.

  • Smart meters assimilate a large volume of user data, containing user details ,and send the data to a central utility system. In the middle of this process, there are chances that intruders can use consumer data unethically.
  • Smart grid system is a huge network of connected devices, which handle both, power supply and the demand for it. The connected devices can attract the attention of intruders to inject malware into the network.
  • Since the smart grid network is huge, the expansion of the network beyond the limits of the governing agency can help hackers pollute the network.
  • As the system is complicated, having many interconnected devices, it will involve several stakeholders to keep it running. These stakeholders should be trustworthy, otherwise the network is vulnerable to insider attacks.

While conceptualizing, designing, and executing a smart grid, a lot of time needs to be devoted to planning. The possible drawbacks and loopholes should be identified well in advance. Smart grid security, infrastructure compatibility, and performance must all be taken into consideration. Besides, scalability of the grid should also be taken care of. Pilots must be run before large scale grids are rolled out. Continuous feedback from energy producers, distributors, and consumers should be taken for the improvement of smart grids.

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Naveen Joshi

Tech Expert

Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.

   

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