Grids Become Highly Vulnerable Finds IDTechEx Research
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
BOSTON, July 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Increasingly violent weather, probably caused by global warming, is increasingly
taking down electricity distribution lines and poles and cyberattacks are increasingly
taking out electricity, apparently just as trials for major terrorism of this sort. Little
wonder that the price of grid electricity is so often rising, further aggravated by the
chronic intermittency of solar and wind power being added to save the planet. In countries
such as the USA, the trillions of dollars needed to maintain and upgrade the national grid
do not seem to be forthcoming but help is at hand from micro and minigrids. These tend to
be attached to grids but capable of working independently. As a next stage most of them
will not even be attached to grids.
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We are starting to purchase self-powered cars, boats and aircraft and solar windows
and there are 110 solar road projects. Some cities already have water turbines making
electricity in their water supply pipes. That is all zero emission and the change is
extending to replacing cooking, air conditioning and heating by fossil fuels with locally
generated solar, wind and water power. See the IDTechEx Research reports, "Distributed
Generation: Minigrid Microgrid Zero Emission 2018-2038
", "Self-Powering Smart Cities 2018-2028
" and "Structural Electronics 2018-2028: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts
". A new and welcome development is tidal and wave power
now on sale without infrastructure like dams and tidal barriers, the tidal form even being
suitable for rivers. Often these compact units are mobile. See the IDTechEx Research
report, "Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038
". In all cases you can make electricity where you use it without the
vulnerability of long power lines over the horizon or internet or grid connection.
A cyberattack took down power in Kiev, December 2016. ISSC linked it to a winter hack
and blackout in 2015 harming 225,000 and more recent attacks. President Poroshenko says
Russia is waging a cyber-war against Ukraine: criminal groups work together testing
techniques for sabotage wordwide. "The investigation of a number of incidents indicated
the complicity directly or indirectly of Russian security services."
U.S. officials note Russian hackers targeting the US energy grid as part of
penetrating the economy. "Since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors ...
targeted government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including
the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing
sectors," announced the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry warns, "Cyberattacks are literally happening hundreds of
thousands of times a day." Bloomberg reports the group responsible breaches systems to
facilitate a more advanced wave of attacks targeting industrial control systems that, if
disabled, leave millions without power or water.
Lloyd's and the University of Cambridge's Centre for Risk Studies calculate that a
major attack on the US grid could cost the economy $0.24 - $1 trillion, equivalent to 40
to 50 major hurricanes.
Nathan Sproul, Lincoln Strategy Group, warns, "At the same time, the electrical grid
is becoming less reliable and less prudent-and not just because of vulnerability to
hacking. As innovation spurs the development of renewable energy in America, consumers
have more choice in how they power their lives than ever before. The rise of distributed
energy sources like solar panels, home batteries and electric vehicles has some
questioning whether we ought to reimagine the grid all together".
Marketing & Research Co-ordinator
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