Privacy and Data Protection, Ethics, Social and Security Framework Analysis within the Energy Sector

“Originally published on cyberethicslab.com.”

Today, technologies make many aspects of our lives interconnected and interdependent. In this scenario, the development of new technological solutions should consist not only in the analysis of the best technical components, but also in the understanding of the ethics, regulatory, and security contexts in which the solution will be implemented. By adhering to this dual approach, researchers can prove that technological progress occurs in harmony with other instances of human life.

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Reliability and security – cornerstones of connected power grid systems

BTC Company is one of the leading commercial property development companies in the region. Under the brand name BTC City, it operates one of the largest business, shopping, entertainment, recreational, and cultural centres in Europe, located in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The BTC Company also runs a logistics service unit, which holds the leading market position in FMCG logistics in Slovenia.

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DLTs as building blocks for European EPES

In the development of power systems, the focus of communication and security has almost always been on network reliability. Safety has always taken precedence over security, and in a sense, it still does. Until recently, communication has been considered a key enabler for the grid. However, with smart grids, the information infrastructure supporting the monitoring and management activities of the power system has become an important, if not the most important, part of a reliable power system.

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Federated Learning for enhancing the security of Critical Energy Infrastructures

Wind-turbine systems are considered among the most complex Cyber-Physical infrastructures causing huge cascading effects to other Critical Energy Infrastructures (CEIs), such as Electrical Power and Energy Systems (EPES), communications, transportation, industry and finance. Wind turbines are mainly composed of condition monitoring and operational data (i.e. Supervisory Command and Data Acquisition-SCADA), including air-temperature, air-pressure, voltage and power with multiple types of parameters and periodic characteristics.

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COVID-19 and electricity demand in Italy during the lockdown: impact on cybersecurity

In Italy, as in most parts of Europe, the measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has had relevant impacts in several sectors, last but not the least the electricity one. The changes in day-to-day routine has affected the national energy demand: from the 11th of March to the 8th of May in Italy the electricity demand was dropped by -16%, with a decrease of about 7.7 TWh in comparison with the same period in 2019 (source TERNA, see figure).

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GPS spoofing
A cyber thread over EPES assets

The control and automation in EPES assets rely on precise and reliable time information.  Current solution is to use a local NTP server using as reference GPS signal receiver. The GPS (GNSS) signal can be spoofed easily now and the GPS receiver can be placed on the cyber-attack surface of the EPES assets.

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How Do We Comprehensively Understand Complex Attacks on Smart Grid Environments?

With regards to the ongoing transformation of power grids into intelligent, automated systems – called smart grids – equipped with several assets for managing power flux and energy balance, such as measurement devices (Phasor Measurement Units, Smart Meters), actuators (circuit breakers, disconnectors) and network equipment (gateways, control nodes), the question of how to comprehensively perceive and understand complex, multi-staged attacks on smart grids is gaining increasingly more significance.

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Why utilities adopting AI should put ethics first

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming vital for today’s increasingly complex utility business. Machine learning plays an integral part in the PHOENIX project, as well. In an earlier blog post, I discussed how digital technologies, such as AI, are essential to addressing the sustainability challenge[1]. Franck Freycenon recently published a blog exploring how AI can help energy and utility companies2.

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EV charging smart management to balance the electric grid

Following the advent of distributed generation, the electric grid underwent an impressive change in power flows. In fact, the grid had been designed and developed based on the fact that energy had a unidirectional power flow; electricity had to be produced in massive power plants from which, through the high voltage (HV) network, the energy had to be transmitted into the consumption areas, where it would reach the end user, through the medium voltage (MV) network and the low voltage (LV) network.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and Innovation programme under grant agreement N°832989. All information on this website reflects only the authors’ view. The Agency and the Commission are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information this website contains.

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