8 November - highlights!
How to design a cyber-secure smart grid
The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) has launched a new training course that it claims will give security architects “the knowledge to design secure smart grid systems”.
ENCS managing director Anjos Nijk said that “as the smart grid grows in scope and sophistication, we see increasing integration between IT and OT. Following the 2016 and 2017 blackouts in Ukraine, we also see a growing need to withstand advanced, dedicated cyberattacks on energy infrastructure.”
He said grid operators are addressing this need “by hiring security professionals to design a secure architecture that crosses both IT and OT. With this training, we hope to improve the skills of these professionals.”
The programme runs over three days and includes modules on risk-based-architecture design and the IT/OT interface design as well as practical use cases such as substation design and smart metering.
Nijk added that one of the challenges of designing an effective smart grid risk architecture “is getting the balance right. There are many measures from the IT world that are applicable to OT systems: networks segregation, VPNs, jump-servers and so on. But using too many measures will cause high investment costs and may make the system hard to use. Too few though, and the system is vulnerable. Assessing that balance requires thorough understanding of the systems and risks involved.”
The training course is based on practical cases to give students directly applicable knowledge for their role. In groups of three or four, participants are given an OT security challenge and tasked with designing a solution.
The architecture security training expands ENCS’s role-based training programme for grid operators. Last November, ENCS launched its security operations training aimed at SOC and CSIRT analysts for OT. Earlier this year, it developed tailored management awareness sessions. And next year, ENCS plans to expand the programme with a secure configuration training for engineers and crisis response exercises.
Watch the interview with Anjos Nijk:
Shared data will ‘change the energy market’
The digitalization of the electricity sector marks the second energy revolution, according to Joanna Hubbard of blockchain company Electron.
“If the first energy revolution was clean energy, the second energy revolution is shared data structures that anyone can build-out on top of,” she told me in an interview at European Utility Week in Vienna last week.
“I see that happening over the next three-to-five years and it’s going to completely change the energy market and the whole supply-consumer relationship.”
She added: “What’s exciting about the digitalization of energy now, is that it is a foregone conclusion. I don’t think that was true a year ago. There’s a huge amount of work going on.”
Hubbard is chief operating officer and co-founder of UK-based Electron, which has already won government backing as well as the support of several major energy sector players including EDF Energy, Statkraft and TEPCO for its decentralized energy trading platform.
She says that “there’s a lot of different flavours of blockchain: a lot of different use cases. The overarching benefits for me are enabling price transparency in markets – and I say ‘markets’ because there’s not going to be one market for all energy like we have today: there’s going to be a market for grid services, local energy, clean energy, big energy – so the blockchain can provide the co-ordinating layer for all those different value streams to move on top of one another instead of against one another.”
Watch the full interview:
Utilities must prepare for life in the emobility fast lane
“Electric vehicles will disrupt the mobility sector and have a major impact for utilities – so we had better be prepared.”
That was the prediction and warning from Elke Temme, senior vice-president for emobility at Innogy, at European Utility Week in Vienna.
She said that, just like previous innovations that had changed the energy sector, such as the rise of renewables and their ability to exist without subsidies, emobility was now “at the tipping point”.
She urged utilities to be ready to embrace the opportunities and changes that emobility would bring to their business models, and said that “everyone always underestimates when a tipping point will come, because we think linear and not exponential.”
She said that utilities will need to embrace smart charging, and for them to be able to fully do this, legislation would be needed.
And she predicted that “90 per cent of charging will take place at home or at work”, not along the side of roads and motorways. “Charging is not fuelling as we know it.”
Enel Foundation signs Global Knowledge Partnership with European Utility Week
Enel Foundation, in line with its scientific research and dissemination efforts to exploit the power of knowledge for a clean energy future, is the Global Knowledge Partner of European Utility Week 2018 for the first time, a cooperation that will be extended through 2019.
7 November - highlights!
All-women panel deliver digital energy roadmap
An all-women panel of seven industry experts today outlined how the combination of digitalization and decentralization could transform the European energy sector.
“The energy sector is changing profoundly,” said Frauke Thies, executive director of smarten, at European Utility Week in Vienna. “We are seeing new actors, new business models and new ways of trading.”
Barbara Cuitino, global partner manager for energy and natural resources at SAP, said that “information technology can make the energy world run better. That might sound quite philanthropic or even romantic, but it is the needs of the energy industry to diversify and decarbonize that is making this vision concrete.”
She said that digital technologies were enabling utility companies to “automate all repetitive tasks” and added that “new business models are getting more and more based on data: your new perspectives are going to be focused on data”.
However, unlocking this digital potential is about more than just technology. “We need to change our assumptions and challenge our mindset,” said Signe Horn Rosted of energinet in Denmark.
“The value chain is changing. The development of the sector in the past was linear. Now we see deep decentralization and other developments that we were not planning for. We have to move to a logic mindset of exponential development. And we have to set data free – data is the key.”
And Francesca Vergara or Italgas said that her company was one which had already “embraced the agility of digitalization – digital is all about learning by doing.”
How digitalization can unlock an energy trading revolution
Digital solutions could revolutionize energy trading if they were adopted more widely across the market.
That was the message delivered today at European Utility Week in Vienna.
At a packed session focusing on energy markets, Marius Buchmann, research associate at Jacobs University, said that the rate of utilities investing in digital energy trading solutions was still low – and significantly lower than the spend of digital technologies for assets.
This message was echoed by Andre Jager, senior vice-president of Product Management at ION Group, who said that with between 10,000 and 30,000 European energy trades being conducted a day, and over 4000 per hour, “you are flying blind if you don’t have data available”.
Jager explained that the future energy trading IT landscape will be “scaleable and future proven, fast, and have easy data distribution and integration.”
And Gordon Thompson of Innogy Innovation Hub, said that a further game-changer would be the introduction of blockchain to energy trading, which he said would enable a shift not just from business-to-business to one of peer-to-peer, but from there on to a machine-to-machine model.
6 November - highlights!
Opening Keynote: Ralf Christian, CEO, Siemens Energy Management Division - click here for details
‘The grid has to become more intelligent’ says Siemens boss.
The radical change in the European energy sector in recent years is simply the beginning of a sustained transformation, a Siemens boss said today.
Ralf Christian, chief executive of Siemens Energy Management Division, told the opening ceremony of European Utility Week in Vienna: “There is huge potential for further electrification.”
He said that in the near future, “demand is going to need to follow generation more and more”.
“The grid has to become more intelligent and that requires innovations such as big data and data analytics.
“Prosumers will play an increasingly important role and this will lead to a prosumer-centric energy world”, and added that this would be driven by digitalisation.”
He said “IoT applications will leverage the Internet of Energy” and highlighted the rise of technologies such as digital twins and the virtual power plant.
And highlighting the increasingly important effects of decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation, Christian said that a key requirement for these so-called 3 Ds was “creating more opportunities in trading markets. If you want a demand-driven energy system, then you must provide more opportunities for participation of different stakeholders.”
Opening Keynote: Chris Peeters, CEO of ELIA Group - click here for details
Call for a consumer-centric energy system
The key to the success of the 21st energy sector will be “putting the consumer at the centre of the market”, according to Chris Peeters of ELIA Group.
Speaking during the opening session of European Utility Week in Vienna this morning, Peeters said that the role of the consumer in Europe’s energy transition “is still underestimated by many players in the market at the moment”.
“It is not something that we can wait for,” he warned: “It is something that we must anticipate.”
Peeters explained: “What we see is that society is electrifying new sectors, such as transport and heating. And that is bringing more flexibility.
“Electricity will be the future: society has changed its mind about some forms of energy, and we are seeing cities banning diesel.”
He said consumers – who are increasingly becoming prosumers – “do not wants energy as a commodity: they want energy as a service. Consumers want to optimal use of the energy transition. We need to expose the consumer to the upgraded energy market. We need to make sure that they are incentivised to become directly involved in the new energy system.
He said that to enable this consumer-centric energy, three things were needed: a real-time communication layer that is unique, open and secure; New digital tools for system operators, market actors and also for consumers; and an upgraded energy market so the consumer can value their flexibility and contribute to system management.
Siemens launches UAV with AI technology for line inspections - click here for details
Siemens today launched an unmanned aerial vehicle technology that incorporates artificial intelligence “to bring inspection of transmission lines to the next level”.
Called SIEAERO, it was unveiled at European Utility Week in Vienna.
"SIEAERO is a gamechanger in overhead line inspection because we are using digitalization to bring services to the next level,” said Mirko Düsel, chief executive of Transmission Solutions at Siemens' Energy Management Division.
"Everything from planning and performing inspection flights, managing and analyzing the gathered data, to report generation and long-term data archiving is more cost-efficient with SIEAERO - and it provides better and faster results on top."
The technology is designed to replace traditional helicopter inspections of overhead lines. Instead, the Siemens’ solution is fixed to a CAMCOPTER S-100 unmanned aerial vehicle supplied by Vienna-based drone company Schiebel.
At a press conference today, Siemens bosses said that SIEAERO uses smart analytics software utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to store, manage and analyze all flight data in one integrated software system.
“To reduce the needed amount of flights and inspection efforts drastically, SIEAERO is using a unique high-resolution multi-sensor-system that can record all needed data in one go,” said Michael Wernlein. “Compared to conventional overhead line inspection, SIEAERO service is fully automated, faster and more precise.”
Siemens has been working with German and Austrian transmission system operators TenneT and APG on the development of SIEAERO since 2016 and has carried out test cases and validation projects.
The UAV carries a high-end multi-sensor system which was specifically developed to meet the complex requirements of overhead line inspections. Siemens said that because all necessary sensors and cameras are combined in one multi-sensor system, all relevant inspection data are recorded in one go.
Wernlein said: “SIEAERO allows not only reducing the time for flight execution and data analysis from weeks or even months to a few days, but also delivers more precise results while using sensors way above industry standard. For example, the 3D LIDAR Sensors used in SIEAERO have 120 dots per m2, while industry standard is roundabout 30 dots per m². More sensor data results in more precise analytics and results.
“Moreover, SIEAERO uses five cameras with 100 megapixels each, while competitors are typically working with one or two cameras and a lower resolution. On top, the SIEAERO multi-sensor system also includes infrared and corona sensors.”
SIEAERO will go to market next March.
Opening Keynote Session live stream!
On the 6th of November, 10:00, the Opening Keynote Session was live streamed - check this page for the video: