The Smart Grid security ecosystem is complex and multi-disciplinary, and relatively under-researched compared to the traditional information and network security disciplines. While the Smart Grid has provided increased efficiencies in monitoring power usage, directing power supplies to serve peak power needs and improving efficiency of power delivery, the Smart Grid has also opened the way for information security breaches and other types of security breaches. Potential threats range from meter manipulation to directed, high-impact attacks on critical infrastructure that could bring down regional or national power grids. It is essential that security measures are put in place to ensure that the Smart Grid does not succumb to these threats and to safeguard this critical infrastructure at all times.
Dr. Florian Skopik is one of the leading researchers in Smart Grid security, having organized and led research consortia and panel discussions in this field. Smart Grid Security will provide the first truly holistic view of leading edge Smart Grid security research. This book does not focus on vendor-specific solutions, instead providing a complete presentation of forward-looking research in all areas of Smart Grid security. The book will enable practitioners to learn about upcoming trends, scientists to share new directions in research, and government and industry decision-makers to prepare for major strategic decisions regarding implementation of Smart Grid technology.
- Presents the most current and leading edge research on Smart Grid security from a holistic standpoint, featuring a panel of top experts in the field.
- Includes coverage of risk management, operational security, and secure development of the Smart Grid.
- Covers key technical topics, including threat types and attack vectors, threat case studies, smart metering, smart home, e- mobility, smart buildings, DERs, demand response management, distribution grid operators, transmission grid operators, virtual power plants, resilient architectures, communications protocols and encryption, as well as physical security.
This chapter is the introduction of the book "Smart Grid Security: Innovative Solutions for a Modernized Grid". It introduces the reader to the notion of a smart grid and highlights the importance of security. Specifically, it motivates the research, which was carried out, in order to realize this book. Finally, it provides an overview of the different areas of smart grid security and establishes the storyline for the rest of the book.
smart grid security smart grid definition security challenges multidisciplinary research The Smart Grid is considered to be a key technology to prepare electric energy infrastructures for the challenges of upcoming decades. Strong pressure to change from an electrical energy system that was mostly based on fossil sources towards a system with a considerably high share of renewable forms of energy has caused significant effects on the power grid infrastructure. With large quantities of distributed renewable energy resources to be connected in electricity distribution grids and the potential for a strong growth in demand caused by electric vehicles, it is required to make most efficient use out of existing infrastructure by means of information and communication technologies (ICT). Monitoring and control systems that in the past were exclusively used on the transmission backbone level are spreading into distribution grids. With this, significant parts of one of the largest technical infrastructures built by mankind become online in the sense that real-time data is available and remote actions can be performed not only on wide areas but also in deep detail. With progress of automation into medium and low voltage distribution grids, the number of automated nodes in the system can increase by factor thousand to million depending on region and circumstances. Electrical and ICT interoperability is the base for the smooth operation of any type of Smart Grid. Whenever ICT is introduced, cyber security needs to be addressed. Given the diversity in different Smart Grid approaches and the interdisciplinary character of the topic that covers even more than electrical engineering, computer science, socio-economics, social sciences, there is no straight-forward blueprint for Smart Grid security. The situation is not made easier by the fact that there are already existing ICT and security solutions for power grid operation that need to be scaled or re-designed for future requirements. For this reason, this book takes a deep look into ICT systems for power grid operation today and tomorrow. Not only the societal importance, but also risks and central technical counter-measures against cyber-attacks on Smart Grids are discussed with respect to existing infrastructure and also future development paths.
1.1. What is a Smart Grid?
What is a Smart Grid and what precisely does it do? With the concept of Smart Grids becoming more and more mature, this question is no longer that hard to answer as it was a few years ago. The European energy regulators (ERGEG, 2009
) define: A smart electrical grid is defined as an electrical grid, which can integrate the behaviour and actions of all connected users in a cost effective way - including producer, consumer and actors, which are both producer and consumer - to ensure a resource-saving and economically efficient electrical network with less losses, high quality, great security of supply and high technical safety.
Based on a communication and control network (ICT) of affected actors, electricity production should be coordinated and demanded in a more effective way. Generally speaking, the Smart Grid provides an ICT infrastructure, which allows interaction among participants of the power grid, specifically those connected to the so-called distribution level, i.e. the part of the power grid that brings energy to the end users at 230 V up to a few ten kV. The basic concept of a common communication infrastructure was formulated by a number of researchers around 2005 and has not changed since then. The infrastructure is used by different applications in a number of use cases in a synergetic fashion. The more relevant these applications are, the more likely it is that the existing conventional ICT infrastructure (if existent) is extended to form something one can call a Smart Grid. The type and relevance of Smart Grid applications vary over time and region. One can however say that the boost of renewable forms of energy has created a set of special requirements for electrical distribution grids, making some applications relevant that were previously not discussed for a conventional grid. This is especially true for Europe. In other parts of the world, motivations can be different. In the U.S., for instance, one major driver for Smart Grids is the ageing power grid infrastructure and the need for online condition monitoring. In China, the term Smart Grid is often interpreted differently. Here, the challenge is to transport electricity over large distances and reliably provide it to large areas with a very high population density. A similar situation can also be found in India.
1.2. The Structure of a Smart Grid System
In order to establish a better understanding about the most important structural areas of the Smart Grid, we adopt here the layers and zones proposed by (CCESGCG, 2014
), to draw a very first sketch1
of a Smart Grid (see Figure 1.1
). Notice, since the Smart Grid in its current form is primarily associated with energy distribution facilities (and less with generation and transmission, where ICT has been already widely adopted), there are mainly the three relevant domains - Distribution, Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Customer Premises - depicted. Figure 1.1 Aggregated Smart Grid component overview.
Starting from the top of the image, first of all there are diverse Market Platforms
that serve different purposes, predominantly long-term to short term energy trading. Energy trading
entities are connected to these market platforms. Concepts like aggregators or virtual power plants
are also included here that collect a number of smaller units in a pool and trade their common flexibility on markets. Staying on the left side of the image, distribution system operation takes place in the Network Operation Centre
. Also Metering
is a task of many Distribution System Operators, so the relevant databases and accounting systems for smart meters can be found here. These systems interact with the Enterprise level mostly by exchanging load and generation forecasts for the distribution level. Further down the stream, Primary and Secondary Substations
can be found. Primary substations connect transmission and medium voltage grids, secondary substations are the interface between medium and low voltage grids. Most primary substations and (today) typically a few large secondary substations are connected with the Network Operation Centre by automation systems. A few Grid Sensors
at critical points outside of substations can also be part of this automation infrastructure. Connected to this distribution system are the generators
(Distributed Energy Resources Domain) and loads (Customer Domain). Generators can be connected to medium of low voltage depending on their power rating (some MW vs. some kW). The demand side can be structured in Residential Customers
, Electric Mobility Charging
(i.e. smart) Buildings
. For each of these areas, Smart Grid IT interfaces and standards are typically different.
1.3. The Two Key Challenges to be Solved by Smart Grids
What exactly is additional ICT needed for in power distribution? In order to answer this question, first of all the two central challenges of the paradigm shift towards renewable energy need to be explained. The first challenge:
In any electric power grid, the sum of generated power and the sum of consumed power has to be the same at all times. This is a consequence of the law of conservation of energy. Surplus power has to go somewhere, and missing power has to come from somewhere. Rotating masses of electricity generators are the first place where imbalanced power flows to or comes from. This is reflected in the frequency of the grid voltage. Variations of the grid frequency can be measured and are used to control the output power of large power plants, such as coal, gas or nuclear powered generators. This basic principle of our transmission grids works without any dedicated communication lines and has been successfully applied for more than a hundred years. One key element of this system is that generation is adjusted according to the current load situation. There are some limitations in the dynamics of the output power of large plants, which is the main reason for the use of load forecasts. These allow day-ahead power plant scheduling. Energy storage, such as hydro storage plants, can provide additional power dynamics and help to avoid high generation peaks. The aforementioned power-frequency control mechanism is then used to balance the deviations from the forecast and the actual system behaviour in real time. However, with more and more renewable capacities in a power grid, the controllability on the generation side is gradually reduced. As an example of this development, the...