Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Perceptions of Insecurity a Drag on Smart Grid Deployment

Whether it's secure or not, if the public (and Congress) fear it enough, development and deployment of the Smart Grid, coming on so fast today, will slow to a crawl. In a nice summary of this phenomenon, Rob Wilhite, a 24 year utility industry vet, recently noted:
As a result of [multiple cyber security] incidents and media attention, some groups are calling for reductions in the pace of smart grid advancement to protect the reliability of the nation's bulk power system. Some industry organizations are even suggesting that the Department of Energy not award any of the US $4.5 billion in stimulus funding until we develop acceptable standards.
Part of the reason NIST, EPRI and other pro's are working so hard on cyber standards has to due with ensuring greater security of this most complex of all systems. But behind that surface impulse lies the knowledge that this is also about the birth of the Smart Grid itself. It's part of the Smart Grid's early PR campaign, in which confidence in the security of the Smart Grid will foster a faster, broader, and much needed roll-out. Too much fear, uncertainty and doubt, however, and this baby may not make it out of the crib.

No comments: