Editorial: Blockchain, smart meters, and cyber security – the heat is on

Engerati reviews some key developments from last week and looks ahead to our forthcoming spotlight on cyber security
Published: Mon 01 Jul 2019

The sun was not the only thing heating up at the end of June, with two big energy blockchain initiatives launching: the Energy Web Foundation’s live network and Electron’s asset registry RecorDER. Blockchain has been heralded as one of the critical elements of the digitalisation revolution, driving efficiency and cost savings as processes throughout the value chain become automated and decentralised.

The deadly heatwave across Europe will underline the urgency of meeting tough emission reduction goals, which will only be achieved if energy market stakeholders capitalise on digitalisation opportunities such as blockchain. The complexity of the task ahead should not be underestimated. While the EU is forging ahead with its clean energy package reforms, last week a delay was announced to its replacement reserve market TERRE as some TSOs wanted to wait until after the more supply constrained winter period and others faced some last minute operational or IT difficulties. Most TSOs involved in the project expect to connect to the new market by June of next year.

Engerati is wrapping up our special focus on Spain with a detailed look at the experiences of that country’s mandatory smart meter rollout from various perspectives, to be published tomorrow. It should prove a useful testing ground for smart meter deployment, as without complementary fair access to data and the development of further services it could simply be seen as an expensive energy accounting system.

Our attention turns to cyber security in July, when the EU’s Smart Energy Data Task Force will publish its final expert group 2 report which will provide some groundwork for the commission’s forthcoming cyber security network code. Digitalisation must go hand in hand with enhanced security measures: Connecting millions of smart devices to the network makes it vulnerable to attack as it gives hackers access points that are not password-protected or encrypted. We will hear from the European Network for Cyber Security with an update on its priorities and objectives after a strategy meeting on 11th July, and an EPRI representative will provide a perspective from the US.

If you would like your company to be featured during our special focus on cyber security please contact us today.