National Smart Grid Standards

Why is it important to have national smart grid standards and is an international body needed to govern standards?Having national smart grid standards is imperative if we are wanting to move towards having more reliable product, decreased cost, and giving consumers control. We already have banking apps and other tech that allows us to access different information, why not electricity? The current US electric grid was built in the 1890s and while it has improved as newer technology becomes available, we need to utilize digital technology to help automate the increasingly complex needs of today. Smart grids allow for quicker response times when there is a loss of electricity which means that customers won’t need to shoulder the responsibility of informing their local utility company. As well, having smart grids will allow for a more reliable source of electricity because these systems can allow for automatic rerouting when outages occur, and even track and isolate outages before they lead to bigger scale blackouts.At the moment, the US is a member of the Clean Energy Ministerial which is a global forum to promote policies that advance clean energy among several other goals. The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) is one of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s initiatives and serves as a platform for developing and exchanging knowledge about smart grids with different tools like webinars, workshops, and knowledge exchange events. I think for now we don’t need an international body to govern smart grid standards because each country is so diverse (geographically, economically, socially, etc.) that holding them to the same standards might not be feasible. Being involved in the conversation and having a forum to exchange ideas like what works and what doesn’t is what we need right now.How is the smart grid community addressing interoperability and Cybersecurity as it pertains to the smart grid?In 2008 the National Institute of Standards and Technology began working with experts and stakeholders to develop standards and protocols for the smart grid which yielded a three-phase plan: 1) Accelerate the identification and consensus on smart grid standards, 2) Establish a robust smart grid interoperability panel (SGIP) that sustains the development of the many additional standards that will be needed, and 3) Create a conformity testing and certification infrastructure.As many states are already pursing smart grid projects, it is important that their different projects, on the state and local level, can be fully integrated into a potential “system of systems.” For the NIST in particular, they are keeping this in mind and have created a framework that will help to support the role of states in modernizing the electric grid.What implications does broadband have on the grid?We should absolutely utilize broadband communication technologies within the smart grid because important data and information needs to be transmitted fast and if we are wanting to have a smart grid system that is secure, responsive, and flexible, then we need to have a communications network that can keep up.Why is it important for states and localities to build a smart grid infrastructure?A huge reason we need to invest in smart grids within states and localities is because it is a way to take advantage of consumer-owned power generators when utility power isn’t available. Smaller communities won’t just be stuck without power, they can have alternatives and resources available to them if a system is in place.ISGAN. (2020). International Smart Grid Action Network. Clean Energy Ministerial. to an external site.)NIST. (2014). NIST framework and roadmap for smart grid interoperability standards, release 3.0. National Institute of Standards and Technology. to an external site.)Smart Grid. (2020). The Smart Grid. Smart Grid. to an external site.)Zaki, Younes. (2020, April 16). Critical broadband networks for critical infrastructure: securing the power grid of the future. Ericsson.

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