On 4 May 2021, the RES-TMO project held its fourth stakeholder workshop which focused on the challenges and opportunities linked to “Regional energy resilience via distributed RES and the role of smart grids”. It was organized by the project manager and UHA-IRIMAS with the support of TRION-climate. The series of five workshops play an integral role in the project’s methodology as the results obtained can be validated by stakeholders and customized according to their needs to be more efficiently used by policy- and other decision-makers.
In the introduction, Professor Djaffar Ould Abdeslam and Ms. Bushra Canaan of the Université de Haute-Alsace shared their work on smart grids and smart meters as part of WP7. They elaborated on the idea that increasingly digitalized energy systems are vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, which can damage the data’s integrity and confidentiality. Their work is based on two methods for detecting false data injection attacks – a downscaled model of a microgrid known as the UHA Nano-Grid Demonstrator, and a digital simulator (OPAL-RT). They wrapped up their presentation by emphasizing the importance of better understanding how to protect smart and decentralized modern transmission networks is to preventing widespread blackouts and enhancing grid resilience.
A series of private sector expert presentations followed. The first stakeholder presentation was given by Mr. Mohamed Hamdani from ENEDIS, the French distribution system operator (DSO). ENEDIS actually manages 95% of the public electricity distribution network in France. Mr. Hamdani explained how smart grids opened up new possibilities for DSOs and their clients because of the large-scale rollout of smart meters across France that is expected to reach almost 80% of French consumers by 2022. The smart meters collectively generate a huge amount of data, which can be aggregated to help cities better manage their energy consumption. For example, ENEDIS has helped the city of Mulhouse develop strategic renovation plans by ranking buildings according to their energy use and assisted cities such as Saint Louis to better allocate EV charging points. The spread of smart meters also makes it easier for DSOs to identify and resolve issues in the grid consequently reducing outages.
The second expert presentation was given by Ms. Carmen Exner from Netze BW GmbH, a German DSO operating in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Ms. Exner coordinates the flexQgrid project, which aims to efficiently integrate decentralized generation into the distribution grid. The project makes use of a traffic light system concept that connects all actors (such as PV modules, charging stations, etc.) and indicates how they should adapt their energy consumption based on grid congestion forecasts. The project includes a real time case study and field tests over the period of three years in the town of Freiamt.
Mr. Daniel Blättler from Primeo Energie, a Swiss energy provider, was the last guest speaker. Mr. Blättler focused on the data security of smart metering systems. He elaborated on three key issues – confidentiality, integrity and accessibility – which are closely regulated by national and international standards. The adopted approach is to take preventative actions to avoid problems, including deploying sophisticated programs to detect attacks and lifecycle management systems to prevent the manipulation of smart meter chips. Ultimately, however, attacks are often linked to human error, which is more difficult to prevent.
After each of the three presentations, the participants asked a multitude of questions which resulted in a series of engaging discussions with the three guest presenters. The workshop ended on a positive note after the last stakeholder presented and the discussion promptly ended.