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Smart Infrastructure

Security counts in the electricity grid of the future

Smart meters help better predict consumption. Unfortunately the networked devices also collect masses of personal data.

09 Mar. 2017
Smart Infrastructure Intelligente Stromzähler Security
(Photo: Universität des Saarlandes)

If utility companies knew exactly when, where and for what purpose power was being used, they could better manage capacities. The data collected on this matter nevertheless allows detailed conclusions to be drawn about user behavior. That is why the law on the digitization of the energy transition has precise requirements for protecting energy data against misuse. And the legal informatics specialist Prof. Dr. Christoph Sorge at CISPA (Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability) is currently testing cryptographic procedures meant to ensure that the collected data can also be evaluated anonymized and in high quality. The task is not trivial, because it must also be ensured that anonymization cannot be undone again.

Prof. Sorge’s research is part of the collaborative project Design network: energy transition kit – from individual solutions to the efficient system of the future , which started in January and is scheduled to run until 2020. The association of 46 companies and research institutions from North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland – the IT companies IS Predict , Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity and Scheer are incidentally all represented at CeBIT 2017 – is one of five "showcases" included in the support program Intelligent energy showcase – digital agenda for the energy transition (SINTEG). The German Federal Ministry of Economics is spending 200 million euros in this matter to support five model regions that are developing and demonstrating solutions for climate-friendly, efficient and safe energy supply with a high proportion of renewable energy. It focuses on the use of innovative network technologies and operating concepts to build a smart grid for the intelligent networking of production and consumption.