T&D Europe at Enlit Europe

We were delighted to take part in Enlit Europe 2022 in Frankfurt, once again taking an active role in Hub Sessions. This year, we organised two hub sessions gathering industry experts and diving into key topics for our industry: cybersecurity and investments in the grid.

Investing in decentralization: what’s next in grids?

On Tuesday, 29 November, T&D Europe representatives, Ben Gemsjaeger, Stefan Klib and Christiane Mann joined Damien Cortinas, Roberto Zangrandi, Dr. Habibullahm, Hubert Dupin and Mariano Gaudo to explore grid investments and decentralisation.

By 2050 the EU’s electricity network will support and connect sustainable cities and communities where prosumers can manage their energy production and consumption with microgrids, where transportation can be powered by electricity and where an increasing share of decentralised renewable energy production can be easily integrated. This requires a futureproof, smart, digital network with easy and cyber secure data interoperability and with the necessary interconnections to manage the seasonal fluctuations in renewable generation.

Europe can approach the current challenges with confidence as Europe has probably the best and at the same time most intricate electricity system in the world. At the same time, Europe is also home to a strong, clean energy eco-system that is capable of delivering on Europe’s needs. This session saw key actors in the eco-system discuss the next actions that can be taken in the short and medium term.

Following the session, participants shared their thoughts and key takeaways:
Hubert Dupin, Head of Flexibility Departments, Enedis: ‘’We are experiencing a race between reinforcements and new connections. Flexibility reduces, but does not cancel, the need for reinforcements. We need to invest “just in time” at the right place, not too late which would yield congestion or connection delay, not too early because it would slow reinforcement capacity where needed. Many advocate for smarter and smarter grids. One should challenge the business case of each concept and implement only the ones with sound and positive cost-benefit analysis.’’
Mariano Gaudo, Smart Grids Leader at UFD: “It is very important to promote investments in digitization and automation to increase the integration of renewable energy in the grid, as well as in the deployment of new assets and renovation of existing ones to guarantee such integration efficiently and safely.”
Ben Gemsjaeger, Director Business Development, Siemens Smart Infrastructure: “We need to transform Europe’s energy system to become more efficient, climate-neutral and less dependent on other countries. We can do this by doing 3 things at the same time: 1. Decarbonise electricity production by moving away from fossil fuels. 2. Increase demand for clean electricity through the electrification of transport, industry and buildings. 3. Increase the hosting capacity of the networks though investments. The digitalization of the grid and advanced grid software applications will be essential to support the EU’s security of supply and EU’s climate targets for 2030.”

Cybersecurity for the electricity network

On Wednesday, 30 November, our member representatives, Guillermo Amann and Mario Jardim, joined Dr. Stephan Lechner, Richard Schomberg, Maarten Hoeve and Jesus Molina to take a deep dive into the challenges of the deployment of the network code. Cybersecurity is at the top of the agenda for Governments, industry and utilities and the EU recognises the importance of cybersecurity for the energy sector and the need to duly assess cyber risks and their possible impact on the security of supply. Transmission and distribution system operators together with relevant stakeholders have thus been working together on a network code for cybersecurity.

The session brought together key actors at the forefront of ensuring and improving the resilience of the grid by ensuring the quality of service and the continuity in the face of the cyberattacks. This is a major challenge as many assets in the electrical grid have been deployed over decades without cybersecurity in their initial design.

Following the session, participants shared their thoughts and key takeaways:
Richard Schomberg, IEC Special Envoy for Smart Electrification: “The very innovative coming cybersecurity code will provide the much-needed response for the resilience of the energy sector, providing that all the actors understand easily how they have to contribute, and that they make the best harmonized use of diverse existing standards. The DSOs like IEC can help to advance the cause and streamline practices.”
Stephan Lechner, Director of Euratom Safegards at the Euroepean Commission, DG ENER: “The Network Code on cybersecurity will be a big step towards a higher level of cybersecurity in the energy sector of the EU. However, cybersecurity is an ongoing effort and will never be completed.”
Jesus Molina, Director of Industrial Security, Waterfall Security: “Cyberattacks are no longer restricted to information loss: our data shows that increasingly these cyberattacks result in physical consequences, including factory downtime, blackouts, or even fires and explosions. In the last two years alone, hundreds of OT networks, including grid networks, suffered attacks that resulted in physical consequences. Compare that to ten in the last decade. Our defensive postures need to account for this paradigm shift, as well as our understanding of risk, that should be driven by the possible physical consequence of not acting. 

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