February 9, 2010 By Hilton Collins
Utility companies around the world will invest $21 billion in smart grid security efforts between 2010 and 2015, according to estimates released in a new report.
They're being spurred on by the U.S. Department of Energy's smart grid stimulus programs, and the need to secure smart grid deployments that are becoming more and more technology-reliant and vulnerable to infiltration and compromise.
The Smart Grid Cyber Security Report, conducted courtesy of Pike Research, a market research and consulting firm focused on clean technology markets, utilities, vendors and world governments are becoming more focused on grid security, which will grow revenue in that sector from $1.2 billion in 2009 to $3.7 billion by 2015. This and other information from the report was made available in a Feb. 14, 2010, company press release and the report's free executive summary. More in-depth data from the report is available by subscription.
Utility players don't want to fail in the security game, and the utility technologists want to develop robust smart grid cyber-security technology sooner rather than later, according to Clint Wheelock, Pike's managing director, in the press release. Department of Energy stimulus programs are helping to provide the activation energy for the utilities' cyber-security boom, but they're getting help from standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and priorities established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The report broke down the cyber-security market into five smart grid application areas - transmission upgrades, substation automation, distribution automation, electric vehicle management systems and advanced metering infrastructure. The most money will be spent in securing the distribution automation, transmission upgrades and advanced metering infrastructure areas.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.