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Smart Grid & Cybersecurity

Read more in our special Smart Grid
edition of electroindustry.

NEMA members are leading the way in Smart Grid technologies by encouraging investment in the national electricity grid and research and development, and developing new product standards. Since being named in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 as a participant in federal efforts to enhance the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of the electricity grid, NEMA has been instrumental in the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) and the Smart Grid Advisory Committee.

The basic concept of Smart Grid is to add monitoring, analysis, control and communication capabilities to the national electricity delivery system in order to maximize the output of the system while reducing energy consumption. Smart Grid will also allow homeowners and businesses to utilize electricity as efficiently and economically as possible.

Smart Grid technologies can improve the reliability, security, and efficiency of the electrical grid. Intelligent devices can automatically adjust to changing conditions to prevent blackouts and increase capacity. While currently available, a lack of standards and increased upfront cost hinder the deployment of smart grid technologies. Uniform standards will simplify new equipment selection and installation.

Protection from and the ability to respond to cybersecurity events are critical to the Smart Grid. Manufacturers seek a common, risk-based approach to cybersecurity. Rapidly-evolving threats require cybersecurity strategies that give manufacturers, utilities, and grid operators the flexibility to respond quickly and decisively.

Several financial mechanisms, such as federal matching funds, rate recovery incentives and accelerated depreciation, will help manufacturers and utilities finance new investments in Smart Grid and cybersecurity.

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