Opportunities and Risks of Digitalisation in Electricity Networks
Imperial’s Dr Aidan Rhodes and Dr Jeff Hardy present a new report on the opportunities and risks of digitalisation in electricity networks.
Realising the Opportunities and Managing the Risks of Digitalisation in Electricity Networks
Digitalisation in the energy sector is proceeding at a rapid pace, and brings many benefits to consumers, system operators and supply companies. However, digitalisation also brings the potential for new risks to the stability of the networks, to the quality of consumer supply and to business reputation. As the sector moves into wide-scale digitalisation, it is important to understand the major sources of new risk and strategies to mitigate them. This report aims to provide an overview of major risk categories, based on the experiences of other sectors which are further along in their digitalisation journeys.
The report proposes a framework that divides the risks of digitalisation into five categories – digital technologies, security, personnel, consumers and regulatory. Specific risks have been identified in these categories, which are explored further in the report. Digitalisation risks extend beyond purely technological issues – the report identifies risks associated with employee training and skillsets, consumer behaviour in a more complex system and the risks of regulators not identifying new risks. The challenges of the covid-19 pandemic and the resultant increase of homeworking are also investigated.
The report was commissioned by SSEN via Imperial Business Partners. Independent opinion provided by: Dr Aidan Rhodes and Dr Jeff Hardy of Imperial College London.
Dr Aidan Rhodes, Research Fellow, Energy Futures Lab
Dr Jeff Hardy, Research Fellow, Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment
Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks