London, Sep 18 (IANS) Computer-assisted smart power grids help reduce power generation shortfall, and result in improved delivery and more efficient billing, a study in Britain has concluded.
“A smart grid is a complex modern electricity system which utilises sensors, monitoring, communications and automation, to improve the electricity system,” the researchers wrote in the study.
“Smart grids fundamentally change the way in which we generate, distribute and monitor our electricity. They dramatically improve the efficiency, flexibility and reliability of the existing electricity infrastructure,” the researchers said.
Carl Chalmers, Michael Mackay and Aine MacDermott of Liverpool John Moores University, in England, explained in their research, published in the International Journal of Smart Grid and Green Communications, the advantages of a smart grid over the traditional energy grid.
They said smart grids use a vast interconnected infrastructure that allows two-way communication and automation throughout the entire grid — from generator to consumer and back — striking out the possibility of a malicious manipulation into the metering system for the sake of sabotage, criminal or online military/terrorist action.
The researchers, however, suggested that after knowing the possible worst-case scenario with regard to the smart grid and smart meters, countries must put in place security measures to protect the infrastructure.
The research team noted that critical infrastructures present a tempting target for terrorists, military strikes and hackers wanting to cause disruption, steal information or incapacitate a country remotely.