Cyber threat to power grid is significant
The potential for a major cyber attack against the nation’s power grid is “at an all time high,” Gerry Cauley, president of the grid operators group North American Electric Reliability Corporation, warned during a Senate hearing Tuesday.This may be one of the better arguments for home solar energy installations. Even though it would remain inefficient compared to fossil fuels, having a stand alone solar system would provide one answer to dealing with a cyber attack or an EMP attack.
While acknowledging hackers had yet to shut down power to U.S. power customers, Cauley pointed to a 2015 attack in Ukraine that resulted in 225,000 customers losing power for several hours.
“We will never be complacent. The risk is very real,” he said.
His comments came during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing Tuesday, part of a long-term push by the federal government to bolster security at the nation’s power plants and substations to prevent attacks like those that have recently struck Europe.
The Department of Energy continues to work on developing what Patricia Hoffman, acting assistant secretary at the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, called “an ecosystem of resilience,’ by developing security standards and improve information sharing between government officials and the companies that operate the grid.