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There is virtually universal agreement that it is necessary to upgrade the electric grid to increase overall system efficiency and reliability. Much of the technology currently in use by the grid is outdated and in many cases unreliable. There have been three major blackouts in the past ten years. The reliance on old technology leads to inefficient systems, costing unnecessary money to the utilities, consumers, and taxpayers. To upgrade the grid, and to operate an improved grid, will require significant dependence on distributed intelligence and broadband communication capabilities. The access and communications capabilities require the latest in proven security technology for extremely large, wide-area communications networks. This paper discusses key security technologies for a smart grid system, including public key infrastructures and trusted computing.
Date of Publication: June 2010