Energies RenouvelablesEnvironnement

Role of Smart Grids in Achieving Paris Agreement Goals and Determining Optimal Cybersecurity Measures

In a world facing pressing climate challenges, the pursuit of sustainable solutions and the mitigation of climate change have become paramount. This article explores key facets of this multifaceted issue, including global warming projections, the role of smart grids, and the growing importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding our energy infrastructure.

Global Warming Projections: A Stark Reality
The first aspect under consideration is the concerning trajectory of global warming. Under current climate policies and actions worldwide, projections indicate that by 2100, the Earth’s temperature could rise to a worrisome 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels. While the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) offers some respite, limiting warming to 2.4°C, long-term pledges and net-zero targets provide a glimmer of hope, potentially limiting warming to around 2.1°C.

However, even under an optimistic assumption where 140 countries achieve their net-zero emission targets, the median warming estimate would only reach 1.8°C. These projections underscore a significant gap between government commitments and tangible actions, with both current policies and future trajectories exceeding emissions pathways required to align with the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goals [1] (Figure 1). Bouramdane’s papers [2, 3] encompassed an examination of diverse climate scenarios spanning the spectrum from minimal to substantial greenhouse gas emissions.

Figure 1: A comprehensive summary of global warming projections for 2100, outlining the disparities between current policies, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and long-term net-zero emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, underscoring the need for substantial greenhouse gas reductions. Source: The Global Risks Report 2022 [4] based on the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) [5].

Role of Smart Grids in Climate Mitigation
In this complex landscape, smart grids emerge as pivotal players in mitigating climate change. These intelligent energy systems integrate various technologies and communication systems, transforming electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption. Their significance lies in efficiently incorporating renewable energy sources [6] (Figure 2), implementing demand response programs—which incentivize consumers to adjust electricity usage in response to price signals or grid conditions—, and enabling electric vehicle integration (Figure 3) through smart charging and grid balancing, all of which substantially reduce carbon emissions (Figure 4) [7, 8]. The BLUE Map Scenario projects that smart grids could achieve substantial net annual CO2 emissions reductions, ranging from 0.7 Gt to 2.1 Gt by 2050.
Notably, North America shows the highest potential for emissions reduction among OECD member countries, while China demonstrates the highest potential among non-OECD member countries (Figure 4).

Figure 2: In the BLUE Map Scenario, which targets a 50% reduction in global energy-related CO2 emissions by 2050, smart grids play a crucial role in accommodating the increased proportion of variable generation in electricity grids, essential for achieving emissions reduction goals and limiting long-term global temperature rise to 2°C to 3°C. Source: International Energy Agency [9].

Figure 3: The growing uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in major economies underscores the necessity of smart grid implementation, as smart grids are vital for seamlessly integrating EVs into current electricity grids, offering efficient charging infrastructure, and optimizing vehicle-to-grid interactions management.
Source: International Energy Agency [9].
Figure 4: Smart grid deployment across regions is instrumental in achieving substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. Source: International Energy Agency [9].

Securing the Smart Grids: The Rising Challenge of Cybersecurity
However, as smart grids become increasingly vital, they also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Relying on advanced Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), smart grids are susceptible to cybersecurity threats. Addressing these vulnerabilities and implementing robust cybersecurity measures is essential to ensure the security and resilience of smart grid systems. Cyberattacks on smart grids can result in system shutdowns, cascaded failures, damage to consumer loads, and financial repercussions [7, 8].

A recent study by A-A. Bouramdane [7] examines cyberattacks in smart grids. This study explores various cyberattack types and their implications, providing insights backed by real-world case studies and quantitative models. To select optimal cybersecurity options, the study introduces a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approach using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Additionally, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in smart-grid security is explored, offering potential benefits and challenges. The study underscores the paramount importance of « security effectiveness » in evaluating smart grid cybersecurity, with « access control and authentication » and « security information and event management » identified as crucial components, while « deep learning » is the most effective AI technique, offering valuable insights for informed cybersecurity decisions in the smart grid sector.

In conclusion, this article sheds light on the critical intersection of climate targets, smart grids, and cybersecurity. It emphasizes the urgency of bridging the gap between commitments and actions to combat climate change, highlights the instrumental role of smart grids in emissions reduction, and underscores the imperative of securing these vital systems in the face of evolving cyber threats.

[1] Ayat-Allah Bouramdane. Climate Resilience: Insights from Global Negotiations and Morocco’s Path to Sustainability. Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP), London, United Kingdom, 2023. ISBN: 978-620-6-75083-3, https://www.morebooks.shop/shop-ui/shop/product/9786206750833, https://www.morebooks.shop/shop-ui/shop/translation-bundle/a0559d0d940.

[2] A-A. Bouramdane. Assessment of CMIP6 Multi-Model Projections Worldwide: Which Regions Are Getting Warmer and Are Going Through a Drought in Africa and Morocco? What Changes from CMIP5 to CMIP6? Sustainability, 15:690, 2023. DOI: 10.3390/su15010690.

[3] Ayat-Allah Bouramdane. Determining Vulnerable Areas to Warming and Drought in Africa and Morocco Based on CMIP6 Projections: Towards the Implementation of Mitigation and Adaptation Measures. EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2456, 2023. DOI: 10.5194/egusphere-egu23-2456.

[4] World Economic Forum. The Global Risks Report 2022. 2022. Available online: https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Global_Risks_Report_2022.pdf (accessed on July 4th 2023).

[5] CAT (Climate Action Tracker). https://climateactiontracker.org.

[6] Ayat-Allah Bouramdane. Scenarios of Large-Scale Solar Integration with Wind in Morocco: Impact of Storage, Cost, Spatio-Temporal Complementarity and Climate Change. Theses, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, October 2021. URL: https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-03518906.

[7] A-A. Bouramdane. Cyberattacks in Smart Grids: Challenges and Solving the Multi-Criteria Decision-Making for Cybersecurity Options, Including Ones That Incorporate Artificial Intelligence, Using an Analytical Hierarchy Process. Journal of Cybersecurity and Privacy (JCP), 3:4, 2023. DOI: 10.3390/jcp3040031.

[8] Ayat-Allah Bouramdane. How to Manage Vulnerabilities in the Renewable Energy Environment? Leadvent Group, Renewable Energy Cyber Security Forum, Berlin, Germany, 2023. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7730062.

[9] IEA. Technology Roadmap: Smart Grids. 2011. Available online: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/fe14d871-ebcb-47d3-8582-b3a6be3662ba/smartgrids_roadmap.pdf.

By Ayat-Allah Bouramdane (PhD)
Researcher at the Laboratory of Renewable Energies and Advanced Materials (LERMA) and Assistant Professor at the College of Engineering and Architecture, International University of Rabat (IUR).

Montrer plus


Articles connexes