The Union Minister of Power R.K. Singh recently informed Parliament that the government had taken multiple steps to curb cyber threats on the national power grid.
During the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Singh informed that for securing the transmission assets of the power grid, the communication from the substations to the control centers is done over an optical fiber network owned by the POWERGRID without any connectivity to the external networks. They are further protected through multiple firewalls.
Singh added that these systems are kept isolated from the office networks to prevent any malicious online attack because of internet connectivity.
POWERGRID is certified under the Information Security Management System as laid down in the Information Technology Act 2000.
India will need an investment to the tune of $60-80 billion over the next five years in grid infrastructure to accommodate its tremendous growth in renewable energy capacity, the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said in a report published earlier this year.
The note suggests that grid infrastructure is as equally important investment opportunity as the renewable energy sector is in India. A robust grid infrastructure will minimize grid curtailments for renewable power and save renewable assets from financial risks.
According to the Central Electricity Authority, the total installed power capacity by the end of 2021-22 is projected to be around 480 GW.
In February 2019, Mercom reported that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission recommended that POWERGRID can monetize its transmission line towers by offering it to mobile telecom service providers on a commercial basis under section 41 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
Image credit: Simon Carey / Electricity Pylons, Lydd Ranges
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.