IRENE: Improving the robustness of urban electricity networks

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Electronic Eng & Computer Science

Abstract

Most critical urban infrastructures like water supply, infrastructure monitoring (e.g. tunnels) and emergency communication services depend on electricity. For smart cities, this dependency will only grow. This means that societal and economic consequences of power outages, especially for longer outages, can be severe. The future smart city scenario will be powered by a highly decentralized energy system where energy demand is partially supplied by decentralized renewable energy resources from wind, sun, and cogeneration. To maximally utilize the renewable energy in the urban environment and optimize costs, a significant amount of buildings will be equipped with generation and even energy storage capabilities. This approach radically differs from existing energy systems which are based on highly centralized energy provisioning. The decentralized energy system will depend on a large scale complex ICT system to control energy demand and supply; jointly, this system is known as the smart grid. The result is on one side a system which is vulnerable to faults in the increasing amount of ICT and grid components, especially from malicious attacks on ICT components. On the other side, the system is more flexible as demand and production can be controlled and decentralized production enables to mitigate single-point-of-failure aspects.

IRENE focuses on utilizing the decentralized nature of future energy generation to make them more robust to attacks, and on minimizing impact of power outages on associated critical infrastructures such as water and gas supply, communication systems, public transport, and road traffic control. The aim is to understand what social and technical measure should be considered when implementing these new technologies for the benefit of all stakeholders. The main outcome of IRENE is integrated into the collaboration framework that allows cities for different faults/attacks to collaborate with their stakeholders to mitigate security risks in energy systems, understand minimum operational power requirements and system dependencies, create decentralised energy inventory and support the sharing of power at times if need in an equitable and fair way for all city stakeholders.

Planned Impact

Cyber security defence mechanisms and strategies for Smart Grids must be developed, as the impact of any malfunction directly reflects on society and its well-being. Hence a secure and reliable Smart Grid is needed. The solutions developed by IRENE will help city administrations, DSOs and operators of other critical infrastructures to develop, plan and evaluate appropriate measures for mitigating power outages. IRENE does not only take into consideration short-term outages with limited impact but also long-term outages with severe impact on critical urban infrastructures. It supports the development of social and technical methodologies that will assist stakeholders to collaborate and increase the resilience of the future power networks and significantly reduce the impact on urban society and economy. IRENE will assist member states to develop policies that will protect European citizens from attacks or disruptions on the power network. The IRENE open collaboration framework available to any potential user supports an increase in social engagement between local power generators and the surrounding urban community. Thus IRENE will improve the way the existing Smart Grid complex system is managed, monitored and integrated with groups, public bodies and enterprises,
Research steps and business innovation that IRENE will foster towards its goal are several:
a) Threats and vulnerability analysis methodologies and techniques, as well as societal impact of attacks and profiling of attackers.
b) Cyber-security assessment methodologies, with emphasis on quantitative security assessment.
c) Define cyber-attacks that can be reconducted to the appearance of emergent phenomena, and will present a clearer view to policy makers and other stakeholders of the possible threats of cyber-attacks on Smart Grids.
d) Development of collaboration frameworks for city stakeholders
e) Draft set of policy, process and procedure requirements for smart grid protection
In order to assure the above impact, the consortium contains research partners with complementary expertise covering communication (FTW), security and dependability design and assessment (UNIFI), requirements engineering and socio-technical security assessment (UT), Supply demand prediction and balancing (QMUL).
Ethos, who is a member of the British Standards Institute Smart City Technical Advisory Committee (part of a wider global Smart City initiative), will promote the results of IRENE within Smart City standardization bodies.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The project was completed in 30th Sept 2017.

The project has identified the trends that help to ensure resilient electricity supply in Smart Cities: a) the ongoing deployment of Smart Grid technology and b) the adoption of distributed energy resources. Unfortunately, the increased reliance on ICT in the Smart Grid will expose new threats that could result in incidents that might affect urban electricity distribution networks by causing power outages. Diverse specialists will need to cooperate to address these threats. In this project, we have outlined a methodology for establishing a collaborative framework that supports the definition of response strategies to threats. We consider the ongoing evolution of the electricity grids and the threats emerging while the grid evolves. We have also outlined possible scenarios of urban grid development and highlight several threats and the strategies of attackers. We also developed a framework and collaboration toolset that aim to foster the collaboration of stakeholders involved in city resilience planning taking into account grid vulnerability and criticality from a city's perspective.

In addition, Queen Mary University of London have developed the Threat Assessment and Overall Grid Modelling (OGM) software tools. These tools provide capabilities to assess the security threats and outage scenarios on the level of the distribution grid. They evaluate the capability of the grid to sustain the outage by isolation from the main grid and operation in islanded mode, or by isolating grid portions and dropping the load (normal grid-connected operation for unaffected grid nodes). The ability to sustain the islanded operation allows evaluation of the resilience of the urban grid in terms of fraction of demand served.
Exploitation Route The project was completed in 30th Sept 2017 and the complete findings have not been taken forward completely.

The involvements of QMUL in IRENE project are 1) the threat assessment using Bayesian Factor Analysis of Information Risk (BayesianFAIR) to relate individual threat-component to other grid components; 2) the know-hows on the energy model prediction and optimisation for energy distribution planning and; 3) the development of the user-interactive-based overall grid modelling (OGM) tool for grid collaborative planning purposes. Other contributions are the development collaboration framework; Classification of different threats; Design IRENE evaluation method for gaming simulation and stakeholder workshop and; Development of common repository information and participate in relevant events.

The nation is aggressively pushing towards a greener city, or simply a 'smarter city'. Such implementation, however, may need the rigorous strategic positioning of electricity components that make the city more resilient to electricity outages and enhance the sustainability of the future. Through the developed OGM tool, the tool serves as a platform that guides the planning and deployment of smart grid by estimating the monetary costing, threat assessments and energy resilience of energy grid design. It also allows users (city-level stakeholders) to manage the evaluations and reports of the grid design. It can save cities and energy network operators the time and costs of smarter grid deployment. The potential users are city planners, grid operators, researchers and energy consultants.
Sectors Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://ireneproject.eu/public-deliverables/
 
Description The IRENE project was completed in 30th Sept 2017. In this project, Queen Mary University of London have developed the Overall Grid Modelling tool that provides capabilities to assess outage scenarios on the level of the distribution grid, together with seven published conference papers. Three journal, a book chapter and a magazine sections are still under reviewed. Hence, the findings and developed tool have not been fully exploited and used by relevant stakeholders and researchers. Cyber security defense mechanisms and strategies for Smart Grids in urban city have been developed in IRENE project, as the impact of any malfunction could directly reflects on society and its well-being. The solutions developed by IRENE will help city administrations, DSOs and operators of other critical infrastructures to develop, plan and evaluate appropriate measures for mitigating power outages. IRENE does not only take into consideration short-term outages with limited impact but also long-term outages with severe impact on critical urban infrastructures. It supports the development of social and technical methodologies that will assist stakeholders to collaborate and increase the resilience of the future power networks and significantly reduce the impact on urban society and economy. IRENE will assist member states to develop policies that will protect European citizens from attacks or disruptions on the power network. The IRENE open collaboration framework available to any potential user supports an increase in social engagement between local power generators and the surrounding urban community. Thus IRENE will improve the way the existing Smart Grid complex system is managed, monitored and integrated with groups, public bodies and enterprises.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Title IRENE Collaboration Framework 
Description The IRENE collaborative framework provides a repository through which the key roles, processes and policies needed to plan the response to a power outage event are defined. In specific, the Framework clarifies the: - Response Group(s), i.e. those temporary organisations that will come together to carry out the response in the case of an event that impacts the city's energy supply - Policies that will guide this group(s) in their decision making and clarify where authority and responsibility lies - Agreements that are in place between key city stakeholders that clarify acceptable actions in helping to create a resilient response (these will underpin many of the policies) 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - human 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The IRENE collaborative framework has been presented to different stakeholders. In this time of writing this response, there is no notable impact yet. 
URL http://ireneproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IRENE-D1.1r2-.pdf
 
Title Overall Grid Modelling (OGM) tool 
Description This tool provides the capabilities to assess outage scenarios on the level of the distribution grid. It can evaluates the capability of the grid to sustain the outage by isolation from the main grid and operation in islanded mode, or by isolating grid portions and dropping the load (normal grid-connected operation for unaffected grid nodes). The ability to sustain the islanded operation allows evaluation of the resilience of the urban grid in terms of fraction of demand served. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The revised version was updated in June 2017 and presented to various stakeholders. There is no notable impact when writing this statement. 
 
Title Threat assessment using bayesian network approach 
Description The ability to assess cyber-threats is becoming more important for stakeholders, given their rise in smart grid. This tool uses a method to transform the FAIR look-up tables to the Bayesian network model to provide numerical threat LEF assessment. This FAIR-based model can help the system manager in planning more effectively the security countermeasures to lower the smart grid threats' impact. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact There is yet a notable impact yet. 
URL http://ireneproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IRENE-D2.1.pdf
 
Description IRENE partners 
Organisation Austrian Institute of Technology
Country Austria 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The main contribution in this collaboration is the know-how on energy prediction models for energy distribution planning and energy correlation . Thus it is well prepared for developing strategies for balancing supply and demand in case of power outages. And also, the main contribution on the development of an open modelling tool that brings together methodologies and policies that developed from IRENE project to evaluate and measure the mitigation outcomes.
Collaborator Contribution Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) contributes with its expertise in Smart Grid security, control, and modelling. In specific, focusing on the development of approaches for grid island mode of operation, ICT infrastructure and grid modelling, preventive security and resilience mechanisms, and quantitative risk and security assessment. Ethos will bring a private sector view to the research project, using their relationships with cities to add valuable insights to how cities are thinking about these forthcoming challenges so that the research can have a direct positive impact and be used to help European cities become more resilient. University of Twente contribute to analyse requirements and scenarios, the threat and risk analysis , supporting tool development dissemination and evaluation of project results. Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) contribute to the identification of security and dependability requirements and focusing on the problem of emergence phenomena. In addition, UNIFI investigate modelling of the system, especially for what concerns the investigation of dependability and security properties, and propagation of faults through the infrastructure. UNIFI also supports the evaluation activities taking care of quantitative model-based assessment of dependability and security, using combinatorial techniques (e.g., attack trees and attack graphs) and state space analysis (Markov chains, stochastic Petri nets and their extensions).
Impact One conference paper title "Assessing Loss Event Frequencies of Smart Grid Cyber Threats: Encoding Flexibility into FAIR Using Bayesian Network Approach" Deliverable 1: IRENE Scenarios and Baseline Model Deliverable 2.1 - Threats identification and ranking
Start Year 2014
 
Description IRENE partners 
Organisation Ethos VO Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The main contribution in this collaboration is the know-how on energy prediction models for energy distribution planning and energy correlation . Thus it is well prepared for developing strategies for balancing supply and demand in case of power outages. And also, the main contribution on the development of an open modelling tool that brings together methodologies and policies that developed from IRENE project to evaluate and measure the mitigation outcomes.
Collaborator Contribution Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) contributes with its expertise in Smart Grid security, control, and modelling. In specific, focusing on the development of approaches for grid island mode of operation, ICT infrastructure and grid modelling, preventive security and resilience mechanisms, and quantitative risk and security assessment. Ethos will bring a private sector view to the research project, using their relationships with cities to add valuable insights to how cities are thinking about these forthcoming challenges so that the research can have a direct positive impact and be used to help European cities become more resilient. University of Twente contribute to analyse requirements and scenarios, the threat and risk analysis , supporting tool development dissemination and evaluation of project results. Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) contribute to the identification of security and dependability requirements and focusing on the problem of emergence phenomena. In addition, UNIFI investigate modelling of the system, especially for what concerns the investigation of dependability and security properties, and propagation of faults through the infrastructure. UNIFI also supports the evaluation activities taking care of quantitative model-based assessment of dependability and security, using combinatorial techniques (e.g., attack trees and attack graphs) and state space analysis (Markov chains, stochastic Petri nets and their extensions).
Impact One conference paper title "Assessing Loss Event Frequencies of Smart Grid Cyber Threats: Encoding Flexibility into FAIR Using Bayesian Network Approach" Deliverable 1: IRENE Scenarios and Baseline Model Deliverable 2.1 - Threats identification and ranking
Start Year 2014
 
Description IRENE partners 
Organisation University of Florence
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The main contribution in this collaboration is the know-how on energy prediction models for energy distribution planning and energy correlation . Thus it is well prepared for developing strategies for balancing supply and demand in case of power outages. And also, the main contribution on the development of an open modelling tool that brings together methodologies and policies that developed from IRENE project to evaluate and measure the mitigation outcomes.
Collaborator Contribution Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) contributes with its expertise in Smart Grid security, control, and modelling. In specific, focusing on the development of approaches for grid island mode of operation, ICT infrastructure and grid modelling, preventive security and resilience mechanisms, and quantitative risk and security assessment. Ethos will bring a private sector view to the research project, using their relationships with cities to add valuable insights to how cities are thinking about these forthcoming challenges so that the research can have a direct positive impact and be used to help European cities become more resilient. University of Twente contribute to analyse requirements and scenarios, the threat and risk analysis , supporting tool development dissemination and evaluation of project results. Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) contribute to the identification of security and dependability requirements and focusing on the problem of emergence phenomena. In addition, UNIFI investigate modelling of the system, especially for what concerns the investigation of dependability and security properties, and propagation of faults through the infrastructure. UNIFI also supports the evaluation activities taking care of quantitative model-based assessment of dependability and security, using combinatorial techniques (e.g., attack trees and attack graphs) and state space analysis (Markov chains, stochastic Petri nets and their extensions).
Impact One conference paper title "Assessing Loss Event Frequencies of Smart Grid Cyber Threats: Encoding Flexibility into FAIR Using Bayesian Network Approach" Deliverable 1: IRENE Scenarios and Baseline Model Deliverable 2.1 - Threats identification and ranking
Start Year 2014
 
Description IRENE partners 
Organisation University of Twente
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The main contribution in this collaboration is the know-how on energy prediction models for energy distribution planning and energy correlation . Thus it is well prepared for developing strategies for balancing supply and demand in case of power outages. And also, the main contribution on the development of an open modelling tool that brings together methodologies and policies that developed from IRENE project to evaluate and measure the mitigation outcomes.
Collaborator Contribution Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) contributes with its expertise in Smart Grid security, control, and modelling. In specific, focusing on the development of approaches for grid island mode of operation, ICT infrastructure and grid modelling, preventive security and resilience mechanisms, and quantitative risk and security assessment. Ethos will bring a private sector view to the research project, using their relationships with cities to add valuable insights to how cities are thinking about these forthcoming challenges so that the research can have a direct positive impact and be used to help European cities become more resilient. University of Twente contribute to analyse requirements and scenarios, the threat and risk analysis , supporting tool development dissemination and evaluation of project results. Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) contribute to the identification of security and dependability requirements and focusing on the problem of emergence phenomena. In addition, UNIFI investigate modelling of the system, especially for what concerns the investigation of dependability and security properties, and propagation of faults through the infrastructure. UNIFI also supports the evaluation activities taking care of quantitative model-based assessment of dependability and security, using combinatorial techniques (e.g., attack trees and attack graphs) and state space analysis (Markov chains, stochastic Petri nets and their extensions).
Impact One conference paper title "Assessing Loss Event Frequencies of Smart Grid Cyber Threats: Encoding Flexibility into FAIR Using Bayesian Network Approach" Deliverable 1: IRENE Scenarios and Baseline Model Deliverable 2.1 - Threats identification and ranking
Start Year 2014
 
Description CuriousU 2015 summer school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This workshop is intended to received feedback from students as stakeholders. The feedback was very useful to shape the future activities in IRENE
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description EAI International Conference on Smart Grid Inspired Future Technologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact IRENE project overview and findings were presented in the conference. The talk and presentations were to disseminate the results and developed work to relevant business, government, industry and researchers working in this field. Many ideas have been exchanged and discussed between different stakeholders in the conference. Attendees includes from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and researchers around the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Gaming simulation workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The gaming workshop is to present the IRENE project overview and collect feedback as a different stakeholders. There are about 10 students attended in this workshop , which collected very informative feedback on IRENE collaboration framework and the Overall Grid Modelling (OGM) tool.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description More Resilient Urban Grids: The Role of Flexible Demand in the Outage Response 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of IRENE on how to improve the resilient of urban grids to researchers and business in the related fields.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Plenary meeting of the Cyber Security Lab-CINI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This panel meeting was organised in University of Florence to showcase the work progress of IRENE and intended to receive feedback from audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description QMUL research open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact IRENE project presentation, QMUL research open day to industry. Most of the PhD students in school of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and industries e.g. IBM attend this event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Stakeholder Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The stakeholder Workshop was conducted in Power Networks Demonstration Center. There were different stakeholders, including the energy grid experts and energy operators attended the workshop to give feedback on the IRENE Collaboration Framework and tools. Feedback and discussion during the workshop have given IRENE partners to revise some of parts in the tools. The stakeholders were very impressed with the work done and findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Transfer of Knowledge Workshop IV UNICAMP 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact IRENE project overview was presented in this workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Workshop on "Autonomous and Cooperative Intelligent Vehicles: New safety and security challenges, or yet another critical infrastructure?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The IRENE work on security challenges and ways of threat assessment in critical infrastructure was presented in technical Workshop on "Autonomous and Cooperative Intelligent Vehicles: New safety and security challenges, or yet another critical infrastructure?"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015