Top energy conference in Melbourne next week

Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Top energy conference in Melbourne next week

Australia’s most comprehensive clean and renewable energy event, All-Energy Australia, returns to Melbourne next week.

The must-attend event, to be held 3–4 October at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, will feature 200+ speakers and over 240 exhibitors. Speakers will discuss a variety of topics including the latest in clean and renewable energy, solar design, electronic vehicles, microgrid and off-grid projects and more.

The conference will be opened by Lily D’Ambrosio, the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. The conference agenda will include a series of presentations, panel discussions, case studies and interactive workshops across two days. The founder of Smart Commercial Solar, Huon Hoogesteger, will share his insights on solar projects and why we are seeing an emergence of large-scale solar farms in Australia and around the world. DP Energy Business Development Manager Catherine Way will chair a five-member panel about game changers shaping the energy industry and how an evolving grid is bringing positive disruption to our energy climate. The panel will feature Huon Hoogesteger, Power Ledger Sales Executive Matthew Grantham, Energy Transition Hub Manager Cienna Turpie, Zen Ecosystems Chief Financial Officer Michael Joffe and Delta Electronics General Manager Herman Chang.

BlueIoT founder and Chief Innovation Officer Bob Sharon will explore the consequences of cybersecurity attacks on smart grid systems, and how the industry must improve existing techniques and systems to manage these threats and risks. He will evaluate existing networks with a case study of a recent system hack in Melbourne.

For smart grids, the weakest link is the communication link between smart grids, utility grids, renewable power feed and the edge devices that control power usage and peak demand, according to Sharon. These systems use building management systems (BMSs) or hybrid systems to manage peak demand across smart grids. But we have witnessed these systems be compromised by cyber breaches across various sectors, even in a Melbourne office building.

According to CIO Insight, cybersecurity attacks targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices will become more sophisticated and will be designed to exploit the vulnerabilities in the IoT communications and data-gathering chain, noted Sharon. “Another common form of communication in the sector is wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi. These networks are vital to smart grid and smart cities; however, if not protected and monitored effectively, they can endanger corporate IT ecosystems and data — presenting a higher risk and an invitation for hackers to penetrate.

“For the end point hosted data centre, factors such as the Tiering/Uptime is not considered. The tier level is determined by The Uptime Institute where Tier IV is the highest level of certification. There are several avenues for attack both from within and without. A DDoS attack can cripple the use and access to all of your IoT devices that are centrally managed.

“The stakes are high indeed and, as such, one cannot afford to be complacent. So the basic assumptions when architecting solutions for smart grids and smart cities must be to assume hackers will be knocking on the door, looking for vulnerabilities.”

Image credit: © Bæk Pederson

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