Updated on: September 15, 2023
On Tuesday, The US Department of Energy (DOE) invested $39 million to strengthen the distributed energy resources (DER).
This investment is a significant contribution, with the funds being split to multiple national laboratories.
The investment is meant to improve the cybersecurity defenses and frameworks of various household DERs. This investment comes in light of an increase in data breaches targeting the Energy & Utilities sector.
To help put it into perspective, distributed energy resources is a catch-all term for various consumer energy products. These types of products include solar panels, electric vehicle chargers, wind turbines, various storage systems, and pretty much every other type of at-home alternative energy system.
While these products make it easy to be in charge of your own energy, they come with the risk of being vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks and exploits. It’s possible to infect these devices with malware and botnets, or even take full control of your network through your energy devices.
The DOE is working to strengthen the DER systems by combining human efforts with complex AI that is able to identify patterns that are too advanced for the human eye to see. Up to $21m of the investments will be used to bolster DER machine learning.
Another $8 million of the investment is to create new tools and technologies like DER aggregators and complex management systems that make processing large heaps of data simple. These advanced tools will be able to process and reorganize data much faster than any human could do.
“I applaud this key investment to ensure 21st-century American competitiveness in artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms,” said US Representative Darren Soto. “This will boost scientific breakthroughs, advance manufacturing and assist the United States with analyzing and solving some of the greatest challenges facing our nation, like climate change, new cures, quality healthcare and cybersecurity.”
While it’s certainly a great investment, only time will tell if the investment will be enough to keep up with the increasingly advanced methods used by international hacking groups.