University of Vaasa develops descriptions of future energy systems and expected threat scenarios

Tulevaisuuden sähköjärjestelmä, kuva: Shutterstock
Could a hacker cut off electricity from hundreds of thousands or could weather-sensitive renewable energy cause a loss of grid frequency throughout Finland? The University of Vaasa and its research platform VEBIC are participating in the Nordic Resilient Digital Sustainable Energy Transition (REDISET) consortium, which intends to develop descriptions of future energy systems and related threat scenarios.

The project consortium has received 1,6 million euros from The NordGrid Program. The University of Vaasa received 554 480 euros which are managed by Business Finland. The project is also part of the Smart Energy program. REDISET is scheduled to begin on the 15th of March, 2022.

Energy is an intrinsic part of total security and with the digitalization of distribution systems, we are dealing with new types of vulnerabilities. The objective of the REDISET project will be to take a holistic approach in analysing, identifying, and making proposals for mitigation of possible weaknesses of the digital security and resilience of a highly cross sectoral-integrated digital energy system. The project consortium consists of seven Nordic collaboration partners: KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Norwegian Defence Research Establishment FFI (Norway), University of Vaasa (Finland), The Norwegian SmartGrid centre (Norway), Statnett (Norway), Svenska Kraftnät (Sweden), and Gambit (Finland).

The resilience criteria will be tested and demonstrated in Vaasa

The REDISET project investigates how to analyse, identify and mitigate risks related to digital energy security and resilience from a socio-technical perspective to understand how existing and future technologies are best adopted into society and critical infrastructure, whilst allowing continuous evolvement to adapt to a fast-paced technological development (AI, IoT, quantum technologies). System simulations will be performed to develop resilience criteria. Resulting criteria will be tested and demonstrated at the VEBIC – FREESI laboratory in the Sundom Smart Grid living lab data environment.

– The project has a proactive approach to risk management. It provides an opportunity to create a new understanding of how diverse the chain of operations is. From a security perspective, this poses new challenges due to the need for co-operation between different sectors, says Petra Berg who is the project manager and University of Vaasa's contact person in REDISET.

Research on comprehensive security and energy security

Comprehensive security, which includes energy security, is one of the key trends in research at the University of Vaasa. The University of Vaasa contributes to the project in the fields of cyber security technology and management of future energy grid research. More precisely in the areas of Smart Grid technologies and elements, power system protection and communication solutions, satellite data, and GSP network codes. These research topics are essential in developing cyber-physical proof components to the future electricity grids. The University of Vaasa also contributes to energy behavior, business models, and transition management research from a multi-level perspective. The cyber security management and service creation in future social-cyber physical systems require new understanding and knowledge of the "human aspects". This research is crucial for new business.

– The project will provide a new understanding of what kind of phenomenon field the social-cyber-physical energy system is. Companies need this new understanding when they develop products and services. As comprehensive security is interlinked with energy security, there is also going to be a growing need to deal with the government sector in the future. This requires more out of the silo thinking from all actors, says Berg.

REDISET is carried out by VEBIC Research Platform, University of Vaasa. The research group at the University of Vaasa includes Petra Berg (Project Manager), Suvi Karirinne (VEBIC Director), Professor Heidi Kuusniemi, Professor Kimmo Kauhaniemi, Professor Hannu Makkonen, and Project Researcher Bahaa Elthawy.

Further information

Project manager Petra Berg, University of Vaasa, VEBIC Research Platform, tel +35829 449 8600,

Director Suvi Karirinne, University of Vaasa, VEBIC Research Platform, tel. +35829 449 8284,

Did you like the article?