An Energy Department official said the order determines that the unrestricted foreign supply of electrical power equipment represents an extraordinary threat to U.S. national security. The order prohibits future buying, imports, or transfer of power equipment if the Energy Secretary and other U.S. officials determine that a "transactions to be subject to the influence of a foreign adversary," the official said.
We've been talking about the potential of hacker strikes on electric grids for years, and now it looks like the threat is imminent. Symantec reports that a group it calls Dragonfly is targeting energy and power sectors in the US and Europe, with the intention of both learning how these facilities operate as well as eventually gaining control over the systems. This isn't the first time we've heard of Dragonfly. Back in 2014, Symantec and other researchers identified the group as responsible for a series of attacks on US and European energy systems that stretched from 2010 to 2014. A joint analysis between the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI in 2016 tied Dragonfly to Russian malicious activity, though Symantec has been careful not to speculate on the origins of the group.
Britain has gone without coal-fired power generation for its longest stretch since the Industrial Revolution, breaking the existing record of 18 consecutive days this morning. The UK's energy system has not used coal-fired plants for more than 438 hours, according to National Grid data, the longest uninterrupted period since 1882. The 18-day stretch has broken the UK's previous record, which was set on 4 June 2019, partly because of a collapse in demand for electricity during the coronavirus lockdown and because of greater use of solar power. The UK set a new solar power record on 20 April after solar farms generated more than 9.6GW of electricity for the first time. The lockdown has also caused the UK's electricity demand to fall to record lows because schools, shops, factories and restaurants have closed.
Ever imagined using energy from your own rooftop solar panels to power all your air-conditioning units, heat up water and charge your smartphone? This can now be a reality. In Singapore, smart-enabled HDB flats to be completed in Punggol next year will allow homeowners to track energy consumption via a mobile app, and control just about any appliance that is connected to a power source. By 2040, one billion households and 11 billion smart appliances can actively participate in interconnected electricity systems, allowing these to alter when to draw electricity from the grid, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Other demand sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry, are also feeling the effects of a seismic shift in the energy sector.
MORE than 100 million people around the world now have access to electricity for the first time thanks to simple solar power systems that typically provide LED lights and a phone charger. More powerful versions include radios and even televisions. The LEDs provide a clean and cheap alternative to the kerosene lamps normally used by those with no electricity. "People spend 50 cents a day on kerosene," says Nick Hughes, co-founder of M-KOPA Solar of Kenya, which has sold 550,000 home solar power systems in East Africa. Some families spend a tenth of their income on fuel for lighting.