Data Privacy in the Smart Grid: A Decentralized Approach

AbstractEvolution toward the smart grid includes implementation of elements such as smart meters, embedded microprocessors, two-way communication systems from consumers to system operators, and automated demand response as supported through dynamic pricing. Dynamic pricing throughout the smart grid will require frequent transfer of energy consumption data from the customers to the ISOs. Privacy and security issues related to transferring this data are widely studied. However, typical frameworks rely on a trusted third party, such as the ISO or a load aggregator, that would then have access to all of the consumer data. This paper proposes a Bitcoin-like decentralized model as a solution for secure information transfer within the smart grid, eliminating the presence of a centralized data aggregator or other third party operator. Each smart meter participates as an equal peer in the proposed peer-to-peer network, and elements of authentication, confidentiality and data verification are developed similar to the existing Bitcoin framework. The contribution of this paper is the proposed framework for the smart grid which cryptographically secures the transfer of energy consumption data while ensuring privacy.


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