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Overall, German industry is very confident about the digitization of the energy industry. In a Bitkom survey , last year six out of ten companies were convinced that Germany would take a leading role in this technology market. In order to make it easier for suppliers (network operators and municipal utilities) to choose the appropriate smart grid communication technologies, Accenture and the Fraunhofer Institute for Embedded Systems and Communication Technology ESK have now compiled a current overview . Existing concepts and available solutions for controllable intelligent networks are presented. The expected costs are shown as well.

The potential of smart grids is huge in any case. The authors see particular advantages in four major areas, network management (including analysis), consumer control, development of flexibility in decentralized energy producers, and consumption forecasting. The whitepaper dedicates a separate section to the aspect of security. Even integrated communication solutions are not immune to vulnerabilities and the power supply network is one of the critical infrastructures (CRITIS) within the meaning of the IT Security Act.