Increasingly violent weather, probably caused by global warming, is increasingly taking down electricity distribution lines and poles and cyberattacks are increasingly taking out electricity, apparently just as trials for major terrorism of this sort. Little wonder that the price of grid electricity is so often rising, further aggravated by the chronic intermittency of solar and wind power being added to save the planet. In countries such as the USA, the trillions of dollars needed to maintain and upgrade the national grid do not seem to be forthcoming but help is at hand from micro and minigrids. These tend to be attached to grids but capable of working independently. As a next stage most of them will not even be attached to grids.
A cyberattack took down power in Kiev, December 2016. ISSC linked it to a winter hack and blackout in 2015 harming 225,000 and more recent attacks. President Poroshenko says Russia is waging a cyber-war against Ukraine: criminal groups work together testing techniques for sabotage wordwide. "The investigation of a number of incidents indicated the complicity directly or indirectly of Russian security services."
U.S. officials note Russian hackers targetting the US energy grid as part of penetrating the economy. "Since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors ... targeted government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors," announced the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI."
Energy Secretary Rick Perry warns, "Cyberattacks are literally happening hundreds of thousands of times a day." Bloomberg reports the group responsible breaches systems to facilitate a more advanced wave of attacks targeting industrial control systems that, if disabled, leave millions without power or water."
Lloyd's and the University of Cambridge's Centre for Risk Studies calculate that a major attack on the US grid could cost the economy $0.24 - $1 trillion, equivalent to 40 to 50 major hurricanes.
Nathan Sproul, Lincoln Strategy Group, warns, "At the same time, the electrical grid is becoming less reliable and less prudent—and not just because of vulnerability to hacking. As innovation spurs the development of renewable energy in America, consumers have more choice in how they power their lives than ever before. The rise of distributed energy sources like solar panels, home batteries and electric vehicles has some questioning whether we ought to reimagine the grid all together".