Covid-19 lessons for the power grid

July 03, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
Dr Shuli Goodman, executive director of LF Energy on power grid standards
Dr Shuli Goodman, executive director of LF Energy, talks to Nick Flaherty about the lessons the power grid industry can learn from Covid-19 to tackle the climate crisis with open source

The Covid-19 pandemic has lessons for the world’s power grid technology, says Dr. Shuli Goodman, executive director at LF Energy, part of the Linux Foundation

“From where I sit, the pandemic is a dress rehearsal for a much more catastrophic set of circumstances and we are in a position of recognising that, by and large, pandemics do not recognise national borders and hijack economies,” said Goodman. “In that way I think that climate collapse and the issues of the power grid are very similar. We are powering electricity that knows no boundaries but if we do not solve for the climate challenges globally it will come to naught so it requires a degree of cooperation from the human race.

LF Energy is a non-profit open-source coalition to address climate change as part of the Linux Foundation. There are currently eight projects covering various parts of the power grid, from smart meter standards, operator software and data management, 

“This is what brought me to the Linux Foundation – they took something that was a hack of a Unix operating system 30 years ago and made it the operating system of the planet. 70 percent of our carbon comes from mobility and the grid, and I recognised that the governance model of the Linux operating system is no lightweight and elegant that we could use it for power systems.

“There are 250 other projects at the LF and some of these are looking at big cycles to identify opportunities. You have LF Networking for telecoms and datacoms with 5G going open source, because they recognised they cannot do it alone," she said, "The pandemic has shown we cannot solve the problem on our own, like climate change. The future is dependent on us learning how to cooperate and work together,” she said.

The digitalisation of the power grid is a key trend, bringing advantages in digital

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