Smart Grids IoT Revolution for Efficient Energy Generation and Distribution

By Prometteur solutions 22 Min Read

The trends in smart grids IoT revolution are transforming the energy industry in many exciting ways. These include the ways we generate, distribute and consume energy.


With the evolution and implementation of IoT technologies, the world is also witnessing unbelievable transformations of traditional power grids to smart grids. Turning them to intelligent grids with smart features. These intelligent grids offer efficient and effective performance to better serve energy consumers.

If you will like to find out about all the interesting ways that IoT (re)shaping and unlocking many possibilities in the energy sector, read our blog post till the end.

Understanding Smart Grids IoT Revolution/ IoT-enabled Energy Distribution

It is important that we give you a basic understanding of the contempt for IoT and the smart grid. This will help you to easily understand the roles IoT plays in the creation and implementation of smart grids.

What Are Smart Grids?

Hiren Bhuva defines Smart grids as simply “advanced electricity networks” with more advanced functions and operations than traditional systems. smart grids “leverage digital communication technologies to enable bidirectional flow of electricity”. But that is not all, they also enable an efficient flow of “information between consumers, producers, and grid operators.”

Similarly, Energy Your Way, an expert US energy company, defines a smart grid as thus; “Modern electrical grids that leverage advanced technologies to improve efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.” The expert energy actors claim that smart grids are pretty much, different from traditional grids because they “incorporate IoT devices, sensors, and meters” for real-time data on energy consumption, distribution, and generation.”

Anushree Ramanath also gives a comprehensive definition of what a smart grid is. He says; “A smart grid is an electricity network that uses digital and other advanced technologies to monitor and manage” electricity transportation. This transportation of electricity is “from generation sources to meet the varying electricity demands of end-users”

From all three perspectives, a smart grid appears to be a complex electricity system with interconnected protocols and multiple technologies. Smart grids can, in other words, be referred to as modern ways of generating, distributing, managing and controlling electricity.

Understanding Smart Grids IoT Revolution

There is a strong connection between IoT and smart grids, especially in driving a new feature of energy. Smart grids utilise IoT devices, like smart sensors for data collection and transmission to a central system.

The central system is powered by AI and Machine Learning Algorithms for proper and advanced analytics. Having analysed the data, accurate insights are generated and leveraged for informed decisions.

What are the Benefits of IoT in Smart Grids

Research by Anna Ukovich, which is revealed in her blog post, Building the Smart Grid: IoT Energy Management Systems, summarises the benefits of IoT in smart grids. It claims that an ultimate advantage of IoT-enabled smart grids over current or traditional grids is that; while “current power grids aren’t made to withstand the immense draw on resources and the need to transmit data for billions of consumers worldwide, IoT smart grids can.

Anna further claims that IoT smart grids are better than other grid systems because it can do the following;

  • Use smart sensors to automatically detect energy spikes and equipment failures
  • Use predictive analysis to prevent power outages
  • Speedily route power to those in need

To explain what Anna means in simpler terms is that; when there is an IoT integration in power distribution, it transforms the operations, the generation, distribution and the end user experience.

Here are the benefits of implementing smart grid management solutions.

Smart Grids IoT Revolution for Energy Efficiency

The smart grid IoT revolution is leading to energy efficiency for several reasons. Firstly, the innovation addresses issues with inefficient management processes.

It introduces the concept of predictive maintenance which facilitates early detection of system failures, downtimes or outages. This is possible with the use of IoT smart sensors for real-time monitoring and data analytics.

In essence, smart grids can easily identify potential issues and proactively address them at an early stage. This minimises or in some cases, eliminates the possibilities of downtimes and unexpected outages.

Smart Grids IoT Revolution for Balancing Distribution

IoT enabled energy devices like smart sensors can monitor and collect data on patterns, demands and supply of energy.

The patterns will tell how consumers use the supplied power. The data on demands will tell if the current demand is high or low. The data on supply will help in reducing energy waste.

Putting all these together, IoT in energy and utilities help in balancing energy generation and supply.

Smart Grids IoT Revolution for Renewable Energy

Integrating IoT in smart grids results in utilising renewable energy possibilities. Such possibilities include the use of solar panels and wind energy.

Smart grids for renewable energy have switches which gives them a different option on energy generation sources.

IoT devices embedded in smart grid systems enable real-time monitoring of energy generation. This allows for balancing.

Smart Grids IoT Revolution for Saving Costs

Smart grids utilise digital communication technologies for enhanced monitoring, management and control of electricity flow.

The ROI of smart grid IoT implementation is far higher and more promising than that of traditional grid systems. smart grids are an excellent innovation for saving cost and waste.  This benefit goes for companies, utilities and consumers.  

Using IoT sensors for grid monitoring, IoT empowers smart grids for predictive maintenance. This helps in reducing the cost of replacing damaged equipment. Also, with IoT integration, smart grids are able to balance supply, thereby saving costs.

Challenges of Implementing IoT in Smart Grids

The challenges in IoT-enabled smart grid technology advancements are complex. And because we want you to have a clear view of these challenges, we have categorised the challenges into three sub-categories;

  • The General Smart Grids IoT Challenges
  • The Cyber Security Challenges in IoT enabled Smart Grids
  • The Challenges of Expanding IoT Smart Grids Technologies

General Smart Grids IoT Revolution Challenges

Integrating IoT into the smart grid technology means you are dealing with several security algorithms. It also means you dealing with protocols and policies of different forms and sources. Therefore, it is normal that you expect these smart grid IoT revolution challenges.


Smart Grids are expected to cover large areas; including big villages, cities, states and even an entire country. This certainly means that there will be a need for IoT smart devices and objects in large quantities. However, all these can strain the network and may lead to weak connections which will end up affecting scalability.


The frequent need for movement and relocations will increase the need for authenticity and secure communication. This is usually normal and highly required in changing environments. These can pose serious issues with security meters, charging stations, etc.


If smart grids must cover an entire country, IoT devices and objects must be deployed in large quantities. Sometimes, this will necessitate the need to set up smart grid infrastructures in places that are not secure.  Situations like this will increase the cost of set-up, monitoring, control and management. It will also make it very difficult to secure all devices and structures.

Legacy Systems

Many times, there are already deployed technologies that may not be up to date or compatible with IoT-enabled smart grids. This will pose a serious challenge in the smart grid’s IoT revolution.


The implementation of smart grids IoT revolution involves the use of IoT devices, networks and protocols from diverse sources. This may result in issues of communication, and impact the efficiency of security. such dynamics may also affect upgrades and updates.


This is a result of heterogeneity which birth issues of communication, support, and incompatibility. Managing IoT devices and smart grid systems would be a lot easier if all the devices and objects use the same protocols, are from the same manufacturers, and communicated together. In such instances, there will be no issues of communication, updating, management, and control.

Trust Management

Still, both heterogeneity and interoperability can produce smart grid IoT revolution set up systems with diverse management teams. In other words, different IoT devices and networks, including objects will be managed by different bodies, also, they may also be regulated by different bodies. This can lead to serious communication challenges.

Cybersecurity in IoT-powered Smart Grids

Smart grids use sensors and networks to communicate and convey important data. The tools are also important for accurate analysis as well as efficient management. However, the introduction of networks and data sharing introduces challenges of security. Also, since IoT is an integral part of this, issues of cyberattacks must be taken seriously.


Our general challenges on smart grids IoT revolution will not be complete without include the time/latency factor. This has to do with response speed or time. IoT smart grids need devices and objects that support real time functions. This is the only way to ensure efficiency and grid optimization with IoT. Having smart grid systems with real-time performance will certainly perform to meet both utilities and end-user demands.

Cyber-Physical Challenges of the Smart Grids IoT Revolution

Chakib Bekara posits that with the integration of IoT and Network systems, Smart grids are cyber-physical systems. therefore, they will face the following cyber security challenges.

These smart grids’ IoT revolution challenges include;

Impersonation/Identity Spoofing

An attack on smart grids for unauthorized communication. In this case, another user may be hacked to pay for the energy consumption of another user.


An attack on IoT smart grid devices exchange data to steal information on data consumption.

Data tampering

If attackers can eavesdrop on your devices, then they can temper with private data. They can modify the data and adjust prices which would not be good for the user.

Authorization and Control Access issues

This is an issue that happens due to vulnerabilities in IoT devices. An unauthorised user can gain access to manipulate them or even damage the devices. In other cases, the attacks can lead to unexpected power outages.

Cyber Attacks

Smart grids IoT revolution comes with the challenges of cyber-attacks because the systems communicate with networks. This means IoT-enabled smart grids can be targets of malicious attackers who want to cause havoc. Also, smart grids run on software, this software can be infected with malware or viruses to cause serious damage.

Challenges in Expanding Smart Grid Technology

Economic Recovery

Since the Covide 19, there have been lots of economic recovery moves by countries around the world. Some have worked while others have not. Many are still trying to fully recover from a total lockdown that brought down their economy. Funding for many projects also dropped, with many donors and stakeholders permanently bailing out.

In the case of smart grid investment, the world will need more resources to expand this innovation. Research has shown that there needs to be at least x2 investment for adequate expansion of smart grids IoT revolution. This is indeed a very challenging task because many countries are still battling to revive their economies.

Price, Resources Fluctuations

One of the challenges of expanding smart grids IoT revolution is the scarcity of resources and price fluctuations. As many countries are turning to renewable energy, the demand and resources for fossil fuels are getting scarce. Fossil fuel is however important for powering smart grids.

Route Instability

The EvIndustryBlog posits that “route instability is one factor that drives packet loss. So, the scientists developing smart grids must develop an economical yet innovative solution to reduce network packet loss.”

There is a need to put everything in place for the smart grids IoT revolution to move smoothly. but for such to happen, suppliers of electricity need to fix all issues with packet loss. This will go a long way in making the network to be reliable. The

Therefore, smart grid managers must always find effective ways of detecting and preventing cyber-attacks on the smart grids. This is very important for ensuring a steady electricity supply and smart grid management.

FAQs on Smart Grids IoT Revolution

What are smart grids in IoT?

Smart grids are simply modern power generation, transmission and distribution energy technologies, powered by IoT.  When IoT is well integrated into smart grids, it makes different complex processes appear easy. They also play vital roles in identifying and resolving issues in the grid. Other issues that the Smart grid helps to address include unexpected outages, issues of security, renewable energy etc.

What is a Summary of the Concept of Smart Grid?

We would like to summarise the whole concept as an advanced electrical grid technology with automation features, strong communication and networks. Smart grids also have efficient monitoring features, management and controls from electricity generation to consumption. With IoT enabled smart grids, you can monitor and manage in real time.

What are the Applications of Smart Grids?

Smart grid applications include using advanced technologies like smart metering systems or infrastructures. It also includes integrating IoT technologies which allow for the use of smart sensors, IoT devices and connections.

What is the major feature of an IoT-enabled Smart grid?

IoT-enabled smart grids have a lot of features. However, the major ones (s) include smart metering, supply balance, predictive maintenance, and renewable energy. Other important features include power generation, transmission and distribution, reduced cost, etc.

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