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China’s dominance in electrical components a potential threat to US energy security

A growing reliance on Chinese components in the US power system is increasing cybersecurity risks and could threaten US energy supplies, says the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China’s strong market position in electric equipment and distributed energy resources (DERs) could make the country a cybersecurity threat to the US electric power system, says the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an American not-for-profit.

a worker in a solar parts factory
Production of photovoltaic solar parts at a factory in Haian, China in April 2021. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The US electric power system relies in part on Chinese-made hardware and software for electricity generation and delivery. As energy systems become more reliant on DERs, system vulnerabilities may increase. Information technology such as smart meters and sensors can also be vulnerable to hacking.

In the past decade, over 200 Chinese-manufactured high-voltage transformers were exported to the US.

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The US can improve its energy security by becoming “a major producer and manufacturer of clean energy technologies”, suggests the report.