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The Evolving Energy Ecosystem: Smart Grids To Smart Energy


For any nation, the energy ecosystem is fundamental to its progress and development. Since the energy industry drives economic growth, the power grid has always had a profound impact on a nation’s economic survival, security, and sustainability.

Now, supported by advances in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things and more, the growing digitization, automation, communication, connectivity, and decentralization are on their way to fundamentally transform the way nations manage diverse energy sources, supply chains, and energy management processes. As a result, each individual nation is now able to lay the foundation of an intelligent, integrated, democratized, and decentralized energy market which can work for consumers, have diverse energy sources, and which ensures that energy supply can always meet demand. Individually and collectively, this will likely lay a foundation to bring sustainability to national economic engines.

As the technology transformation intensifies, the evolution in the grid is on its way to both allowing energy to keep flowing where and when it's needed and allowing all energy sources to be used efficiently. So, as nations witness transformative changes to the way electricity is produced, transmitted, managed and used, it is essential to understand and evaluate the emerging trends in technology that could transform the grid further.


Electric Power Grid

The electric power grid, known as the most complex and most substantial machine on the globe, is an interconnected energy infrastructure made up of power generation, transmission, and distribution. As technology transforms the electric grid, the rapidly emerging microgrids, intelligent sensors, 2-way communication, digitization, and automation of energy management processes have laid the foundation to not only smart grids but also smart energy. Again, the democratization and decentralization of diverse energy sources have also added to this shift.

As technology transforms the grid, each nation’s power grid is at a critical juncture. While there are many gaps and opportunities to improve energy efficiency, production, distribution, transmission, and storage, it will be interesting to see how nations determine the appropriate balance between the competing interests of different energy sources to enable digitization, automation, decentralization, and modernization of the electric power ecosystem. So, amidst many competing and conflicting interests, how are nations conceptualizing the future design of the evolving power grid system? As nations evaluate the technical obsolescence of its grid, what is the impact on safety, security, and sustainability?

Smart Grid to Smart Energy

As the technology transformation allows for two-way communication between the grid and its customers, the rapidly evolving automation that is on its way to making the grid intelligent consists of not only controls, computers, and automation, but also many other technologies like the internet of things and blockchain. These technologies work with the electrical grid to respond digitally to the rapidly changing electric demand in real time.

Moreover, consumers becoming producers of energy is fundamentally changing energy economics. The reason behind that is over the years, the power flow was one-way: from generation to transmission to distribution to consumers. Now, as consumers become producers of energy due to maturing solar panels, wind turbines, and other sources of energy, the power flow is 2-way.

The emerging smart grid represents an unprecedented opportunity to move the energy industry into a new era of smart energy which would foster reliability, availability, accountability, and efficiency that would contribute to a nation's economic health. From efficient transmissions of electricity to rapid restorations of power, cost efficiency to lower electricity rates, increased integration of diverse energy sources to increased intelligence of energy needs, the smart grid will bring many benefits to the evolving smart energy ecosystem.

That brings us to an important question: how are nations preparing for the evolution of their energy infrastructure? While it will take some time for the evolving smart grid to bring smart energy to all nations, the evolving energy ecosystem will fundamentally change the energy equation for the future of humanity.

Security Threats to Smart Grid

With the aging electrical power infrastructure and with increased reliance on automated control systems (e.g. smart meters), there is growing susceptibility to security threats. So, what are the security risks to the smart grid? Where do the threats originate?  It seems there are many variables to security threats to smart grids: ranging from cybercriminals, nation-states, natural disasters, human-made disasters, and inadvertent technical and non-technical errors. Are nations prepared to face the emerging security threats to its power grid from cyberspace, geospace, and space? It is essential to understand and evaluate what technological and non-technological improvements in grid infrastructure are necessary across nations to build resilient grids.

Understanding risk and resilience are essential as nations’ electric grids, data centers, telecommunications networks, and other critical infrastructure are also vulnerable to electromagnetic warfare: a nuclear weapon that generates an EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse). Even a geomagnetic storm from the sun could also create an EMP effect. So, when cyber warfare, electromagnetic warfare, and space warfare all have the potential to cause temporary or permanent disruptions to the electric power grid, how can a nation ensure a sustainable source of energy supply?

What Next?

For any nation, the security of its energy ecosystem is fundamental to its economic health. As nations define and design smart energy grids, it is vital to evaluate the security vulnerabilities and make the grids resilient to both natural and artificial disasters. However, to be able to do that, we first need to understand who is responsible for the security of the power grid. Do you know who is responsible for power grid security in your nation?











The Industrial Engineering Profession is collectively organized by the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE), supported by the Industrial Engineering Certification Board (IECB) through a structured recognition and certification process in relation to the standardized practice of Industrial Engineering in the Republic of the Philippines.


A member of the Industrial Engineering occupational group organized by the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers, its duly sworn-in members shall abide by these basic principles:

1.     Sees other members, including those employed elsewhere, as peers/colleagues
2.     Exercises judgment in the performance of occupational tasks and follows relevant professional standards.
3.    Accepts the profession's agreement to work in a morally permissible way (often expressed as a code of ethics) as determining in part the obligations of the role.




Rule 1. The industrial engineer shall, in the practice of his profession, be governed by the Golden Rule, the ideals of service to man and his/her environment, and the indispensability of unwavering public confidence in his/her professional competence, integrity and humanity.


Rule 2. The industrial engineer shall maintain the pride for his/her profession, observe the standards of professional practice, safeguard the dignity, welfare, and reputation of his/her colleagues in the professions, and fulfill his/her duties and obligations as a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines.


Rule 3. The ethical principle governing the industrial engineer applies equally to partnerships, firms and entities organized and existing for the practice of industrial engineering.




Rule 4. The industrial engineer shall honor and respect the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines, the Rule of Law, the primacy of the general welfare, the fundamental rights of persons, and the obligations and privileges of citizens recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.


Rule 5. The industrial engineer shall cooperate fully with the State in the pursuit of national development plans and programs, the inviolability of national security, the promotion of peace, and the prevention and/or prosecution of unjust, criminal or unlawful acts and omissions.





Rule 6. The industrial engineer holds paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. When the industrial engineer discovers faulty, inefficient or unsafe work systems, the industrial engineer shall primarily assess how to correct the situation and immediately report to the proper authority, public or private, for the immediate and effective correction, regardless of whether or not he is responsible for said place, work or situation; in the context of being an active professional contributing to the development of his/her community.




Rule 7. The industrial engineer shall be familiar with the relevant policies on Labor and Social Justice, as well as applicable labor and social legislation and shall observe faithfully these policies and laws in his/her dealings with labor in general, and with his/her workmen in particular.


Rule 8. The Industrial Engineer shall use his/her knowledge to improve the skills of his/her workforce, recommend a fair living wage, and instruct them on how to increase their productivity.




Rule 9. The industrial engineer shall observe punctuality in his/her appointments, perform honestly and in good faith his/her contractual obligation and his/her duties and obligations to his/her client or employer, and observe fair dealing in his/her relations with his/her clients and employers.


Rule 10. The industrial engineer shall treat with confidentiality any information obtained by him as to the business affairs and technical methods or processes of a client or employer.


Rule 11. The industrial engineer shall inform his/her client or employer of his/her business connections, interests, or affiliations which may influence his/her judgment, or impair the quality or character of his/her services.


Rule 12. The industrial engineer shall avoid deceptive acts.


Rule 13. The industrial engineer shall render professional services in their areas of competence.




Rule 14. The industrial engineer shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their professional services and shall not compete unfairly with others.


Rule 15. The industrial engineer shall conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the industrial engineering profession.


Rule 16. The industrial engineer shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due; and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.




Industrial engineers found violating any of the provisions of the code shall be meted with administrative sanctions such as fines and suspension or revocation of certification and/or membership from the organization as indicated by its separate and approved code of conduct for its members.




This Code of Ethics shall take effect after approval by the Board of Trustees of the Philippines Institute of Industrial Engineers. 

This Code of Ethics applies to all who took the oath as member of the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineering.

    This Code of Ethics applies across the board as published in the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers website as a symbol of circulation and depository of its approved contents.



Crafted and Endorsed by:


Industrial Engineering Certification Board

July 16, 2019


Approved by:


Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers
August 15, 2019